New styles, new destinations

Subterranean living – and Parisian chic in Taiwan

Style blogger Costas Voyatzis spends his year travelling the world. In this column he turns the spotlight on new places, exhibitions and buildings that are worth a visit. This time round: distinctive minimalism in Switzerland, an oyster bar in Taipei and artists’ studios by Pritzker Prize winner Tadao Ando in Mexico.

Costas Voyatzis

Trendy food around the clock: Cheval Bar and Restaurant in Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki, the smaller, hipper (and foggier) sister city of Athens, is currently a hotspot for trendy bars and delicious food. A new arrival on the scene, Cheval is a great all-day venue on lively Mitropoleos Street. Its interior has been designed to look like a postmodern stable. Despite this – or perhaps even because of it – it has a very sophisticated ambience.

Japanese avant-garde fashion: Rei Kawakubo in New York

All the major fashion designers are keen to have ensemble on display at the annual Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum. In May 2017, the theme of the evening was Rei Kawakubo, founder of the Comme des Garçons label, and the event was accompanied by a major exhibition.

Parisian chic in Taiwan: Oyster Bar by Fujin Tree in Taipei

At first glance, Paris and Taipei appear to have little in common, but this new bar in Taiwan’s capital transports you straight to the banks of the Seine. The furnishings of the Oyster Bar by Fujin Tree blend colonial-style elements with Parisian chic.

European retro design: Hotel Panache in Paris

Located near the Grands Boulevards metro station, the Hotel Panache is an outstanding and stylish reinterpretation of European retro design. The delightful interior of the historic building on the corner of the Rue du Faubourg Montmartre and the Rue Geoffroy Marie is adorned with brass, marble, velvet and stunning patterns. The renovation was the brainchild of designer Dorothée Meilichzon, whose trademark style now features in a number of hotels and restaurants throughout the city.

Subterranean sculpture: house in Leiria by Aires Mateus Architects

Designed by the Portuguese architectural firm Aires Mateus, this beautifully elegant house in the city of Leiria is more sculpture than building. But what is the structure’s big secret? Most of it is located below ground level. Three open patios let natural light into the subterranean bedrooms.

Distinctive minimalism: Museum of Fine Arts in Swiss town of Chur

The Graubünden Museum of Fine Arts in the Swiss town of Chur is housed in a magnificent neoclassical building. Recently, a modern new wing was added that takes its cue from the original complex while at the same time remaining strikingly independent. Its minimalist design is the work of Barcelona-based Estudio Barozzi/Veiga and places the new building very firmly in the present.

Artists’ studios by Tadao Ando: Casa Wabi in Puerto Escondido

Pritzker Prize winner Tadao Ando has created a complex of artists’ studios in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. The facility is framed by a 312-metre-long wall and was built using local materials.

Costas Voyatzis

The BMW Magazine columnist’s website has evolved into one of the top spots for design and architecture news in recent years.