Unique Hotel: the Sao Paulo's coolest shipReading time: 3'

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A new benchmark for international design

by Giuliana Fratnik

The Unique Hotel is the Sao Paulo's coolest ship
The Unique Hotel is the Sao Paulo’s coolest ship
The hotel’s façade
The hotel’s façade
The Unique Hotel in Sao Paulo
The interiors of the ground floor with the reception, bar and lounge areas
The interiors of the ground floor with the reception, bar and lounge areas
The João Armentano interiors span modern communal areas with a warmer, cosier ambience in the bedrooms
The João Armentano interiors span modern communal areas with a warmer, cosier ambience in the bedrooms
Some think it looks like a slice of water melon, others a crescent moon, others still a ship. Unsurprisingly, we like to go for the maritime take even though the architect has never revealed the source of his inspiration for this spectacular building. Whatever it may be, Sao Paulo’s Hotel Unique, a Design Hotels™ member (you can book through www.designhotels.com), is widely applauded as one of the world’s most original designs. It is the work of Brazilian architect Ruy Ohtake, who is renowned for his singular, dynamic style which has produced such dazzling buildings as the Istituto Tomie Ohtake (named after his artist father) in the same city and the spectacular Pantanal Aquarium in Mato Grosso.
The Hotel Unique is also one of the hubs of the Sao Paulo movida. Located in Jardim, one of the city’s most beautiful quarters, it has two huge 25-metre high and 50 cm thick walls at either end which hold aloft a massive inverted arch-style structure clad in green, weathered copper and dotted with large porthole-style windows. The reception, bar and lobby are all in the glassed-off areas at either end, their ceilings mimicking the curved shape of the exterior. The interiors were designed by João Armentano. Spectacular dizzyingly high hollows and corridors define the curved design reflected in each of the unique rooms and become features in their own right.
The furnishings and seating in the public areas are modern, verging on the minimalist, but the 96 bedrooms have a much warmer, cosier feel thanks to the extensive use of wood for the floors and the use of muted neural colour palette. The rooms at either end of all six floors also have a unique quirk of their own: their floors follow the curved shape of the façade, giving them the feel of a (very high-end!) skateboard park. The weathered green of the cooper that clads its exterior aside, the Hotel Unique really is green to its core. Its water comes from an artesian well and is used as efficiently as possible. Its energy use (air conditioning included) is monitored by the Building Manager System, an automatic programme developed to keep energy wastage to a minimum.
Waste oils are donated to a NGO which converts them to additives for biodiesel while the part-used guest soap is collected and recycled to wash floor cloths. However, the coolest and most famous areas of the Hotel Unique are the rooftop bar, the restaurant and the pool in the penthouse on the top floor and the roof. The Sky Bar is regularly listed as one of Sao Paulo’s top 10 attractions while the restaurant combines fine food with a panoramic location. The city views from the rooftop pool alone make it worth a visit.
The view of Sao Paulo from the rooftop pool and bar is one of the finest in the city
The view of Sao Paulo from the rooftop pool and bar is one of the finest in the city
A room with curved floors
A room with curved floors
Another room of the Unique Hotel
Another room of the Unique Hotel
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Top Yacht Design

The ambition of the Top Yacht Design publishing system is to enter into dialogue with owners and potential owners, with the world of designers and architects, with the yards and also with the companies that operate in the furnishing business. The result is that it will not only be a thoroughly enjoyable read but also an essential tool for sector professionals when it comes to keeping abreast with developments.

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