Palazzo Luce: A Dazzling Hotel-cum-Gallery in Lecce by Anna Maria Enselmi.

Two Renaissance-style portals, emblazoned with the numbers 2 and 4, are the first indications that Palazzo Luce isn’t just another hotel. The internal courtyards confirm this suspicion, with excavated columns from a long-ago Roman theatre standing sentinel to the side, like stately guards awaiting their summons. The once-upon-a-time palace, situated in the Puglian town of Lecce, was constructed in the thirteenth century for the Counts of Lecce, but today it’s a rather different kind of majestic.

Umberto121: A 14th-century Holiday Home in Tuscany by Montsant Moreno.

In the Tuscan hinterland, atop a knoll near Crete Senesi, lies the historic village of Montisi, one of five municipalities in Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The village’s history is writ large across the dwellings that inhabit it, as evidenced by one particular home dating back to the 1300s. Exhibiting hallmarks of each century it’s survived, Umberto121 is a mediaeval curiosity that summons you into a world where time stands still.

When the present owners, a Barcelona-based couple w

Artful Abode in New Delhi by Mathew & Ghosh Architects and Rajiv Saini + Associates.

In one residential enclave in southeast Delhi is a home that has contracted and expanded several times over the years, mirroring the size and evolution of the family that inhabits it. When it was constructed in 1977, it was designed for a multigenerational household. But by 2016, much had changed: children had flown the nest and grandchildren had been welcomed, and the once-joint-family dynamic had naturally evolved into separate generational units. It seemed like the next natural step, then, wa

Czech Mate: An Apartment in Warsaw by Colombe.

In Pilsen, Czech Republic, are four apartments, open to the public, that hold a mirror to celebrated late architect Adolf Loos’s storied modernist style. A fifth hides in Warsaw. But unlike the original four, this one isn’t open to the public, nor is it a work of Loos. Designed by modernist architect Stanisław Rotberg in 1936, the 60-square-metre space, located in the southern part of Warsaw’s Powiśle district, acquired its Loos-esque sheen fairly recently, thanks to a revitalisation by Marta Ch

Volcanic Volumes: Gota in Madrid by Plantea Estudio.

Madrid’s Justicia barrio is a glittering tapestry of swish boutiques, neoclassical buildings, nightclubs, bistros, and tapas bars, of which most are remarkably modern in design. Plantea Estudio’s latest project is the exception. Designed like a dark and monolithic cave, the wine and small plates bar is situated on the ground floor of a neoclassical building—but it might as well have erupted out of a volcano.

The restaurant doesn’t give too much away, at least not at first. The main door opens i

Good Enough to Eat: A Cake-Inspired Barcelona Apartment by AMOO.

If you cut up a Battenberg cake and then arranged the slices in the shape of a house, you’d get something very similar to the insides of Barcelona-based design studio AMOO’s latest apartment project. Characterised by strawberry pink and lemon yellow squares and rectangles, the home is situated on the second floor of a small residential building in Barcelona’s Guinardó neighbourhood. It features two façades—one looking out to the street and the other to an inner patio—and envelops an interior cou

Gemstone-inspired Tones & Forms: Haussmannian Apartment in Paris by Uchronia.

In a Haussmannian building in Paris’s famous Golden Triangle (located between Avenue Montaigne, Avenue des Champs-Elysées and Avenue George V.) is an apartment that dazzles like a jewel box. And not just figuratively. In terms of design, the owners, both jewellery designers, were keen to conjure allusions to stones and have every accent and every piece of furniture hold a mirror to a glowing jewel. When they presented their brief to Julien Sebban of the Paris-based multidisciplinary collective U

Once Upon a Stable: A Mid-Century Modern Mews House in Dublin by Stephanie O'Sullivan.

Before cars, came horses. And before garages, came mews. At least, that was the order in the UK and Ireland. Originally characterised as a row of stables and carriage houses with living quarters above them, mews were typically built on cobblestone streets behind large urban dwellings, as accommodation for horses, coachmen and servants of Georgian and Victorian elites. Then, with the advent of motor vehicles, many were transformed into garages, before rising to become highly coveted, glitterati-w

70s Come Alive in this 40-square-metre Madrid Apartment by Puntofilipino.

Gema Gutiérrez of Madrid-based interior design studio Puntofilipino is a firm believer that size doesn’t matter—particularly when it comes to design. And her latest project, a 40-square-metre apartment in the Spanish capital, is proof. Designed like a little jewel box, the home is an alchemy of air and light, tangible and intangible, unfolding like an artwork one breath at a time.

The interior is unpredictable—just when you think you’ve got it, well…you haven’t. Take the daring fabrics that sit

A Side of Ocean: Dunas in Belgium by Grain Designoffice.

In the Belgian municipality of Knokke-Heist, not far from where the land meets the sea, is a restaurant that takes its name from the dunes that dot the coastline. To be fair, Dunas—designed by Belgian design studio, Grain Design Office—borrows more than just its name. The interior is a soft melange of natural materials and colours that hold a mirror to the North Sea—a phenomenon that multiplies as you venture deeper.

The reception is a scintillating island, with a Belgian bluestone reception de

Of Monochromes and Monospaces: A Petite Apartment in Warsaw by Dawid Konieczny.

If the Warsaw district of Wola were a person, it’d probably be serious and straight-jacketed, and on its way to a meeting. As one of the Polish capital’s major financial districts, the area is known for its numerous commercial skyscrapers, museums, monuments and art installations. Serious business, mostly.

What it isn’t known for is the peaceful residential pockets that dwell in the shadow of their larger cousins. Quietly, discreetly, without notice. It was for one such project that architect D

Once Upon a Post Office: Newlab at Michigan Central by Civilian and Gensler.

The Book Depository building in Detroit was designed by late industrial architect Albert Kahn in 1936 as a post office and mail-sorting facility. Some years later, it began being used as a public schools’ book depository. Ever since, the building has become noted as an Art Deco landmark—but now, it has more than one reason to shine.

The building’s most recent metamorphosis as a state-of-the-art innovation hub for entrepreneurs and inventors—focused on developing sustainable and equitable soluti

Polished, Grown-up & a Little Bit Wild: Birch Selsdon Hotel by A-nrd.

Situated in the 200-acre historic Selsdon Park, just 30 minutes from Central London, Birch Selsdon is the sort of place where you can slip off your shoes and into the wilderness, with nowhere yet everywhere to go. Once a 19th-century gothic-style mansion, the property was converted into a hotel in the 1920s, but its most recent transformation as a sister property to the award-winning Birch Cheshunt is steeped in sustainability and craft. And a little bit of glamour.

The 181-room hotel, redesign

Half-Old and Half-New: Ignacia Guest House in Mexico City by Andrés Gutiérrez and Factor Eficiencia.

Ignacia Guest House shares its name with its once-upon-a-time housekeeper (who looked after it for over 40 years), but its spirit is decidedly it’s own. The Mexico City guest house, which opened its doors in 2017 and occupied half a circa-1913 Porfirian mansion, originally contained a master suite, hall, library, dining room and kitchen, in addition to four rooms, each with their own balcony or terrace. In early 2022, the owners acquired the other half of the mansion, which meant four additional

Art Attack: A Haussmannian Apartment in Paris by Rodolphe Parente.

An image of a bloody knee on the dining room wall isn’t everybody’s idea of mealtime company. But Rodolphe Parente isn’t everybody. And anybody even vaguely familiar with his work knows one thing for certain—to expect the unexpected. Bloody knees et al. Case in point: one particular Haussmannian apartment on Paris’ Canal Saint Martin where bare-bodied photographs and stone busts lay bare the glory of the human body.

When Rodolphe took the design reins, he was clear about preserving and restorin

Nota Blu Marbella in Málaga by Astet Studio.

In Marbella, Málaga, it can be tempting to stay outdoors. With golden beaches, boutique stores and Andalusian architecture that draws from Renaissance, Baroque, Gothic and Moorish styles, there’s no reason to retreat—unless of course, you feel like a quick bite or some respite from the permanently blazing sun. Nota Blu Marbella takes note. The brasserie—designed by Barcelona-based Astet Studio—features a foldable facade that blurs the line between the interior and exterior, making a case for atm

Beachside Beauty: A Holiday Home in Sydney’s Northern Beaches by YSG Studio.

By and large, the end of summer heralds three things: cooler weather, better behaved flies and permanently flung-open doors. And yet, there’s one house, nestled amidst Sydney’s Northern Beaches, where the summer lingers on—minus the flies. Gently, quietly, behind closed doors, manifesting in sunset tones and citrus accents. Make no mistake, when the homeowners—a young Sydney-based family—first acquired the holiday home a few years ago, it was anything but summer. “They had acquired the house wit

A Roman Ruin Turned Family Home in Granada by Ignacio Quemada, John Hoyland & Victor Cadene.

For Celia Muñoz, the prospect of purchasing a holiday home in her birthland of Granada posed a head-versus-heart conundrum. The London-based fashion designer and founder of kidswear label, La Coqueta, was a frequent holidayer in the Andalusia region, but every time she visited with her husband and their brood of five, she’d always board with family. So naturally, the idea of staying in a home of her own, even and especially with her folks so close by, was a bit of a doozy.

The more she let the

Past Meets Present Meets Future: A Clothing Boutique in Guangzhou by TOMO Design.

In Guangzhou, China is a clothing boutique that channels Dr. Who—minus the spaceship. The retail space—the first physical destination of vintage clothing brand MASONPRINCE, conceived by TOMO Design—transports visitors through transcendental realms of space and time, spurring the clock back and forth (and back again) and blurring the line(s) between past, present and future.

The store occupies a Western-style residential structure that harks to centuries past. But there’s nothing historic about

Dance Meets Design: A Spiral Apartment in Madrid by Raúl Almenara.

Raúl Almenara isn’t just an architect. He’s also an artist and innovator and choreographer—if his latest project in Madrid’s El Rastro neighbourhood is anything to go by. Designed like a spiral monospace, the home revels in pirouetting forms, with dazzling curves demarcating one space from the next. Make no mistake, the dancerly flourishes are far from incidental: as the home of dancer, choreographer and director of the National Ballet of Spain, Antonio Najarro, the design was conceived to hold
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