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Worlds Colliding (Or At Least Overlapping)

(March 2017) posted on Mon Mar 06, 2017

A sitcom character’s existential dilemma is playing out in the hospitality design field.

By Matthew Hall

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I’m a longtime “Seinfeld” fan, and one of my favorite episodes of that classic sitcom is the one in which George Costanza goes into a panic over “worlds colliding.” His fear that “independent George” would be devoured by “relationship George” is very funny and very believable.

Worries over what might happen when two previously separate spheres start to overlap came to mind as I edited several features in our latest edition. First up is “Soft Sells,” an examination of the spread of soft brands and hotel collections, which typically involve independent properties linking with big brands. That’s followed by “Moveable Feats” a look into the proliferation of modular construction and pop-up venues that mash up the sophistication of more traditional building methods with the speed and ease of faster-to-market construction tactics.

In both cases, contributing editor Oriana Lerner explores how designers have had a positively non-Costanza-like reaction to these trends. Rather than viewing such overlaps as a threat, they view them as an opportunity to not only find additional work, but to explore creative new design solutions.

In a similar vein, associate editor Christina Green’s profile of the Urban Lodge Hotel near Amsterdam offers another example of two seemingly contradictory worlds bumping into each other. That story offers a look into how references to a site’s past—agrarian first, followed by an industrial incarnation—can be skillfully integrated into the interiors of a hotel to create a one-of-a-kind destination.

Indeed, I can’t help but think that this building’s latest iteration would serve as a soothing sanctuary in which the Costanzas of the world can ease their worried minds.


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