Bonjour mes amis. We have news. Philippe Starck was in town today to talk about his role as exclusive interior designer for Carl Dranoff’s SLS Hotel project at Broad and Spruce. It’s not a total surprise as Starck has been the boutique hotel chain’s key collaborator since its founding. Still, the official announcement has a certain frisson about it.
Property editor Jim Jennings spoke to Starck and was able to get the following through the Gallic fog of his accent:
He’s been with this project for a year. He said everything, design-wise, would be “frozen” in 2 months. The design will honor the legacy of Gamble & Huff’s Philly International Records: “I have a debt, we have a debt and I will pay the debt” with the design. It’s important to see the “quality of everybody in this project.” Its “caliber is very high.”
Earlier, at the press conference, he elaborated by saying that Philadelphia is “very known” throughout the world for inventing— freedom, peace and “the sound of the world.” He said, “I don’t know if you realize the importance of creating the sound of the world” in reference, again, to Gamble & Huff. “I cannot design without music,” he said, adding that the quality of music correlated with the quality of his work. He was very serious about this music connection. “It’s not a joke.” The design will celebrate the memory of the Gamble & Huff legacy but try to keep the energy of the site as well. Dranoff seemed invigorated after Starck spoke. “Wow!” he said. “Now I’m really excited about this project.”