The Ultimate Design of Bar Margot in Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta ⇒ Meyer Davis Studio has created the ultimate design of the Bar Margot at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta. Meyer Davis Studio has created a bold and whimsical world that pays homage to Wes Anderson’s modern film classic, The Royal Tenenbaums, for Bar Margot, Chef Ford Fry’s new restaurant in the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta. The design blends wit and whimsy, moodiness and drama and infuses the cool charm of modern Southern hospitality throughout.
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The design brief for Bar Margot began with the refresh of an existing bar at Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta. Four Seasons were seeking a high design that would match the high standard of service at the hotel. They wanted to bring life to the space, be bold, and create the ambience of a gentleman’s club. They were willing to take risks and have a little fun while appreciating the tradition of tailored design – to modernize but not compromise the Four Seasons standards. They wanted bright colours and patterns, something different, which led them to realize that they needed a fresh operator. Will Meyer and Gray Davis suggested who they believed would be the perfect change agent, Ford Fry.
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Ford Fry is a James Beard Award nominee, and a local hero on the Atlanta food scene, his Rocket Farm restaurant empire now oversees eleven restaurants, including two other restaurants designed by Meyer Davis Studio, St. Cecilia and King + Duke. Ford saw the quirkiness and boldness of the new design direction and took to looking at Wes Anderson films to evolve the story from there. He came back with the concept of Bar Margot, inspired by Margot Tenenbaum, the contradictory, literary genius played by Gwyneth Paltrow in the cult classic, The Royal Tenenbaums.
The mission of the project
Meyer Davis Studio wanted to create a statement space that was cool and moody, that would be a good fit for Ford Fry and also fit the social scene the Four Seasons were trying to create. The intention was to keep the design really happy, and in line with the rest of the hotel, and also to get the hotel’s exceptional staff excited by the new direction. It involved thinking a lot about operations and the mood of the hotel as a whole.
The Design of the place
Meyer Davis set about emulating Margot’s iconic country club style, wit, and sense of drama through bold themes and theatrical design moves. Strong and moody statements are made through the choice of patterns – in the main dining room the carpet mimics a suit fabric that speaks of tradition and the appreciation of tailored design, and on the bridge, custom designed Timorous Beasties area rugs speak of the dramatic romantic in Margot.
Meyer Davis carefully selected a quirky mix of contemporary art, classic books, and accessories with Margot in mind, and used materials that she herself with decorate with, including the use of the iconic Scalamandre zebra wall print in her bedroom in the film. Bar Margot’s palette is bold and moody. Eruptions of orange explode against a background of smoky greys, moody blues and lilac, a scheme that expressed Margot’s character and also calmed the hotel’s peach palette, and the original rose marble and red granite of the art deco-inspired building. Comfortable seating and the use of rich materials evoke a cosy, club atmosphere.
The central custom banquettes are upholstered in a dark blue leather and trimmed with a rich orange velvet that acts as a bold counterpoint to the dark blue, greys and light purple. The same fabric is used on custom-designed sofas in a corner lounge area, as well as throw cushions. Other southern comforts include black button back leather club chairs, and soft grey leather bar stools with a back upholstered in a white and black velvet floral print. Meyer Davis lowered the standard height of the dining tables and seating throughout the restaurant, opting for wider chairs with backs at a relaxed angle so that guests would be more inclined to lounge versus eat and run.
Margot’s conservative side is contradicted by a sexy complexity, to reflect this duality, plush leathers and velvets and club seating are contrasted by smooth modern lines and sleek materials including mirror cladding on columns in the main dining room, and stainless steel on the bar. These materials are complemented by the chrome finishes of designer lighting, including the Thomas O’Brien designed Circa globes that hang over the bar, and the Jason Miller designed Roll and Hill light fixtures above the central banquettes. Special attention was given to the custom design of the armature that hangs above the dining area on the bridge. It is made from blackened steel and has modern acrylic lights suspended from it that speaks to the art deco architecture.
Prior to the refresh, the area had belonged to the bar and the breakfast room, Park 75, and neither at the same time. The armature was designed to connect the bridge with the main dining room, and scale the space down in relation the large windows above by creating a series of intimate lounge areas below that would double as a dining area and a casual meeting place. Another play on the scale was the placement and design of the area rugs. Meyer Davis created a customized version of a Timorous Beasties carpet and used custom colours and scale to change the pattern so that it fit the rest of the scheme. New carpets and rugs will soon be throughout the hotel lobby and Park 75 so that the story will connect the entire area.
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