Modern Meets Micro @Dodla 2018
BOUTIQUE AND WORLDLY
by Lisa van Eyssen, Contributing Editor
DWELL ON DESIGN 2018: Amit Apel is an interesting designer. Raised in Africa, Israel and Europe, he has built a design business on the foundation of his artistic and inventive spirit. His nascent career began in Malibu with a small art studio and locksmith shop. Apel has created everything from acrylic and oil paintings to jewelry, sculpture, apparel, home furnishings both interior and exterior, positioning himself as a leader in the ‘design as lifestyle’ vanguard emerging over the last 20 years.
His aptly named hotel redesign, The Moment Hotel, merges his many talents while synthesizing the best of today’s micro unit/small space + big design movement. At DODLA 2018, he presented the journey of transforming a decaying Hollywood relic five years ago into an up-to-the-moment vacation spot for the new generation.
Apel started from a philosophy that organizes the renovation of any space in terms of a larger life picture, where the integration of simple materials and concept design can guarantee an end to dead zones and a rejuvenating experience for guests. The hotel was originally a classic motor court style with a less than appealing reputation. Located on Sunset Blvd in the heart of Hollywood, the building is joined to the history of a bygone era and the promise of dreams realized, and careers made. Apel was cognizant of the ‘monument aspect’ in the area and the importance of not taking this for granted. ‘Moment’ became both a period of time known as Hollywood and a place of engineering. His design inspiration was even shaped in part by ancient sundials, where time moved through shadow and light.
The original hotel was built around a parking lot with long exterior corridors. Apel addressed the issue of security and design right away, relocating the corridors to a central interior of the building. The room sizes presented a challenge as well, but one that Apel embraced in every facet of his design. Researching the way guests occupy a room in the first minutes of their stay, he understood their focus would be on the ceiling right after they dumped their bags and flopped down on the bed. In the rooms and in the breakfast area, Apel took his concepts from floor to ceiling, integrating the lines, none of which are straight, with color and clean simple materials. Creating spaces with no straight walls and curving lines etched into the ceilings, floor and doors, has helped the tiny rooms feel more spacious, giving the eye some added interest to boot.
The motel was once a short term stay place, giving its occupants little reason to spend any real time there. Apel reimagined the public spaces for a newly mobile generation that embraces both public and private areas. He designed a nearly 2500 sq. foot deck hanging from a moment frame, solidifying the future of the hotel as a destination spot where guests can spend their evenings rather than heading out for their entertainment.
Apel has even taken the vision and concept of time beyond the initial project of The Moment Hotel to the coming years. Listening to his client during the first phase of renovation has meant he is able to conceive and budget for a Phase two, refreshing the spaces and by design, achieving the next moment.