Tag Archives: Design

Damien Hirst Designed A Vegas Suite And You Must See It

Damien Hirst Vegas Suite
Source: www.departure.com

Are you looking for a one-of-a-kind experience? How about a stay in a Damien Hirst-designed suite at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas? Imagine winning the gigantic online roulette jackpot, so you can indulge yourself in the outdoor jacuzzi of the $100,000-per-night Empathy Suite. Created in collaboration with the architecture firms Bentel & Bentel and Klai Juba Walk, the suite opened just last month.

Who is Damien Hirst?

Damien Hirst is a British artist born in 1965 who grew up in Leeds and studied at the Leeds College of Art. He first emerged onto the international art scene in the late 1980s. His style is pop culture-related and over-the-top, challenging contemporary belief systems. He won a Turner Prize in 1995, the UK’s most publicized art award since 1984.

One of his most well-known and iconic pieces is The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, created in 1991. He commissioned an Australian fisherman to catch a tiger shark which he then submerged in formaldehyde. The initial shark was poorly preserved and has since been replaced. He went on to create an entire Natural History series with more preserved and taxidermized animals, highlighting death as a central motif of his work.

Another theme Hirst has worked a lot with is the medical field, particularly the cultural role of prescription drugs. He has created medicine cabinets filled with medication packaging, pill cabinets with thousands of hand-painted resin and plaster pills, and paintings representing medications. He wishes to highlight the power people place in pharmaceuticals.

He is also known for his many butterfly-themed pieces, some of which used real butterflies – or just their wings. For Hirst, the butterfly is a universal trigger of happiness and a reflection of the circle of life.

What are the features of the suite?

The suite is two levels and 9000 square feet (836 square meters) – more a villa than a hotel suite! There are two bedrooms, two media lounges, a theatre, a gym, and massage rooms. You can also enjoy an outdoor Jacuzzi infinity-style pool overlooking the Las Vegas Strip. The suite even has its own bar that can seat 13 people.

At $100,000 a night and with a two-night minimum stay, the Empathy Suite is currently the most expensive hotel suite in the world. The record was previously held by the $80,000-a-night Royal Penthouse Suite at Geneva’s Hotel President Wilson. The million-dollar casino players at the Palms Resort also are given free access to the suite.

Included in the nightly price are a 24-hour private butler service, extraordinary welcome amenities, a private chauffeur, VIP access to all of the hotel’s amenities, a private tour of the suite, and $10,000 in hotel credit.

What are Hirst’s artistic touches?

Some of Hirst’s most well-known works have been integrated into the suit, including Winner/Loser featuring two bull sharks suspended in formaldehyde. Along with butterfly designs found in the jacuzzi and on the flooring throughout the suite, a collection of real butterflies on canvas that he made and named Casino Royale is in its rightful location at the Palms. Continuing with the gaming theme, you’ll also find The Winner Takes It All, 18 feet of cubic zirconia on shelves.

The aforementioned curved bar is also a piece of artwork in itself as it is filled with medical waste. This contrasts with well-ordered medicine cabinets placed around the villa. Above the bar is Here for a Good Time, Not a Long Time – two vitrines, one containing a marlin skeleton and the second a taxidermy marlin.

Continuing the medical theme are oversized pills embroidered on chairs and cushions and stuck to the windows as well as a “Pill” wall covering. There is even a 12-feet-wide by 6-feet-high glass and stainless-steel display full of thousands of plaster pills (Money).

Staying in this Vegas casino suite is almost like sleeping in your own personal modern art museum.

And The 2019 Pritzker Prize Goes To…

Arata Isozaki

On March 5, 2019, the winner of architecture’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize, the Pritzker Architecture Prize, was announced as 87-year-old Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. He is the 46th recipient of the prize and the 8th Japanese architect who has won. This year’s ceremony will be held in May at the Château de Versailles right outside of Paris, France.

What is the Pritzker Architecture Prize?

Qatar National Convention Centre
Source: www.pritzkerprize.com

The prize was established in 1979 by the Pritzker family from Chicago, founders of the Hyatt Hotels and Foundation. Each year it is awarded to a or multiple living architects for their work and contribution to humanity. It is considered the highest honour in the world of architecture and winners receive US$100,000 and a bronze medallion. Nominations are submitted by past laureates, critics, academics, and even by an architect nominated him or herself. A jury of five to nine experts then select the winner(s).

Who is Arata Isozaki?

Arata Isozaki was born in 1931 in the town of Ōita on Kyushu Island, Japan. He was only 14 years old when nuclear bombs were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. As Hiroshima was just across the sea from his hometown, his early teenaged years were spent near a city devoid of architecture, completely in ruins. He therefore began to reflect on how the city and homes could be rebuilt. As Japan recovered from World War II, Isozaki went on to the University of Tokyo where he studied with Professor Kenzo Tange, the 1987 Pritzker Prize winner.

After graduating in 1954 he set up his own practice nine years later and began to design projects in Japan and around the world. He is notable in that he does not have a particular style. Rather, he approaches each project by looking at the environment and designing a structure that fits the location and the purpose. With his adaptability, fans of roulette are waiting to see if Isozaki will follow in the footsteps of his fellow laureate Zaha Hadid who collaborated with the City of Dreams in Macau and design a new casino.

What are his accomplishments and prizes?

Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona
Source: www.pritzkerprize.com

With a career spanning over more than six decades and a portfolio full of buildings across five continents, Isozaki’s Pritzker Prize is one more to be added to his extensive list of awards. His first award, the Annual Prize of the Architectural Institute of Japan, came in 1967, only four years after beginning his practice. He won the prize a second time in 1975. He went on to be awarded the prestigious RIBA Gold Medal in 1986, a prize dating back to 1848 that recognizes an architect for his overall contribution to international architecture. Other prizes Isozaki has won include the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters (1988), the Chicago Architecture Award (1990), and the ECC Award (2012).

What is his input to the theory of urbanism?

After the end of WWII in Japan, Metabolism, an architectural and urbanistic movement began. This movement saw a study of the relationship between humans and the constructed environment around them. The idea was that there should be constant transformation as the city and its structures are like living organisms that develop over time.

Isozaki arrived after the Metabolists, but his 1962 proposal “City in the Air” was based on the idea of a city’s continual metamorphosis. The project showed capsules suspended in the air above other modular structures. Each unit would be added or removed based on the needs of the residents, a flexibility that is still today in the forefront of architectural works.

What is Ark Nova?

Lucerne Festival Ark Nova
Source: www.pritzkerprize.com

An inflatable travelling concert hall, Ark Nova was designed in 2013 by Isozaki and Anish Kapoor, a British artist. It was modelled on Kapoor’s inflatable Leviathan sculptures created for a Paris exhibition in 2011. With 500 seats, the Ark Nova was created to bring music, theatre, and dance to regions of Japan affected by the 2011 tsunami. One musical event, the Lucerne Festival Ark Nova took place in Matsushima and was initiated by the Swiss International Lucerne music festival. The Ark Nova or “New Ark” was chosen as a symbol of recovery, as was Noah’s Ark from the Bible.

What are his most notable works?

City in the Air concept
Source: i.kinja-img.com

In Japan:

  • Oita Prefectural Library (1966), Expo ’70 Festival Plaza in Osaka (1970), Museum of Modern Art in Gunma, & Kitakyushu Municipal Museum of Art in Fukuoka (1974), all examples of Japanese Brutalism
  • City in the Air (proposal), 1962, in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district
  • the twisted-metal Art Tower Mito, Ibaraki, Japan


  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1986), an example of the “rhetoric of the cylinder”/study of the art
  • Team Disney Building (1990) Florida, a postmodern design with a playful use of shapes
  • Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, a sports arena for the 1992 Summer Olympics which combined Catalan building styles with a Buddhist temple profile in a blending of East and West
  • Shenzhen Cultural Centre (2007)
  • Doha’s Qatar National Convention Centre (2011)
  • Shanghai Symphony Hall (2014)
  • Allianz Tower, Milan (2015)