At Amal Miami, lush references to the restaurant’s setting in Coconut Grove intermingle with odes to Lebanese culture and cuisine. Studio Munge’s interior is a feast for all the senses, a project that exemplifies the Toronto practice‘s passion for layering high-end materials and finishes to create an immersive space.
The most delightful gesture at Amal Miami are the large woven baskets – measuring eight feet across – that form the sensuous pendant lighting above the dining tables. The artisanal bohemian pieces, made bespoke for the restaurant, are a nod to the coconut husks found in the nearby grove. Their deep tones are a counterpoint to the interior’s light, yet earthy, palette of dusty rose, muted terracotta and pastel hues – curated to conjure the Mediterranean shore.
Throughout the double-height space, Studio Munge used materials to delineate spatial features: a band of raked oak wainscotting along the white plaster walls contrasts with the polished concrete floors. Tall arched portals, lined on the interior with a circle motif, connect the open kitchen and bar to the main dining room. A white-washed pergola brings the scale of the ceiling down while also accentuating its loftiness.
On the level of details, plants are front and centre: an assortment of handcrafted vases enhance the sense of indoors meeting outdoors. The tactile finishes throughout feel hand-hewn: the soft seating with its woven rope accents, the tables with their tambour bases, the surface-lit bar with marble top that has a creamy leather finish, the patchwork of rugs underfoot. In the suspended glass shelves of the bar, made with tubular steel, wood and glass, there is even a curated display of earthenware vessels by ceramic artist Ben Medansky.
The Miami outpost is the second Amal restaurant that Studio Munge has designed. (The original, in Toronto, is also owned by INK Entertainment, whose founder, the nightclub and restaurant impresario Charles Khabouth, hails from Lebanon.) Led by Alessandro Munge, the practice has created some of the hospitality sector’s most remarkable interiors – including those at Toronto’s Park Hyatt and Bisha Hotel (another Khabouth enterprise) – featuring luxurious materials and elevated details.
Munge will be discussing his work with Azure Editor in Chief Elizabeth Pagliacolo on Azure Trade Talk Day (Friday, September 23) at IDS Vancouver. Tickets are available here.
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