Attendees taking a quick breather at Untitled Art fair, running December 5-9 in Miami, may notice a uniquely Southern-inspired atmosphere in the VIP lounge. The private refuge is imbued with elements of grace and rebellion—think sultry textures, sumptuous furnishings, and a full bar serving craft cocktails. That’s because Studio Shamshiri, co-founded by Commune alum Pamela Shamshiri in 2016, drew influence from its latest and most ambitious project: Maison de la Luz, a resplendent 67-room Atelier Ace property, opening in New Orleans next year. And like all things Ace, both spaces are deeply rooted in the city they celebrate.
Spearheading Maison de la Luz was a welcome—if not nostalgic—challenge for Shamshiri, whose first hotel projects were the Ace Palm Springs and Ace Downtown Los Angeles, during her tenure at Commune. The resounding success of both properties caught the attention of Kelly Sawdon, Atelier Ace’s chief brand officer. Collaborating with Shamshiri on the hotelier’s latest location was a no-brainer. “Her nuanced, curious, and research-obsessed process, sharp eye for detail, and idiosyncratic taste made her the perfect choice,” says Sawdon. “Plus, she loves New Orleans as much as we do!”
Located in the vibrant Arts Warehouse district right off Lafayette Square, the landmarked six-story sanctuary recalls the complexities of New Orleans—a city of contradictions and rich traditions. To encapsulate centuries of history in a single property, Shamshiri embarked on a deep dive into the bayou, as well as the Louisiana origins. “We studied what’s growing in swamps and underwater plant life in the region,” Shamshiri recalls. “The Audubon Nature Institute, a family of museums and parks dedicated to nature in New Orleans, was a brilliant resource—it led to a custom seaweed wallpaper for the guest house’s breakfast room. From a distance, it resembles traditional delft yet becomes more subversive as you approach.”
The same can be said for the VIP Lounge, which seamlessly marries the Big Easy’s laid-back cool with the hedonistic luxe of Miami Beach. “Our lounge literally steps out to the ocean,” says Shamshiri, who layered books from Phaidon, artwork from Artspace, and cheeky furnishings to create dimensionality within the temporary tent. “I’m obsessed with the sexy black velvet chairs, complete with lingerie-inspired tassels behind the leg, very much like an underskirt,” she says with a laugh. Give the chairs a test drive from December 5-9, but curious parties will find a pair in each suite of the hotel, which is now accepting reservations for stays starting on April 1.
We know where we’ll be spending some downtime in Miami.