One Man’s vision for restaurants, resorts, hotels and nightclubs
Jeffrey Beers has created some of the most alluring spaces around the world. Through his imagination he transforms empty space within any four walls to create destination spots that transport guests to another world. His signature design environments weave a delicate balance between intimacy and spectacle, glamour and wit. After design stints at some of the world’s most prestigious architectural and design firms—he started at Oscar Niemeyer in Brazil while on a Fulbright scholarship and later worked for I.M. Pei—Beers went on to launch his namesake firm and create the backdrop for some of the most high-profile restaurants and hotels around the world, including Japonais, Fiamma, Tokyo Hilton, China Grill and Fontainebleau.
What has been your favorite project?
That’s a tough question—but if I had to pick one, I really enjoyed working on The Cove at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. What I like about resort hotel properties is the opportunity to create pleasurable environments for the public. Today’s international leisure traveler visiting resort properties expects to be stimulated and excited by their surroundings. This is what makes my job so much fun—successfully providing what will be a memorable experience for each guest.
How would you say you push the boundaries of design?
Pushing the boundaries involves design risk—something present in each of my projects. Whether it is the exploration of a new material or technology, or the unique application of classic elements, I am constantly striving to create dynamic and interactive spaces that truly engage the guest rather than just applying decoration.
What are the essential elements that go into creating a space?
For me, design is all about cleverly crafting a journey for the guest; it is about each guest’s total immersion in an experience. This is achieved through careful spatial planning, evocative lighting and particular attention to detail and materials.
What are your latest obsessions?
Dreams fascinate me. I’ve also become increasingly interested in the overlap between interior and exterior space. When working with Oscar Niemeyer in Brazil this was an idea that captivated me. In some of my more recent projects I’ve really been able to explore this both physically and conceptually.
What kind of materials do you like to work with?
As a glassblower, glass has always been a passion of mine—and a material I like to integrate into projects in unique ways. I also appreciate the natural nuances of materials such as wood and stone, and highlight these qualities in much of my work.
What are you working on now?
We’re near completion of a significant renewal of Morris Lapidus’ iconic Fontainebleau Resort in Miami, with a dynamic re-interpretation of the grand lobby and public spaces, a luxurious multi-tiered poolscape and five new restaurants including Alfred Portale’s Gotham Steakhouse, featuring an open expo kitchen and a stunning hand-blown glass chandelier.
In Dubai, at Atlantis, The Palm, we are very excited about three new projects that have just opened. Rostang, a restaurant designed in collaboration with chef Michel Rostang, is a fresh take on the traditional French brasserie complete with exposed metal along the vaulted barrel ceiling evocative of the Paris Métro, an open patisserie kitchen, and glass-blown light fixtures. Centered about a signature, custom-built wood burning oven, Giorgio Locatelli’s Ronda Locatelli captures the enchantment of a rustic Italian trattoria with all the pizzazz of modern Dubai. And, in collaboration with Buddha Bar’s Raymond Visian, the state of the art Sanctuary nightclub is set to open soon.
We are also working on a new The Cove, Dubai; a nightclub in Morocco; a bar/lounge in the Langham Hotel, Boston; and the Fontainebleau Resort, Las Vegas.
What would be your dream project?
I believe an exotic luxury resort on a tropical island would be my ideal project—with an unlimited budget, of course.
Reading by Lena, who has no idea this palm belongs to Jeffrey Beers
1. A very thoughtful person—highly intellectual, with a strong urge to know why and how. This intellectual bent does not exclude a strong spiritual sense and the ability to see the big picture.
2. Fiercely independent in action; marches totally to the rhythm of his internal drumbeat. This person chooses not to hear any other rhythm but his own.
3. Has a tendency to lose track of things easily… If he weren’t so incredibly intelligent and clever, this could be a problem, but he will find other ways to accomplish goals.
4. A very gentle soul who would never intentionally harm anyone or anything—including themselves. He will occasionally cause harm, but only by being so focused on something and totally absorbed in it that he doesn’t notice that he’s stepped on someone’s toes. No malice whatsoever.
5. This person’s strongest quality is his imagination. He prefers to think about impossibilities and dreams rather than figuring out how to do something in mundane reality.
6. This person is totally into enjoying life and is perfectly capable of rewriting reality as it occurs, to make it more fun for all. This allows him incredible creativity and optimism and makes him utterly delightful to be around.
7. Highly civilized. Enjoys the trappings of civilization, especially the social trappings of interesting conversations in unique surroundings