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Facing a tranquil green park in the vibrant Kifissia area, Athens' Semiramis hotel is what happens when you give a hot designer control over every aspect of a building and its interior. Industrial designer Karim Rashid's dazzling display of bright lollipop colors and organically shaped furniture plays happily alongside a rotating collection of contemporary fine art, handpicked by the owner Dakis Joannou.
MADE BY ORIGINALS
A powerful figure in contemporary art, Greek Cypriot Dakis Joannou has amassed one of the most important collections of postwar and contemporary art. Joannou began collecting art in the mid-1980s after making his fortune expanding his family’s construction business in the Middle East, North Africa, and southern Europe. Through his DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Joannou frequently mounts exhibits and gives awards to support emerging artists.
ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN
Egyptian-born, Canadian-raised Karim Rashid is best known as an industrial designer of bold product innovations such as Umbra's Oh chair and Bobble's filtering water bottle. Rashid took a thoroughly holistic approach to the hotel, overseeing everything from the interiors to the silverware to the employee uniforms, the restaurant, and the brand identity. Focusing on a cheeky, playful mix of textures and materials, such as plastic, colored concrete, and rubber, Rashid has created an unforgettable, futuristic palace of curves and Technicolor.