Parisian designer Joseph Dirand has transformed The Surf Club to its heyday after reflecting deeply on its history and essence. Inspired by the Amalfi Coast and La Dolce Vita, Dirand has brought Italian beach glamour to this Miami Beach Surfside community with the design of Le Sirenuse Miami Restaurant and Champagne Bar, named after the luxury seaside famed hotel in Positano. The restaurant serves as the gateway to the oceanfront 77-room Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club on Collins Avenue.
A historic Miami Beach landmark from the 1930s by architect Russell Pancoast, the original Surf Club was the vision of tire tycoon Harvey Firestone. It was the exclusive beachfront playground where celebrities and politicians such as Frank Sinatra, Alfred Hitchcock, Winston Churchill, and the likes, would partake in lavish themed galas, black tie boxing dinners and boozy beach soirees during the prohibition era.
“Preserving this part of Miami’s history was our filter. We worked closely with the Historic Preservation Board and scoured through old photographs and documents to inspire the design renaissance,” said Dirand. “We combined historic elements with exquisitely hand-crafted modern details, breathing the old life into the new.”
The visual and emotional experience begins at the arched entry, known as Peacock Alley, decorated with vintage photos paying tribute to the Surf Club’s glamorous heydays. The entryway leads you the Champagne Bar designed with deep green panels, lava stone countertop, and brass fixtures. Custom elegant lighting and stylish lounge sofas and chairs are a reminder of The Surf’s Club gilded past. Serving Miami’s largest selection of fine champagnes and signature cocktails, the Champagne Bar has views of the terrace and Atlantic ocean.
Le Sirenuse’s high vaulted, dark-wood ceilings are flanked by arched windows throughout. Dirand’s design for the restaurant and bar includes shades of faded magnolia, beachcomber green, and mahogany respecting the Mediterranean-revival framework of the clubhouse interiors and evoking a sense of historic elegance with the present and a hint of the future. Potted palm trees and green plants surround the dining and bar area, giving the space a tropical yet sophisticated feel.
“The restaurant was once the voluminous main ballroom, staged for lavish parties. We needed to shrink the scale of the large space for more private affairs, so we integrated decorative elements such as low-hanging grandiose chandeliers and lamps and inset tropical foliage to bring intimacy to the space,” he said.
Dirand and his team are so proud to have created a space that has had so much influence for not only travelers but also for the people of Miami. In addition to Miami, Dirand has other projects in the works in New York City and London.
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