Orient Express Revelation Travels to Design Miami
Dream / Discover
One month after its Parisian launch, Orient Express Revelation: Once upon a time, there was the future Orient Express train is heading to Miami from November 30 to December 4 for the 18th edition of the international Design Miami/ show.
Guests will discover the legendary train via an original immersive experience complete with the exclusive revelation of its future Presidential Suite.
Orient Express Revelation
Orient Express, part of the Accor Group, unveiled the decor of the future Orient Express train for the first time in Paris on October 17th. The project, designed by French architect Maxime d’Angeac, was inspired by the 1920s and designed with the codes of contemporary luxury.
An unmissable Rendez-vous at Design Miami/
Orient Express is bringing its virtual immersion concept to the United States for the first time ever at Design Miami and is inviting visitors to a new space, bathed in Midnight Blue, Orient Express’ signature color, and engraved with its signature star. It is a journey to discover the future Bar Car and Restaurant Car, the train’s suites and corridors, and the exclusive revelation of the second chapter of the ambitious project: the Presidential Suite.
“It is a true pleasure to be celebrating our inaugural partnership with Orient Express at the 18th edition of Design Miami/. This year’s curatorial theme is ‘The Golden Age: Looking to the Future’ and this sentiment has been fully realized in ‘Orient Express Revelation,’ a vision that truly embodies both the richness of history and the optimism of the future. We are thrilled to be a part of the brand’s reimagining and I look forward to a first look at French architect Maxime d’Angeac’s designs for the new Orient Express train.” – Jen Roberts, CEO, Design Miami.
Maxime d’Angeac: the architect of dreams
Known for his work with Daum and Hermès, in partnership with the American designer Hilton McConnico, Maxime d’Angeac has been behind several prestigious restoration and decoration projects for the past 20 years, from the Maison Guerlain on the Champs-Elysées in Paris to breathing new life into the apartments, castles or private villas entrusted to him.
Fascinated by the great revolutionary artistic movements, this visionary architect adores the Italian Renaissance and Art Deco periods and loves travel novels from the stories of Jules Verne to Henry Miller and the post-apocalyptic comic book Transperceneige. D’Angeac took on the challenge of reinventing the legendary Orient Express that he calls “an idea born from a dream” and “the reinterpretation of a legendary train, conceived as a new embassy of French luxury, sublimated by the savoir-faire and talent of the finest French artisans.”
The Presidential Suite, a Design Miami/ exclusive
“The Orient Express Presidential Suite captures the essence of the future train,” Maxime d’Angeac explained adding: “It is a grandiloquent work of art, inspired by the geniuses and pioneers of Art Deco, Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann and Armand-Albert Rateau, and by the importance of refinement and the absolute finesse of detail. It is a suite where travelers can experience history, extreme luxury and ultimate comfort all at once.”
Occupying an entire train car of the former Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient Express, the Presidential Suite invites travelers to step inside through a private entrance. The Maître d’hôtel, whose job is only to serve Orient Express voyagers, talks about the history of the legendary train and guides his prestigious guests through the car.
The Presidential Suite is a space with unique dimensions, measuring 69 feet long and 9 feet wide. Its 55 square meter space was designed to accommodate a living-room or “Salon des Quatre Colonnes”, a dreaming bedroom for two, a bathroom, a “Cabinet de l’Égoïste” and a secondary “LX” luxury sleeping car, the original model of the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express.
Le “Salon des Quatre Colonnes”
Inspired by the work of Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, a key figure of the Art Deco, movement Maxime d’Angeac created a living room with a theatrical and timeless elegance, opening onto a string of windows, magical screens where landscapes rush by, adorned with Lalique’s original “Merles et Raisins” (blackbirds and grapes) panels from the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express and custom-made pieces of furniture.
Decorated with four columns with its tops encircled by rings, adorned with Macassar ebony and rosewood, the lounge is equipped with large benches and a sofa, inspired by Orient Express’ historical motifs as well as the ambiences of the future Suites. A gas fireplace brings warmth, comfort and romance, and a dining room welcomes up to four guests.
The “Cabinet de l’Égoïste”
Welcome to the Cabinet de l’Égoïste – literally: the office of the vain. The space is dedicated to pleasure, escape and reflection. An Art Deco work reminiscent of Jean Dunand’s poetic universe, upholstered in palm trees and ferns, holding a bench, footrest, shelf for books and personal belongings and an artisan’s cabinet made of wood and lacquer to enjoy a cocktail. On the floor, a black marble carpet features the train’s rail pattern, another symbol of the Orient Express legend.
The dream bedroom
At the end of the hallway is the Presidential Suite room whose windows and the famous Orient Express bull’s eye open to admire the outside view. The space features a King Size bed with wistfully spacious dimensions, a closet where you can store your suitcases, suits and evening dresses. Refinement of is in every detail from the luxurious bed linens to the velvet walls embroidered with mother-of-pearl and silver thread, from the custom-made carpet to the choice of beautiful fabrics and unique furniture. The look is wildly Art Deco.
The bathroom, a homage to Jeanne Lanvin
The majestic bathroom of the Presidential Suite is reminiscent of the work of the artist Armand-Albert Rateau for fashion designer Jeanne Lanvin’s Parisian hotel particulier. The space is decorated with columns with marquees, theatrical basins, large mirrors, a ceiling light in the shape of a rotunda, floor tiling, a bathtub and a shower.
The LX Car
It is a piece of history, a collector’s item, a symbol of the Orient Express legend found on board the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express train, and now it has been fully restored to its original glory. Introduced in 1929, the LX sleeping car (LX is short for “luxury”) revolutionized travel by offering passengers a new level of comfort on the train with sofa beds, a separate bathroom with hot and cold water, all covered with solid mahogany paneling and marquetry by Nelson or Prou. With two beds, the LX Car invites children or friends to relive the original journey of the Orient Express.
Chairman and CEO of Accor Sébastien Bazin said: “After Paris, the Orient Express legend is unveiling its secrets at the heart of a major international design event: Design Miami/. At the crossroads of creativity and a healthy imagination, Orient Express has found the best setting to unveil the exclusive decor of a Presidential Suite that will mark the history of train travel, and continue the Orient Express legend with authenticity and great luxury.”
And there's more...
The Bar Car
Under large Second Empire-style domes of light, each supported by four columns, the intimate lounges of the Bar Car emanate with spectacular green hues. From the rosewood to the marble covering the tables to the bronze of the column tops, the mood is elegant and “travel chic.”
The layout is precise and intelligent, optimizing circulation on board, opening up spaces of conviviality and freedom. The bar is the centerpiece, with an all-glass counter, the perfect tribute to Lalique with a modern work of art that revisits the symbols of the famed glasswork brand. At each table, a clock rings out the time for cocktails and dinner. A call button is reserved for champagne service. Another button will summon the staff. The charm of the past effortlessly fuses with the present.
The Dining Car
Spectacular and unexpected, designed with both comfort and luxury in mind, the Dining Car of the future Orient Express reinterprets the codes of the legendary train. Inspired by tapestry motifs by Suzanne Lalique, which were part of the composition of the first Orient Express trains, Maxime d’Angeac has reinterpreted the “rail” motif, diverted on the partitions thanks to the stoneboard. The technique was born in the nineteenth century and used to make orna-ments of moldings and ceiling decorations.
Under a mirrored ceiling, crossed by a series of arches reflecting a soft subdued light, napa tables and armchairs are lined up, lit by lamps with shades revisiting the original models. A private lounge revives the original marquetry panels of the train. In the back, behind a glass wall, the kitchen opens up, a space reserved for the chef and his kitchen brigade, where we can see their movements and culinary choreography.
The corridors of the future Orient Express train are places of travel, encounters and surprises, and offer a theatrical decor. Under a vaulted ceiling, and punctuated by “flower” lamps signed by Lalique, original pieces are recovered from the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express, and a graphic and rhyth-mic carpet animates the space. The large windows, perfectly reflecting the passing landscapes, are adorned with embroidered curtains and support bars to give passengers the chance to dream, meet, and converse with each other.
Welcome to a world of luxury where comfort and function collide. To counter the strict lines and designs of the train, Maxime d’Angeac introduced a circular shape to add softness and balance. The angles are rounded throughout the train. The windows are like paintings depicting nature. Magic mirrors play with perspectives. Here, the partitions are covered with precious wood and a leather wall that reinterprets Suzanne Lalique’s famous “rail” motifs. The headboards are covered with wooden embroidery with mother-of-pearl and bronze beads. A carpet “comet” is an invitation to reverie. The nooks are adorned with Lalique’s original “Merles et Raisins” (blackbirds and grapes) panels, recovered from the original Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient Express cars. Elliptical shelves hold newspapers, objects and travel souvenirs. Bottle holders and glasses are cleverly arranged.
By “Day”, the sofa and settee invite you to rest, relax and read. When it’s time for “the Great Transformation” (also known as the passage to the “night” room configuration), a 2 x 1.40-meter bed invites travelers for a night of deep sleep. Discreet and surprisingly comfortable, the bathroom with sliding doors is adorned with marble and the toilets and dressing room complete the beautiful layout.
The Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express, the secrets of an undiscovered legend
Orient Express, artisan of travel since 1883, was created thanks to the dream of its founder, Georges Nagelmackers. Inspired by his trip to the Americas, he inaugurated the most luxu- rious train in the world. A legend was born. The Orient Express passed through the great European capitals, linking the West to the gates of the East. It was a magical and epic tale that ended in 1977.
At the beginning of the 1980s, Swiss-born tour operator and businessman Albert Glatt decided to resurrect the legendary train by buying up historic cars and inaugurating the Nostalgie- Istanbul-Orient-Express. This dream train-cruise ran from Zurich to Istanbul and was a resounding success. In 1992, the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, embarked on his European tour, Dangerous. Under the name of the Far East Express, the train made the longest journey ever taken between Paris and Tokyo in the 1980s. Despite the achievement, the train stopped a few years later and disappeared.
In Search of the Last Orient-Express
In 2015, Arthur Mettetal, a researcher specializing in industrial history, conducted a worldwide inventory of the Orient Express cars for the SNCF (France’s national rail service). Over the course of his research, he discovered a providential video of a train in full motion, posted by an anonymous person on YouTube. Thanks to his perseverance – and some help from Google Maps and Google 3D – he tracked down the trains. “The car roofs, visible on the aerial views, were indeed those of the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express, lined up on the border of Belarus and Poland,” he explained.
An Art Deco Gem
The discovery of the treasured train took place a few months later, around 4 hours by car from Warsaw, Poland. Partly preserved, the interiors of the cars revealed Morrison and Nelson marquetry, as well as the Lalique panels, emblematic of the Art Deco style, intact and engraved with the glassware House’s signature “blackbirds and grapes” motifs. After two years of negotiations, the owner of the Nostalgie-Istanbul-Orient-Express gave up his treasured train to Orient Express in July 2018. The architect Maxime d’Angeac took on the coveted task of writing its new history.
See you in 2023 to discover the continuation of Orient Express Revelation, a third chapter dedicated to the exploration of the “Winter Garden” Car…
Artisan of travel since 1883, Orient Express sublimates the Art of Travel with its luxury trains, unique experiences, and collections of rare objects. And coming soon: its first hotels around the world, with the opening of Orient Express La Minerva in Rome and Orient Express Palazzo Donà Giovannelli in Venice in 2024. An additional project has been announced in Riyadh, the first city in the Middle East to announce the arrival of an Orient Express hotel. In parallel with the launch of the Orient Express imagined by Maxime d’Angeac, Orient Express La Dolce Vita will welcome its first passengers on board its luxury trains in 2024 – making up a full universe that will offer Orient Express travelers a complete ultra-luxury travel experience.
Design Miami/ connects the world through extraordinary collectible design, with live fairs and experiences on three continents that bring together galleries, designers, brands, experts, collectors, and enthusiasts. Each edition of Design Miami/ features museum-quality 20th and 21st century furniture, lighting, and objets d’art from the world’s top, expertly vetted galleries, in addition to showcasing immersive design collaborations with celebrated brands. With flagship fairs taking place alongside Art Basel in Miami, Florida, each December and Basel, Switzerland, each June, Design Miami/ is thrilled to bring its signature mix of design culture and commerce to Paris in October 2023. Design Miami/ is also accessible 365- days a year through designmiami.com, a content-rich digital marketplace featuring works from leading galleries and original editorial and video content on Forum Magazine.
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