October 19, 2020

Step Inside a VIP Lounge Designed to Look Like a Work of Art

Bold hues of paint create the feeling of walking into a work of art. Photography by Asier Rua. 

Some paintings invite viewers into a multi-dimensional realm. That’s the idea behind the pop-up VIP Lounge designed by Teresa Sapey + Partners for ARCOmadrid, an international contemporary art fair that will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2021. Marking the second time the firm designed a VIP lounge for a furniture showcase at ARCOmadrid, its recent iteration uses color to create an immersive sensory experience, acting as a living canvas inspired by the works of Mark Rothko, Josef Albers, and James Turrell.

The project is thought of as a huge painting and we thought it would be very exciting for people to enter this space and become part of a painting—interacting with it and with each other, appropriating it,” says Teresa Sapey, founder of the firm. “We wanted to use color to continuously excite, stimulate, surprise, and move the spectator and user [throughout] the lounge.”

The main plaza, or agora, enables visitors to socialize, work, or entertain among vibrant red, orange, and yellow hues. “It is definitely the most intense area,” Sapey notes. The restaurant in the lounge, which offers a variety of formal and informal seating options, is equally saturated with color, albeit in slightly more subtle shades. Soothing yellows and greens are balanced by grounding grays and blacks, which merge at the center of the room’s long bi-color dining table for a dramatic focal point. 

To avoid clusters and queues, the design includes a long bar at the end, framed by a metal curtain installation and moving lampshades. Photography by Asier Rua. 
The main plaza comes as a surprise to guests who enter through a mysterious black tunnel. The carpet for the steps is by MillikenPhotography by Asier Rua. 
Contrasts between light and dark create a playful dining experience. The black dining chairs are by IsimarPhotography by Asier Rua. 
Geometric furnishings provide layers of shape and color throughout. Photography by Asier Rua. 

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