Quinto La Huella and SugarPhotography by Michael Weber • December 12, 2016
When Swire Hotels first approached Studio Collective, it was to design a rooftop bar for EAST, Miami, the company’s first U.S. property. But after Swire’s managing director Brian Williams visited the design firm’s Santa Monica, California headquarters and saw its recent project Bungalow—a local beach restaurant-bar—he added Quinto La Huella, EAST’s in-house restaurant, to the brief.
Quinto is the stateside outpost of Parador La Huella, a boho-chic seaside restaurant in Jose Ignacio, Uruguay, with a huge cult following. Unlike Quinto, Parador was built over time without proper architects or designers, and the structure has been aged by nature’s elements—wind, sea air, salt—for the past 15 years. At the new location, the question was “How do you capture that magic, but still recognize you’re not on the beach in Uruguay, you’re in the middle of downtown Miami?” explains Adam Goldstein, a partner at Studio Collective. “It had to walk a fine line between comfort, honesty of materials, and a level of casualness,” adds partner Christian Schulz, “but still appeal to the average Miami person who’s going out to hotspots all the time.” In the end, Quinto, complete with an outdoor dining area, makes use of many of the same elements—wood, leather, lush landscaping—found in Uruguay, but used in a way that’s a bit more refined and appropriate for the city setting.
Sugar, the two-level rooftop bar, shares a similar vibe, though “there’s a sense of escapism, like you’re in the southeast Asian jungle,” says Schulz. “We wanted it to be as lush and dense as possible.” Meandering through the indoor-outdoor space, one will encounter various, sometimes hidden, seating areas—from the handcarved wooden bar to bamboo-framed couches around firepits—lit by pendants handcrafted from coconut or metal that the designers hung themselves.