Nikolas Weinstein Studios, based in San Francisco, California, was awarded the grand prize in the “Judges’ So Cool” category for its sculptural glass installation in the Courtyard by Marriot, Hong Kong Sha Tin. The recognition was part of the 33rd annual Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design, centering specifically on hotel design and architecture.
Nikolas Weinstein, known for his large-scale moving sculptures comprised of thousands of glass tubes and rods, has had several sculptures showcased in locations throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States, including one in San Francisco where his studio is housed. The installment at the Bar Agricole works with the light emanating from the building’s skylights to create an undulating and billowing effect, making the work appear to be made out of the very fabric it is representing. Weinstein's main interest is creating pieces that "act like fabric or origami," according to a prepared press release.
Weinstein’s sculptures are predominantly glass, a material the artist is partial to for its incandescent and universal qualities that allow for illusion, which the artist uses to create pieces that “confound one’s expectations of a brittle material.” His sculptures also work as a part of their environment and engage their audiences, as opposed to existing independently within the space. As written in a previous article in the 122nd issue of GLASS Quarterly by Andrew Page, Weinstein states, “I’ve always wanted pieces that were big enough that they would be considered as much an element in a building as the foundation or the façade.”
Similarly, the award-winning installation at the Marriott in Hong Kong Sha Tin integrates itself naturally with its surrounding space, inviting guests in and seemingly almost “accompanying” them as they ascend the stairs to the second floor. Made up of 58,000 glass tubes and 5.75 miles of steel cable, the sculpture weaves in and out among the columns of the building, resembling the flow of wind as it catches its surrounding light and brings the room together from both levels. The “Judges’ So Cool” category, whose winner is chosen from among hundreds of international entries, exhibits unique design element within a larger hospitality environment, and to showcase projects especially surprising for the judges.
Nikolas Weinstein's studio opened its doors in 1991, and consists of a team of artists with training in various disciplines of art and architectural design. "You toil away at a particular project, and most of our work is shown in private residences and five-star hotels," says Emily Vassos during a phone exchange with The GLASS Quarterly Hotsheet. "This award is good for the greater design community and provides exposure for the Studio."
“It’s an honor to receive this award and acknowledgement from Boutique Design and HOTELS magazines,” says Nikolas Weinstein. “This sculpture continues my investigations into building large-scale glass artworks using a flexible, glass construction and is the result of a lot of hard work and commitment from my team.”