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Best of Belgium: Three Days in Antwerp

It's hard to narrow down the highlights of a recent trip Dwell took to Belgium—a whirlwind week covering Antwerp, Ghent, and Brussels, spent meeting architects and designers, exploring neighborhoods, and scouting design shops and houses. Here are some of our favorite discoveries in Antwerp, a city that melds the medieval, Gothic, modernist, and breathtakingly contemporary with aplomb. Stay tuned for the rest of the best, including what we saw in Ghent and Brussels, posting on dwell.com later this week.
September 18, 2012
Biaggi Volo

Contempo Luggage by Biaggi

The more you travel, the more you notice a bag that tips over when you lug it onto the curb, won't fit in an overhead bin, adds unneccessary weight, and slowly but surely contributes to jetset-induced fatigue. Now consider this addition to the luggage department: the soft-sided Contempo roller bag collection from Biaggi.
September 12, 2012
Lobby of Hotel Demetria in Guadalajara

Hotel Demetria, Guadalajara

“There is a saying that if you can make a business successful in Guadalajara, you can make it successful anywhere,” says Hotel Demetria owner and architect, Iván Cordero of his hometown. Sandwiched between two historic houses—Luis Barragán’s Casa Franco and Pedro Castellanos Casa Quiñones—Hotel Demetria, Cordero’s first building, is part of his larger effort to preserve Guadalajara’s architectural history and instill a sense of “social conscience in tourists and locals.”
August 29, 2012
Minneapolis Hyatt Hotel renovation

Hyatt Regency, Minneapolis

When Michael Suomi of Stonehill & Taylor describes the $25 million interior redesign process of the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, he calls it a "multi-part architectural narrative." Included in the story line are themes of industrial production and a broader "Made-in-America" strategy. Though materials and manufacturers were priced globally, Minnesotan options turned out to be both less expensive and more fitting, making this project a worthy prototype for designing with regional sustainability in mind. We tour the hotel to see the efforts in action.
August 23, 2012
First Baptist Church in Columbus, Indiana designed by Harry Weese

Design Destination: Columbus, Indiana

Dwell readers and fans of NPR, unite. Public radio stations have been airing a summer travel series from NPR's Arts Desk called "Destination Art" that explores "off the beaten track" cities across North America, where listeners can tune into the theater culture of Stratford, Ontario (home to Justin Bieber), the art scene in the far-flung Texas town Marfa, and one of our personal must-sees, the architectural legacy of Columbus, Indiana. Dwell sent photographer Leslie Williamson to Columbus in 2011 to shoot the fabled Miller House, an Eero Saarinen–designed home and one of America's foremost modernist residences. Including, but not limited to, the Miller House, here's what else you shouldn't miss in this "Midwestern Mecca for architecture."
August 20, 2012
The Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam

The Conservatorium, Amsterdam

The Conservatorium is among the newest in the European crop of design hotels. Architect Piero Lissoni has added his touch to what was originally a 19th-century bank by Dutch architect Daniel Knuttel. One of the adaptive reuse plan's boldest moves includes retaining the original facade and adding a multistory glass atrium. There, guests of the hotel can take a lounging break or dine on a meal while gazing up at one of Amsterdam's historic buildings. Due to its proximity to many of the city's museums, the hoteliers also hope that the Conservatorium also strikes a chord with locals. Arresting as the public spaces of this contemporary-meets-classic hotel are, the interior boasts all the marks of luxury accommodations: restaurants, a bar, spa and wellness center, and 129 guest rooms and suites. Let's take a look inside...
August 16, 2012
Porches Inn in North Adams, Massachusetts

Porches Inn, North Adams, Massachusetts

In 1985, the Sprague Electric Mill in North Adams, Massachusetts, closed down. Like many similar western Massachusetts towns supporting heavy industry, North Adams relied on its factories to provide the jobs and sense of community that are at the core of a thriving city. While cultural attractions in nearby Williamstown and Great Barrington had kept the youth and creative classes hovering in the area, the town itself was in danger of falling off the map.
July 17, 2012
Handkercheif by Nienke Voorintholt for the Lloyd Hotel

Sleeping In: The World’s Slowest Hotel

Hulking on the edge of the trendy Eastern Docklands in Amsterdam, the Lloyd Hotel is a storied mammoth. It was first an emigrant hotel for moneyed travelers before they set sail for the Americas (after a stint in the adjacent Quarantine building for a thorough scrubbing down); when the Germans occupied, it was converted into a prison for members of the resistance; in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the artists came. The building, a repository of three generations of European history, reopened in 2004 as a hotel once again, and Cultural Embassy. For the past two years, it has also been the site of a massive slowing down.
June 25, 2012
Exterior of the NoMad Hotel in New York

The NoMad Hotel, New York

One block away from the scene-making New York outpost of the Ace Hotel, in a district mostly known for its wholesale garment industry, is a Beaux Arts showstopper anchoring the corner of Broadway and 28th Street. The recently-opened NoMad Hotel, distinct from the exterior owing to its giant cupola, is not just a coincidence but a companion property (and aesthetic foil) to the Ace. Both were developed by The Sydell Group in partnership with GFI Development, who hired Parisian designer Jacques Garcia to give the NoMad interiors a whiff of the grand dame. During its soft opening this spring, we took a whirl around the hotel, which pairs traditional, swank, and very French interior design moves with a decidedly modern, zeitgeist-y, and still very New York feel. 
June 5, 2012
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