Mr. Universe

NIKOLAS KOENIG

WHERE NO MAN HAS GONE BEFORE: The Philippe Starck-designed Faena Hotel and Universe is only the beginning for Argentine fashion magnate Alan Faena

It requires a special mix of vision and audacity to build a luxury hotel in a run-down neighborhood during a crippling economic crisis, and to call it not just a hotel but also a "universe." Yet that is precisely what Argentine fashion magnate Alan Faena did when he bought an abandoned warehouse in Buenos Aires' Puerto Madero district, convinced Philippe Starck to design the interior and, in 2005, opened the 10-meter-high doors of the Faena Hotel and Universe, tel: (54-11) 4010 9000. Impressively, he makes good on his out-of-the-world claim with lush red velvet interiors, spacious rooms (from around $330), an...

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