Bon voyage!: Captain Tony Chambers introduces our Travel & Transport issue
Travel and transport has been front of mind lately, having just returned from Milan’s Salone del Mobile and our annual Handmade presentation, which this year was themed Hotel Wallpaper*. More about that in the August issue. This issue we’re off on another journey that takes in, among other things: a Luis Barragán house perched on petrified lava in Mexico City; Dimore Studio’s transformation of a storied Parisian mansion into a bijou hotel; a pilot’s aviation-inspired digs in South Korea; Peter Zumthor’s mining museum and rest stop in a Norwegian gorge; and a fashion shoot at Mansilla + Tuñon’s on-its-way automotive museum in Madrid. Mode of transport? How about the train departing from Santiago Calatrava’s ‘Oculus’ transportation hub in New York? Or take flight in the world’s most luxurious plane seat, courtesy of Hermès. Boat? Try Mathieu Lehanneur’s maiden voyage into marine design. Or test drive a new-era electric car. And whatever you choose, arrive looking sharp in an uncreasable suit.
Although all the major airlines are continually striving to improve the flying experience, it generally still involves trudging to an out-of-centre mega-airport, interminable queues and a tedious hike to your gate. And no matter how comfortable your seat is, you are basically intimately trapped in a fetid tin can for several hours with a planeload of germ-ridden strangers.
The only truly pleasurable way to fly is, of course, the private jet. I’m not in possession of one myself, but I have a few generous friends who are. At a recent dinner hosted by the president of an Italian leather goods company, conversation turned to the ever-growing demands of global travel and how, for him, a private jet is a necessity rather than a nicety. It would be impossible to fulfill his many commitments in Europe, the US and Asia without one. A colleague asked if it was possible to change direction and destination mid-flight. ‘Affirmative,’ was the reply. With a call to the appropriate air traffic controllers, a change of plan is not difficult. In fact, on one of his most frequent hops, New York to Milan, he often makes a last minute diversion – to Iceland – for a spot of lunch. ‘I know a very nice family-run restaurant in Reykjavik. Lovely people, good simple food, and the air is so fresh.’ Now that’s the way to travel.
As originally featured in the June 2016 issue of Wallpaper* (W*207)