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50,000 sq. ft. - Miami, FL 2012
Freeland Miami is a local hideaway, a hostel reinvented in a classic 1930’s building – formerly the Indian Creek Hotel. Hidden on an overgrown side street near the ocean, in a garden filled with huge palms, old growth vines, and a rack of beach cruisers.
With Freehand Miami, the design firm Roman and Williams has redefined the idea of hostel living. This is a place that feels secret and under the radar, yet appealing in a way you can not immediately define. Inspired by summer camp and bunk houses, it is a mixture of naiveté and sophistication. Roman and Williams’ vision for Freehand is comforting, aspirational, and communal.
The sixty-two rooms, which range from Standard Kings to “Super 8’s”, have a coastal vibe. Imagine the faded colors of a 1960’s era lifeguard school. The sturdy bunk beds are an integral part of the shared rooms and are built-in to recall the feel of a camp cabin, right down to the wooden ladders you can use to move from berth to berth. Sophisticated and spontaneous, Freehand inspires a communal spirit; it is more than just a place to crash for the night.
Roman and Williams collaborated on all aspects of the creation of Freehand Miami, including the naming, branding, and concepting. They chose the name and selected a hand drawn approach to the graphics to inspire a community that creates its own path. They created the communal spaces, including the lobby and outdoor patio that suggest a fugitive Floridian hotel meets bohemian rec room. Danish and tropical 1940’s furniture mingles with afghan throws, Turkish tapestries, and local art. Dozens of vintage National Geographic Magazines fill the shelves.
The pool area, lined with found furniture and striped chaises, wth bottles in the trees, speaks to the spirit of being halfway between the Everglades and Havana.
The Broken Shaker, with its vintage wallpaper and wooden paneling, has the feeling of a Pharmacia in a mangrove forest and spills onto the brick patio, creating intoxicating herbal concoctions served with unique local foods. If you set a movie at Freehand, it might be directed by Wes Anderson. As imagined by Roman and Williams, Freehand Miami embraces an eclectic Americana, more phenomenon than hostel.