MADE FOR THE GREATEST DESTINATIONS

Many of the world’s most exclusive and beloved enclaves—the finest hotels, restaurants and retailers—are furnished with Pollaro furniture. We create pieces that elevate the experience of these special places—ensuring every element is thoughtfully designed to maintain their luster for many, many years.

Many of the world’s most exclusive and beloved enclaves—the finest hotels, restaurants and retailers—are furnished with Pollaro furniture.

We create pieces that elevate the experience of these special places—ensuring every element is thoughtfully designed to maintain their luster for many, many years.

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CLIENT

FAENA Miami

PROJECT

5 Star Luxury Resort,
Bar, Living Room, Dining Room, Veranda

LOCATION

Miami Beach,
Florida, USA

NUMBER OF PIECES

278 total
168 interior; 110 exterior

SPECIAL FACT

Largest public installation of
Pollaro pieces in the world

MADE FOR FAENA

When we met Alan Faena, he detailed his vision for the spectacular Faena District he was building on Miami Beach. He asked Pollaro to construct all of the interior furniture for the Bar, Living Room and Los Fuegos Dining Room based on our vast knowledge and experience with the Art Deco style. This vivid dream was brought to life with the expert guidance of husband-and-wife team Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, who realized Faena’s vision to build one of the finest hotels in the world.

Inspired by our reputation for producing the finest superyacht furniture in the world, Mr. Faena then extended our scope to include the ocean-facing dining room, where he wanted to create the sense of being on a yacht. In the rear garden, Pollaro teak daybeds flank Damien Hirst’s “Gone but not Forgotten”, a three-meter-tall gilded Woolly Mammoth. To date, Faena houses the largest public installation of Pollaro pieces in the world.

When we met Alan Faena, he detailed his vision for the spectacular Faena District he was building on Miami Beach.

He asked Pollaro to construct all of the interior furniture for the Bar, Living Room and Los Fuegos Dining Room based on our vast knowledge and experience with the Art Deco style. This vivid dream was brought to life with the expert guidance of husband-and-wife team Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, who realized Faena’s vision to build one of the finest hotels in the world.

Inspired by our reputation for producing the finest superyacht furniture in the world, Mr. Faena then extended our scope to include the ocean-facing dining room, where he wanted to create the sense of being on a yacht. In the rear garden, Pollaro teak daybeds flank Damien Hirst’s “Gone but not Forgotten”, a three-meter-tall gilded Woolly Mammoth. To date, Faena houses the largest public installation of Pollaro pieces in the world.

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“Frank Pollaro is a unique artisan, his creations are works of art that are comprised
of only pure materials, our collaboration at Faena gave a deeper quality to the
experience for our guests.”

Alan Faena

Founder, Faena Hotels

ALL IN THE DETAILS

Every element of this space is intended to enliven the senses with fine details wherever the eye wanders. Veneer was selected and arranged to create fascinating contrasts, with each dining tabletop being a work of art in itself. Lamps, handmade in genuine shagreen, were created to perfectly compliment the sofas. Everyone can experience the comfort of dining in a hand-made chair, designed to encourage guests to linger for hours in conversation.

LA CAVA AT FAENA

Alan Faena had a special vision for his wine cellar. He wanted a single private table, with enough room for 22 guests. La Cava’s table is made of palmwood and is surrounded by handmade chairs. This is the perfect setting to enjoy the collection of world-class wines in a sophisticated but intimate space.

CLIENT

Jim Henson Productions,
Corporate Headquarters

PROJECT

Reception Desk

LOCATION

New York, NY

NUMBER OF PIECES

One

NO. OF NATURAL WOOD SPECIES

118 individual species
all natural colors;
no dyes, stains or paints

A NEVER-ENDING STORY
JIM HENSON DESK

“This piece is worth of a special introduction. Five years after the death of Jim Henson, I was approached by Michael Frith, Executive Vice President of Jim Henson Productions, who dreamed of creating a special piece for the Henson Headquarters that paid homage to Jim and his original Muppets.”

In addition to creating a lasting friendship with Michael, together, we built one of the most compelling pieces of furniture in history. With more than 100 species of wood, all hand-cut marquetry, and 24k gilded hand carvings of Miss Piggy, this desk is a cultural narration to me.

Frank Pollaro

A NEVER-ENDING STORY
JIM HENSON DESK

“This piece is worth of a special introduction. Five years after the death of Jim Henson, I was approached by Michael Frith, Executive Vice President of Jim Henson Productions, who dreamed of creating a special piece for the Henson Headquarters that paid homage to Jim and his original Muppets.”

In addition to creating a lasting friendship with Michael, together, we built one of the most compelling pieces of furniture in history. With more than 100 species of wood, all hand-cut marquetry, and 24k gilded hand carvings of Miss Piggy, this desk is a cultural narration to me.

Frank Pollaro

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MICHAEL FRITH, IN HIS OWN WORDS

“One nice thing about talking about something—as opposed to writing about it—is it’s so open-ended. One can go on! And on the subject of Frank Pollaro’s simply amazing reception desk for the Jim Henson Company, I do! I do!

The problem with trying to put it in print is that pretty soon they tell you there’s no room left and you have to stop. But at least, here, there’s a picture.

Find yourself a magnifying glass and give yourself an hour. Go!

You’re back? OK, all together, ‘Holy Toledo!’

The story of this extraordinary piece began as good stories do, pretty simply. A few years ago the Henson Company decided that time and FedEx’s hand trucks had not treated the reception desk in its New York offices well. A new one was needed. I called for Warren Hanson, interior designer responsible for the mansion’s many and sensitive renovations. Warren, true to his talent, came up with a terrific design concept—a vaguely hexagonal thing that solved a whole lot of problems inherent in the space – and with the knowledge of a job well done and a jaunty wave of his violin, left me with a surfeit of surfaces and the intoxicating challenge of … What next?”

“The first step was no challenge at all. A couple of years prior, I had seen some work at a gallery in upper Manhattan that knocked me out, beautiful cabinetry and intricate marquetry from some long-gone level of craftsmanship, undoubtedly the work of an ancient artisan who had honed these single-minded skills over an extended lifetime. Would I like to meet this paragon, asked the gallery owner? An honor, I blushed! And he proceeded to introduce me to a sawdust-covered, 12-year-old kid, standing shyly in a corner, whittling on a hickory stick.

WAIT A MINUTE! Has Frank Pollaro ever stood shyly in a corner? Well, maybe I have a couple of details wrong (I wouldn’t recognize a hickory stick if it were still attached to the bush. Tree!), but immediately I knew that someday I’d find a project we could work on together.

But would an artist of his obvious integrity ever lower himself to my level—Muppets in Marquetry? Tentatively I called. Tentatively I asked, sending him a sketch of what I had in mind. Within days there came back a glowing, gleaming panel onto which my pokey pencillings had been transformed into brilliant burls and shining satinwood—a tour de force and a triumph of scribe and scalpel. And, happily, it was apparent that he had no more pride in subject matter than had I. Hurrah!”

“And seven years (or was it 12? Maybe three) later, we were done. Every minute of that time we worked on the desk! (OK, Frank knocked out a couple of Ruhlmann recreations, and I did a TV series or two. Relax already!) For me, one of the earliest joys of this joyful project was my introduction to Frank’s partner in veneer-ial madness, Dan Gordon. Just what the project needed—another obsessive-compulsive with no sense of what matters except the artistry of the end result.

With steadying hands like these at the helm, the design grew ever richer and complex. Each of the three primary sides facing the entry was divided into two, a narrow frieze across the top with a large pictorial panel below, all depicting the Muppets engaged in some aspect of that multitude of arts inherent in Jim Henson’s style of puppetry … and fraught with arcane references and symbolism (don’t ask me, I’m not telling. OK, geraniums stand for silliness). The center panel was a particular tribute to Jim himself: framed in a glowing sunburst of exotic woods sits his most famous embodiment, Kermit the Frog. He is dressed as the Fool, but he contemplates with philosophic bemusement Yorick the Skull, of one of Jim’s earliest creations, whilst beneath his arm he cradles a staff topped with the grinning head of Dr. Teeth, the gravel-voiced jazzman of Jim’s later years.

It’s one of those circle-of-life kind of things. And it was returned to Jim with a love in the rendering, a joy in the making, a consummate artistry in the execution in which he would have revelled.”

“On April 11, 1997, Frank, Dan and the Pollaro team installed the desk, by extraordinary coincidence my last day working with the Henson Company (Jim was gone, and much that he stood for was gone with him). It gave me joy to see this next, last link in the creative chain completed, great pleasure to think that these artists whose work Jim would have celebrated had come with their own incomparable abilities to make our Muppet world real in ways we could not ourselves have ever realized. It was a labor of love. It is a work of art. To everyone at
Pollaro, thanks!

At the end of the installation, as various discommoded Henson staffers skirted the work with varying degrees of puzzlement, we popped a cork and congratulated ourselves on 12 years—seven? three?—well spent. Then, my wife and I shrugged on our coats and headed out into the New York night. And as we descended the building’s marble steps, we heard behind us—ba-bump! ba-bump! ba-bump!—the sound of the FedEx hand truck, ascending toward a new rendezvous.”

Michael K. Frith was for 21 years variously Art Director, Director of Creative Services and Executive Vice President of Jim Henson Productions, where he created and/or designed scores of today’s most popular television puppets—and one desk. He is now a founding partner in Sirius Thinking, Ltd., a multiple-media company creating educational entertainment for children.

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Made without equal

HANDMADE IN THE USA SINCE 1988