Known for staging outlandish events and creating lavish interiors for a client list of celebrities, business tycoons and socialites, Ken Fulk has left his extravagant mark on yet another icon.
This time, his magic touch has revitalized the interior of the landmark Miami Women’s Club building, located in the Edgewater neighborhood on Biscayne Bay.
Designed in 1926 by architect August Geiger as one of the first public libraries in Florida, the Mediterranean Revival-style building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Although by now dilapidated and decaying, it inspired two hospitality industry movers and shakers, Groot Hospitality’s founder David Grutman and Tao Group Hospitality’s co-CEO Noah Tepperberg.
They purchased the building as their first cooperative venture and then invited Fulk to use his creative verve to transform the lower floors of the building into the aptly named Casadonna (house of the woman), a 20,000 square-foot dining emporium.
In Casadonna, Fulk is boldly and extravagantly channelling Havana and Miami, using the Floridian pastel pinks, blues and greens, and richly upholstered furniture. Live plants and plant-inspired fabrics, wall murals and art add a lush, relaxed feel for guests enjoying the establishment’s Riviera-style Italian cuisine.
Since 1997, when the Virginia-native Ken Fulk based his magic factory in San Francisco, he has approached his projects – from hotels to private parties – as a movie. He focuses on the point of view and on the core of the narrative. What is the story? Why should anyone care?
His book, The Movie in My Mind, was published in 2022 by Assouline. Today, Ken Fulk’s team includes approximately 90 ‘cast members’ in San Francisco and New York. Tuija Seipell
Images Ngoc Minh Ngo