Baz Luhrmann's surprising new project

Australian director Baz Luhrmann and his designer wife Catherine Martin's next project will not be coming to a cinema near you.

Instead, you will have to fly to the sultry beach strip of Miami, in the south-east United States, to see it.

Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin are teaming up to redesign an iconic Miami hotel.
Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin are teaming up to redesign an iconic Miami hotel. Photo: Marco Del Grande

The pair have been contracted by Miami's iconic Saxony Hotel to design the hotel's new interiors and a line of designer staff uniforms.

The hotel, a five-star, 168-suite luxury palace, was built by the Chicago banker George Sax and originally designed by architect Roy F. France.

When it first opened its doors in 1948, the hotel was considered the finest hotel on Miami Beach.

Luhrmann took on the project after being introduced to the hotel's current owners, Alan and Ximena Faena, at a party in Cannes for the release of the pair's latest film, The Great Gatsby.

"In that moment, in the middle of opening Gatsby, I was thinking we needed, as [Catherine] and I always tend to do after a big film, a creative adventure," Luhrmann told Vanity Fair. "Going into a territory that we've never been in before."

It is the first time the pair have worked on a purely interior design project on this scale.

Luhrmann and Martin are also former residents of Miami Beach; they lived there in 1995 and 1996 while working on the film Romeo + Juliet.

"It was the first full-time residence we had in the United States," Luhrmann told Vanity Fair. "So we've always had this profound connection to Miami."

In addition to a series of films including Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge and Australia, Luhrmann and Martin have worked on a raft of non-film projects.

They include the pop single Everybody's Free and a multi-million dollar television commercial for Chanel No. 5 which starred Nicole Kidman and Rodrigo Santoro.

Luhrmann was also the architect of a tourism campaign for Australia, tied to the release of his feature film of the same name.