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      Confessions of a lighting designer – what is lighting design?

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Confessions of a lighting designer – what is lighting design?

      Throughout October we are, for the second time this year, putting the spotlight on lighting. To kickstart this series, we reach out to Gary Thornton, senior project designer at neolight global, to understand lighting design from the inside.

      The profession of architectural lighting design is a relatively young industry, even though the practise of what we do in determining where there is light and where there isn’t has been around for centuries.

      Of course back then this was simply people deciding where to put candles or, as far back as the 9th century, where to locate oil lamps.  But architectural lighting design as a more formal profession really only goes back to around the 1950s with the likes of Richard Kelly pioneering the practice, followed by people like Derek Phillips and Jonathan Speirs.

      So what is lighting design and what is it that lighting designers actually do?  I’ve lost count of the times I’ve tried to explain this to my friends who think we “choose where to put light bulbs”!

      It can be easily forgiven that it is not a widely known profession.  There is no formal educational pathway and many people stumble into the profession from a semi-related field of design and find themselves “doing lighting design” before they even realise what it is (myself included!).

      As an example, our office comprises lighting designers with backgrounds in product design, interior design, electrical engineering, film and television, photography, sculpture and architecture.  There are indeed well-established Masters degrees, or undergraduate courses in Theatrical Lighting Design, but this is not the case for Architectural Lighting Design.  Something that has been brought up again recently in our industry.

      Lighting

      Lighting concerns itself with how people perceive their environment, yet because light is intangible it has an intrinsic, and often underestimated, role in all aspects of visual design.

      Working in a medium which remains invisible until it strikes a physical surface means that we lighting designers must be as concerned with the nature of the surface and the biology behind the human eye as with the light which strikes it.

      Ambient illumination, direct light, reflected light, the use of colour, areas of relative darkness and contrast all contribute to how a space looks and how it feels, resulting in designs made up of layers of light.  The better lighting schemes consider what should be left unlit as much as what should be lit, so maybe we are just as much “darkness designers” as we are lighting designers.

      Because of the immateriality, great lighting is rarely lauded.  If you walk through a space and it looks and feels great then chances are it is because of the lighting. Not to take away from the interior designer, architect, or landscape designer that has typically designed more of the physical environment, but certainly in how the colours appear, how the material textures catch your eye, whatever the mood it prompts or the visual aesthetic it provides, it is because of the lighting.

      Poor lighting on the other hand gets no end of complaints.  Lighting that is overly bright or dark, too much glare, or feels cold and uninviting can make spaces feel uncomfortable so people don’t want to visit and spend time there.  Even the best interior design schemes can be marred by bad lighting, and at the extreme bad lighting can even be bad for your health depending on the time of day or the tasks required of the people using it.

      Lighting for hospitality

      At the core of neolight’s work is the hospitality sector, and one of my favourite spaces to illuminate is the All Day Dining restaurant within a hotel.  This is largely because it’s such a transformative space and great way to demonstrate the power of lighting.  An All Day Dining restaurant needs to be able to provide a bright and fresh environment for breakfast, right through to the warmth and relaxing ambience of an evening meal.

      When you get this right, the space will look and feel like a different restaurant to the guests from morning to night.

      Lighting experiences

      Architectural lighting design really started an accelerated upward curve with the mainstream adoption of LED.  Since then light sources have been getting smaller and more efficient, and the fixtures themselves are increasingly packed full of technology.

      Alongside this evolution of lighting technology has been an evolving expectation of the role of the lighting designer.  No longer are we providing simple scene-setting schemes with smooth dimming to meet the client expectations, now clients are looking for more engaging and dynamic schemes concealed within the fabric of the building, with light that entrains and supports your circadian rhythm, they want an experience.

      Yes the experience is framed by the architecture, or informed by the interior design, or the service that you receive, but transcending across all of those to make it a good experience is good lighting design.

      Lighting design = experience design.  And if that helps become popular on social media, then all the better.

      To this end we are not just designers anymore.  We have to be artists and scientists, knowledgeable in Bluetooth and LiFi, experts in daylight and green building codes, understanding biology of the human eye, of the physics of light, and all manner of material properties.

      And this is all before we even mention the Internet of Things, where we are suddenly being asked about the limitations of LoRaWAN as a protocol to control light fixtures with.

      Lighting is digital

      There is an underlying expectation to all of this that we are digitally savvy.  Lots of industries are going through change and digitisation, but lighting is changing right up there with them.  In order to keep meeting the expectations of a modern day lighting design, we have to be able to understand and design with all these evolving elements.

      One particular attribute that I’ve taken on is learning to code due to the increasing overlap with disciplines that do require this, and at the very least we need to be able to coordinate with them. For example, this is a prototype app written in Python that communicates with light fixtures in a hotel room to automatically adjust the colour temperature and brightness based on personal circumstances, such as jet lag.

      Internet of Things

      We have gone through the exponential growth of LED and now we have even further miniaturisation of technology so there is virtually nowhere that LEDs cannot be integrated, and conversely almost anything, like a sensor or a camera, that can’t be put back into light sources.

      Lighting is a prime choice for the IoT to piggy back onto as it has an already existing ubiquitous infrastructure of power and data.  This means that light fixtures can be used for monitoring space occupancy, improving shopping experiences, reporting crimes, and more.

      But in order to be able to implement this we have to understand it, and that means lighting designers becoming experts in something else that isn’t traditionally “lighting”.  It’s becoming experts in data, cloud servers, and Bluetooth meshes as part of the whole IoT network.

      And this isn’t a trend that’s going away. At a macro level Smart Cities are well underway around the world (we are working on a Smarty City strategy for a brand new city in KSA at the moment), and on a micro level it’s using your voice to control the lighting in your own home. Lighting is a key part of the future of connected services.

      Covid-19 will undoubtedly accelerate the demand for contact-free environments. Why carry a physical ID or ticket and have to touch door handles, when AI could verify you and open the door automatically?  Why touch any number of surfaces and interfaces to check-in to a hotel, when facial recognition could automate this as you walk through the lobby and give you a “key” on your mobile phone?

      In assessing these expected trends we see that lighting is well placed to provide this as part of the IoT. Retrofitting sensor-embedded light fixtures becomes much easier than ripping out ceilings, pulling cables, and installing new networks.

      As part of this learning curve affecting lighting, designers are no longer just visiting project sites, but also visiting data centres that test these sensor embedded light fixtures and the data points that they capture to understand it first hand in order to be able to implement it as part of a lighting scheme.

      Misunderstandings

      As lighting becomes more understood it’s great to now be reading comments like this, highlighting the importance of lighting to a space.

      But for every moment of understanding, we still work with wider design teams who still misunderstand what we do. Consultants that have heard of ZigBee or BLE, and so that’s how they want their lighting controlled – when in reality all they really need is a simple control plate.

      Part of our role is taking a step back from the technology and really understanding the project needs. We won’t use technology for the sake of it, especially if it’s not needed and likely to end up not being used.  How often have you struggled with a fancy lighting control system in a hotel guestroom when a simple rotary dimmer switch would have been just perfect?

      As lighting design finds its way into mainstream vocabulary, more buzzwords like “human centric lighting” have come to the fore, which is another misconception to overcome.

      Human centric design is human focussed design. At the heart of this notion is what we have been doing for many years now.  Designing for humans.  Lighting for humans.  Lighting for, and with, people at the centre.

      The future

      Who knows what the limits are to where lighting will reach – even a few years ago we were barely imagining what we have today of subscription models offering Lighting as a Service, secure wireless data through light in LiFi, and even highly secretive LED spectrum recipes used in horticulture to maximise crop yield!

      Of what I have no doubt is that as lighting design continues to advance and evolve, so will the humble lighting designer along with it.

      Main image credit: neolight

      Product watch: Facet lighting by Studio Waldemeyer

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Product watch: Facet lighting by Studio Waldemeyer

      Hotel Designs learns how lighting designer Moritz Waldemeyer bent glass to its will in order to create FACET…

      In all its beauty and variety, glass is essentially an amorphous material with no regular crystalline structure.

      Yet through a design vision and mastery in glassmaking craft, the material can come to mimic its opposite, creating highly organised and consistent structures.

      As if trying to systematise the chandelier-making tradition, Moritz took the geometrical shape of the Classic chandelier outline and turned it into a diamond-like hexagonal glass building block. On its own, with just single pendant, or in combination of multiple items into a large chandelier, the FACET modules stand out as clear, disciplined and geometrical.

      The light source included inside every block allows the FACET system to be universal and almost unlimitedly extendable.

      Moritz Waldemeyer is an internationally renowned London based designer who’s work occupies a diverse range of creative spaces. 2004 saw his debut into the design world with an interactive chandelier for Swarovski. With a forward thinking approach and a philosophy of playful experimentation Studio Moritz Waldemeyer is forging links between technology, art, fashion and design.

      Led by Waldemeyer, the studio has taken on projects for Audi, Intercontinental Hotels, Rinacente and Wallpaper Magazines 2014 Handmade issue. Studio Moritz Waldemeyer has also created bespoke light studded costumes for Will.I.AM, Rihanna, Take That and the 2012 London Olympics handover Ceremony performers. Under Moritz’s direction the studio strive to create innovative concepts incorporating his signature aesthetic into each piece.

      Studio Waldemeyer is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

      Main image credit: Studio Waldemeyer

      Inside Hart Shoreditch, London’s latest lifestyle hotel

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Inside Hart Shoreditch, London’s latest lifestyle hotel

      The 126-key hotel, which is in the heart of Shoreditch, has been designed by Fabled Studio and draws inspiration from East London’s past as a centre of craftspeople and makers. Hotel Designs takes a peek inside…

      East London lifestyle hotel, Hart Shoreditch Hotel London from Curio Collection by Hilton, which has recently opened, was designed in collaboration with London-based interior design consultancy Fabled Studio. The 126-key property seamlessly blends the vibrant heritage and modern-day creativity of East London, through its thoughtfully designed spaces.

      “Gone is the tired aesthetic of exposed graffitied brick walls, filament lightbulbs and mis-matched furniture to create a bright, fresh and life-affirming space.” – Steven Saunders, co-founder and director of Fabled Studio.

      Image credit: Hart Shoreditch/Gary Edwards

      Drawing inspiration from East London’s past as a centre for craftspeople and makers, the hotel’s design narrative is deeply rooted in showcasing the industries that thrived there including furniture makers, metal workers and silk weavers. In keeping with the Curio Collection by Hilton portfolio, the hotel will give visitors to London the chance to experience one of the city’s most sought-after neighbourhoods and discover its unique history.

      Image caption: The lobby | Image credit: Hart Shoreditch/Gary Edwards

      “We set out to create a brand-new identity for a Shoreditch hotel and restaurant/ bar by delving deeper into the stories and history that the East End has to tell,” said Steven Saunders, co-founder and director of Fabled Studio. “Gone is the tired aesthetic of exposed graffitied brick walls, filament lightbulbs and mis-matched furniture to create a bright, fresh and life-affirming space. Natural textures and a muted architectural colour palette create a crisp canvas which we have dressed with soft sage velvets, woven linens and Kilim patterns to offer an elegant and mature space to enjoy.”

      Luxe guestroom

      Image credit: Hart Shoreditch/Gary Edwards

      Hart Shoreditch takes its name from one of the building’s previous occupants, The Harts, who were cabinetmakers in the 1800’s. The distinctive space encapsulates East London’s rich industrial and artisan past. Design details including a steel re-bar and copper staircase, and contemporary, bespoke mahogany lights have been designed to replicate cabinetmaker’s boxes and pay homage to the building’s earlier artisan life.

      Soft textures, furnishings and warm lighting will guide guests through to Tavla, the hotel’s bar where guests and locals alike will be encouraged to relax and spend time throughout the day and into the evening. Here, textured woven stools are mixed in with lounge chairs in muted tones and softened textures giving the space a modern, residential feel. The restaurant BARBOUN, boasts an industrial-luxe aesthetic with rattan and Thonet-style chairs and partitions inspired by the Victorian furniture makers workshops of Great Eastern Street. Warmth and softness is brought into the space through natural linen café curtains, drapery in deep oxblood and upholstery in nude leather; as well as the asymmetric architecture of the vast timber ceiling replicating the beamed structure of a factory warehouse. A striking steel re-bar and copper staircase sits towards the back of the space along with a central cascade of moon chandeliers.

      Guests can choose from nine room and suite categories, all of which feature a soft and elegant colour palette of white and grey with striking burnt orange and deep green accents. Predominantly contemporary in style with copper mirror detailing and simplistic modern furnishings, the guestrooms are warm and inviting with subtle design details throughout such as saddle-stitched leather strapping and copper rendered marmorino textures. Copper leafed bedside mirrors are embossed with woven lace etchings in a nod to the deep-rooted Huguenot history of nearby Spitalfields. Bathrooms feature a combination of materials which come together to create a sophisticated, urban space. Luxurious marble showers and rolltop baths with impressive views across Shoreditch are complimented by contrasting concrete vanities, herringbone flooring, bold geometric tiling and paired back brass detailing.

      Hart Shoreditch is also home to two unique meeting spaces which have been designed to emulate the look and feel of 18th century Huguenot townhouses synonymous with East London and its silk weaving past. A classic London aesthetic intertwined with modern textures and details set against soft green walls.

      Image credit: Hart Shoreditch

      Located in the heart of Shoreditch on Great Eastern Street, the hotel is conveniently situated just a moment’s walk from Shoreditch High Street underground station and within walking distance of the neighbourhood’s independent boutiques, vibrant bars, restaurants and famous markets such as Brick Lane and Spitalfields.

      Main image credit: Hart Shoreditch

      Stylish emerald green and golden poster above comfortable king size bed with headboard and pillows in dark green bedroom

      Upcycling: “Revamp, don’t replace,” says surface brand Architextural

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Upcycling: “Revamp, don’t replace,” says surface brand Architextural

      The trend for upcycling shows no sign of abating; businesses are increasingly looking to upgrade their interiors on a budget and without the upheaval of ripping out and replacing furniture, explains surface brand Architextural

      Stylish emerald green and golden poster above comfortable king size bed with headboard and pillows in dark green bedroom

      Upcycling taps into the trend for sustainability that continues to be big news; it is better for the environment for venues to make use of what they already have and give it a new lease of life, rather than replacing it wholesale and sending old furniture and fittings to landfill.

      This is where vinyl wrapping processes come into their own, providing a fresh new look in a multitude of styles, quickly and easily.

      Wrapping is a simple process, whereby an existing surface is covered with a self-adhesive film. Architectural finishes are highly engineered, durable films, designed to look and feel like real-life materials. The films are applied with heat, by skilled installers, to provide a realistic hardwearing finish. This allows clients to create bespoke furniture using less expensive materials, wrapping them to look like authentic marble, wood or concrete. With thousands of finishes available, the possibilities are vast.

      Modern loft living room with black steel slats 3d render.There are concrete floors , Decorate wall with pattern of black steel slats.Furnished with dark gray fabric chair.

      Image credit: Architextural

      Diverse applications

      Architectural films can be used on a wide range of surfaces, including walls, lifts, doors and FF&E.

      Such films are conformable for 3D applications, meaning their use is not limited to flat surfaces. Almost any surface can be wrapped, making films ideal for the commercial environment. What’s more, they can even be applied over existing substrates.

      As the surface finishes are conformable, they can be applied to curved structures to create eye-catching designs. This provides a key advantage over laminates that require edge banding, whereas films offer the opportunity to wrap fully over edges to completely seal them.

      “Wrapping is also highly durable – lasting for an average of 12 years on interior surfaces.”

      Environmental benefits

      On average, it costs seven times more to rip out and replace interiors. Refurbishment with architectural films is a way to upcycle existing fixtures and fittings, rather than send to landfill.

      It’s a budget-friendly option for architects when costs are being squeezed, allowing businesses to refresh a venue more frequently or at a lower cost. Wrapping is also highly durable – lasting for an average of 12 years on interior surfaces – meaning it can work out more cost effective over the lifetime of the product, when compared to fabric, paint or veneer.

      a clean living room with black wallcovering

      Image credit: Architextural

      Less day-to-day disruption

      It’s also easier for businesses, as vinyls are applied in situ, with no noise, mess or waste – allowing the venue can stay open throughout. Little equipment is needed, with minimal prep, meaning less downtime and inconvenience.

      All finishes are fire tested and meet building regulations. And as the product is a PVC solution, it is fully water and heat resistant, as well as and hygienic, all of which are important in high-traffic venues such as gyms, bars and restaurants.

      With a world of possibilities at their fingertips, companies looking to reduce costs and improve their sustainability would be wise to look at upcycling using self-adhesive finishes to refresh spaces with minimal disruption to the business.

      Architextural is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

      Main image credit: Architextural

      Product watch: Newport Bedroom Collection by Taylor’s Classics

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Product watch: Newport Bedroom Collection by Taylor’s Classics

      The Newport Bedroom Collection by Taylor’s Classics is simple yet elegant mix of bedroom furniture. Hotel Designs explores…

      A perfect complement to the brand’s other ranges of traditional chairs and tables, Newport Bedroom Collection by Taylor’s Classics is ideal for hotels and other accommodation styles.

      The range consists of two styles of wardrobe, a bedside cabinet with a choice of marble tops, a luggage rack, a bedroom desk with gilded leather insert, a selection of bedroom/ desk chairs, bedroom tables and reclaimed lighting.

      This range of contract bedroom furniture is crafted in solid and veneered European Oak and manufactured to contract quality standards. The design and detailing recalls that of the late Victorian, Arts & Crafts era, and will blend easily into the interiors of many hotels or inns of the period.

      The Newport Collection is available in either a light or medium oak stain and polished in a resistant polyurethane lacquer.

      Download our brochure here.

      Taylor’s Classics is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

      Main image credit: Taylor’s Classics

      5 minutes with: Ian Gell, head of new product design at Aqualisa

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      5 minutes with: Ian Gell, head of new product design at Aqualisa

      Following the launch of Aqualisa Smart Quartz Collection of showers, Hotel Designs catches up with Ian Gell, the brand’s head of new product design…

      The recent launch of the new Aqualisa Smart Quartz Collection of showers shows that the shower brand is firmly in the driving seat for innovative shower technology in the UK. In order to understand the technology behind the new products – as well as some of the major challenges that come with driving innovation in the bathroom – we spoke to Ian Gell, Aqualisa’s head of new product design.

      Hotel Designs: As Head of New Product Design at Aqualisa, what was the initial brief when creating the latest Smart Quartz Collection of showers?

      Ian Gell: We wanted to create a first truly Smart shower that would improve the showering experience even further and offer connectivity across our Quartz Digital collection in an ever-growing IOT market. We also wanted to develop a feature rich product at an entry level price. Aqualisa are known for designing world class showers and we wanted to go that one step further making our showers that little bit more special.

      A modern shower.

      Image credit: Aqualisa

      “From a concept perspective, having a shower that can be operated via an app or having voice control abilities seems quite straight forward however, the truth is, it was extremely challenging.” – Ian Gell, head of new product design, Aqualisa.

      HD: Can you explain some of the main challenges you faced when designing these products, and the solutions you came up with to rectify these?

      IG: The development of the app was the biggest challenge for us. From a concept perspective, having a shower that can be operated via an app or having voice control abilities seems quite straight forward however, the truth is, it was extremely challenging. There is no ‘off the shelf’ solution that you can incorporate and use so we had to develop something from the ground up that could communicate with all our products. As well as developing the app, we had to develop the software and hardware in our valves and controllers. Allowing all new controllers and valves to communicate with each other was key.

      HD: What makes this collection truly unique from anything else on the market?

      IG: Aqualisa invented the digital shower back in 2001 and we have been market leaders in this area since. Having a truly connected shower to offer is the icing on the cake for our well-loved brand as it enables so many exciting and innovative opportunities to become possible.

      HD: From concept to launch, how long did this collection take to design/create?

      IG: At the back end of November 2018, the designers picked up their pens for the first time and started creating some concept sketches and schemes however, the project really didn’t pick up traction until February 2019 and was launched in March 2020 so it took roughly a year. Most of the work has been developing a connected solution with some purpose. This resulted in the app being created and the hardware and software requiring a major overhaul to allow our product to become connected which took most of the time.

      HD: Technology in hotel bathrooms has traditionally divided consumer opinions? How user-friendly is the design of the Smart Quartz Collection of showers?

      IG: A smart shower provides a personalised experience with safe and precise water control.   Our smart and digital showers are in fact easier to use than most traditional showers. We have all used showers in the past where you need to stop and analyze the controls and work out what lever turns it on and what lever controls the temperature. Sometimes it’s the same lever and takes a bit of experimenting! In most instances, the user normally gets a cold wet arm whilst trying to get the water to the correct temperature for their liking.  This is not the case with our product.

      Our product is activated by a simple on/off button so there is no confusion. Furthermore, our showers can be activated remotely by remote control, through an app also by voice command (if you a have an Alexa or Google home device), so users can turn the shower on from outside the shower. All our showers will indicate when the desired temperature has been reached giving the user confidence the shower will be at the perfect temperature before entry.

      As well as having user benefits, our smart showers are quick and simple to install. As the hot and cold water is mixed away from the showering area, there are no bulky valves to fit into the wall. Our valves can be fitted out of site in a convenient location i.e. in a cupboard, in the loft space or under the bath resulting in easy access if needed.

      “Quartz Touch also allows users to store their preferred showering profile that can be active through the controller or via the app.” – Ian Gell, head of new product design, Aqualisa.

      HD: How does the range of products enhance the bathroom experience?

      IG: Smart showers are sleek and modern devices and will compliment any bathroom interior from the more classic approach to the most contemporary design. Quartz Touch is great for tech enthusiasts out there as an LCD display is present showing the user the exact temperature. The user can also access different menus allowing full control for flow. Quartz Touch also allows users to store their preferred showering profile that can be active through the controller or via the app. You can set your preferred flow, preferred outlet and temperature with a simple touch of a button.

      Our showers are also compatible with Alexa and Google so once the Aqualisa skill has been downloaded, Aqualisa showers can be added to people’s smart routines. For example, “hey google, start my relaxing bath routine” could turn up the thermostat, dim the lights and start filling the bath from your Aqualisa controller, all via that one command. With the smart technology out there, the options are limitless.

      HD: How have you designed these products so that they are eco-friendly?

      IG: There is growing pressure to find ways to reduce water consumption per household and per person. We all understand the benefits of reducing water usage and how it effects the environment and household bills. As showers are one of the biggest contributors of wastewater, we wanted our customers to be aware of how much water they were consuming from their shower.  As a result, we have incorporated a water usage dashboard into our app that shows how much water has been consumed for each user as well as the entire house over a specific period. This could be over the last week, month or six months. The app will clearly show who is using the most water and costs associated to them.

      We also have a water saving mode on our handset that reduces flow by around 20 per cent.  Our optimised spray pattern still provides an enhanced showering experience whilst using less water.

      Our Quartz Classic and Unity controllers have a boost function. The boost option allows users to have added flow if required or users can choose to have it turned off to a lower flow rate and save water.

      Our Touch and Optic controllers have three flow settings, Eco Medium and Max. Our Eco setting reduces flow by 40% compared to the Max flow setting.

      All of our packaging used for our smart products is made from fully recyclable material. Around 70% of the packaging components we use is made from recycled material. 100% of the waste produced during the production of our packaging is collected and recycled back into paper.

      HD: For hotels looking to renovate their properties in the wake of Covid-19, why is the Smart Quartz Collection a good option?

      IG: We are continuously improving the installation features of all our products but there is a particularly good replacement and refurbishment story with smart showers around less pipework and push fit cable connection. For example, the major benefit of upgrading from a traditional shower is moving the SmartValve, the brains of the system, completely out of the showering area – and potentially away from the guest bathroom altogether which is so easy for any future adjustment and maintenance.

      Also, freeing up more space in the showering area itself opens up much more design and décor flexibility.  Perhaps even more compelling in the post-Covid economy is the ability of hotel management to monitor water usage and costs, if necessary, adjusting the water flow through hotel bathrooms.  Assurances around hygiene and safety have surely never been a higher priority in terms of the hotel guest proposition and contactless smart shower technology clearly meets that brief.

      Aqualisa is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

      Main image credit: Aqualisa

      HIX announces postponement of debut event

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      HIX announces postponement of debut event

      As a result of the uncertainty that remains in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, HIX has made the decision to postpone its debut event until 2021…

      2020 has been a painful and frustrating year for the events industry. Within the realms of hotel design, Salone del Mobile, the Independent Hotel Show, Clerkenwell Design Week and Hotel Designs’ much-loved networking events have all been indirect victims to the virus.

      While the pandemic continues to force travellers from certain regions to quarantine and while businesses are encouraged to adapt to new social distancing guidelines as measures to prevent Covid-19’s spread tighten once more, there is heavy sense of uncertainty in the air. HIX, an ever-changing design experience that was expected with high anticipation to launch this year, has released an official statement announcing that it will postpone the debut event until November 2021.

      “We made this decision based on uncontrollable factors but just one question: ‘can we guarantee a brilliant HIX experience this year?’ – HIX.

      “It hurts to write the above statement because we are still buzzing from our launch and [we] feel a huge sense of gratitude for your support in making HIX London’s only hotel design event… all in the space of six months,” the event organisers expressed in the statement. “We made this decision based on uncontrollable factors but just one question: ‘can we guarantee a brilliant HIX experience this year?’ The potential implications of the uncontrollables made it impossible to answer that question with a confident ‘yes we can!’

      “So we made the call; despite our own sense of adventurous optimism, despite the Government announcement for events to go ahead from October and despite our exhibitor’s consensus view of ‘if you guys open this year then we’ll do it with you‘.

      “And this brings us to the good news. The HIX 2020 exhibitors have pledged their support for 2021 and with 15 months before the event, we have already allocated most of the stand spaces. So we now have the time and clarity to reflect, discuss, sketch and then create the hotel design experience that the community deserves.

      “At this point in the announcement we’re supposed to provide a polished and sensible quote from us, ‘the organiser’. But we reckon that Anand from Hansgrohe summed it up pretty well on a zoom call this week:‘It’s sad not do it this year, but we’ll all build HIX 2021 to be something credible, meaningful and something for the future’. That’s exactly what we would have tried to say. Thank you Anand.”

      HIX, which is fully supported by Hotel Designs, is now scheduled to take place at the same venue, sheltered inside London’s Business Design Centre, on November 18 – 19, 2021. Watch this space, we’re with HIX.

      Main image credit: HIX

      IN RENDERS: Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      IN RENDERS: Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi

      Legendary designer Jean-Michel Gathy infused a contemporary and traditional aesthetic in Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi, which is sheltered inside the city’s latest landmark building…

      Soaring above Tokyo with panoramic views of the Imperial Palace, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi is poised to reach a new height of luxury in its design statement with Japanese traditions melded seamlessly with a modern European aesthetic.

      The 193-key luxury hotel is the design brainchild of Jean-Michel Gathy, legendary principal designer at the award-winning hospitality and design consultancy firm Denniston.

      On the top six floors of the new 39-storey tower plus two additional floors (Ground Floor and 3rd Floor) adjacent to the Imperial Palace–the capital’s literal and figurative heart, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi will be a restful haven for travellers delivering a new level of luxury experiences at the city’s latest sky-high social scene. The hotel will feature 193 well-appointed guestrooms and suites, a prestigious spa sanctuary and a 20-metre pool on the highest floor as well as four distinct F&B concepts.

      “The cultural diversity of the country has drawn me to create a contemporary expression of the traditional values for this project.” – Jean-Michel Gathy

      Orange entrance to the hotel

      Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

      Gathy skillfully presents authentic Japanese elements throughout the design in respecting Japan’s culture, traditions and heritage, while incorporating the finest elements and absolute DNA of Four Seasons. “The cultural diversity of the country has drawn me to create a contemporary expression of the traditional values for this project without arrogance or a sense of overbearing,” the designer commented. We aim to ignite the feeling of a home away from home with an inviting, warm and welcoming atmosphere in the most dynamic city.”

      Reflecting the vibrancy of Tokyo, a traditional Japanese red-orange lacquer box featuring solid timber panels acts as the frame to the hotel entrance at the busiest district of Tokyo. Gathy has created an experience of sensory excitement from which travellers will discover the city’s intriguing blend of ancient and hypermodern.

      To replicate the Japanese aesthetic, Gathy has personally curated a defining art collection to celebrate the distinctive craftsmanship and artistry, which embodies the traditional foundations of the country. Distinct examples can be found in the combination of the Japanese floral art Ikebana, hanging natural fibre/fabric artwork and the timber panel featured at the entrance to awaken the overriding strength of connection between east and west.

      Board the lift to the reception lobby on the 39th-floor where an extraordinary view is revealed through a glass curtain wall fronted by a rock installation on a shallow pond. “To truly respect the tradition and interpret the tranquility of Japan, the water feature serves as a buffer area to deflect guests’ eyeballs as it may be considered as discourteous to look straight down into the Imperial Palace.” shares Gathy who leads his team to plan scrupulously and strike a balance between the pursuit of aesthetics and the preservation of culture and respect for traditions. The six-metre high ceiling and cosy nooks and crannies provide capacious space for the reception, while the colour theme of gold and black delivers a subtle and warm welcoming atmosphere to Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi.

      Render of minimalist reception overlooking city of Tokyo

      Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

      The links between contemporary West and the traditions of Japan have contributed to the reception area where guests can discover the hidden details before experiencing the dynamism of Tokyo. In response to the Four Seasons’ core value of “East meets West”, the Japanese calligraphy with the meaning of “season” is harmoniously blended in a typical European pendant chandelier and ingeniously displayed on the bottom part of the dome. The Japanese Zen garden subtly sculpted and reflected on a 3-dimensional wall by the artist Pongsatat Uaiklan (Dong) sits behind an elegant Italian cat-leg cabinet decorated with Japanese blocks.

      Distinct Japanese touches immerse guests in the local landscape, the flowing and multidimensional design can be found throughout the 193 guestrooms at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi. Blending the art to the room flawlessly, Gathy appointed the Japanese award-winning photographer Namiko Kitaura to capture the bespoke fabric artwork displayed as the backdrop in each guestroom.

      A very minimalist guestroom

      Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

      All rooms and suites are tailored for intimacy with an innovative open-plan layout. The sophisticated Japanese aesthetic flows through the interiors which are illuminated by natural light during the day and with bespoke modern light fixtures to reflect the after-dark glamour of Tokyo.

      a modern suite overlooking Tokyo

      Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

      Celebrating an authentic wedding in the heart of Tokyo at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi, the ballroom and the function rooms adjacent to the chapel promise magical settings for every moment of celebrations. 

      Natural light and elegant décor at the chapel invoke an ambience of romance and peace with distinctive European touches. Incorporating private rooms for the bride and officiant, and offering seamless connectivity to the Ballroom Foyer, Grand Ballroom and each of the smaller function rooms, the Chapel can host not only the ceremony but all other types of wedding events, from intimate family brunches to gala receptions.

      Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

      The Grand Ballroom’s windows draw natural light into the spacious interior. The chandeliers and cascading lights without concrete shapes echo the beauty of nature and evoke the contemporary transition of Japanese culture. Gathy shares his vision for the project: “Inspired by the hotel name, Four Seasons, we are trying to reflect the essence of traditional literature and poetry – flow of the Seasons.”

      Gathy applies his deft touch to create a serene sanctuary for THE SPA at Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi with the selection of a gentle and relaxing colour tone. The massive 3D natural fibre or fabric art installations in the spa lobby and pool area billow and sweep outward as if caught in a gust of wind, which offer a sanctuary of tranquility amidst bustling Tokyo for a journey of rejuvenation, relaxation and the pursuit of wellbeing.

      A minimalist spa inside the hotel

      Image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

      Gathy proudly leads his team to interpret the luxury brand DNA of Four Seasons with great respect to the culture and tradition of the country while celebrating the cutting-edge creativity and contemporary design ethos of Tokyo as a dynamic city. Gathy continues his innovative design inspiration which draws upon aspects of the country’s rich culture to the brand and his previous completion – Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River will also open on October 1 2020.

      Main image credit: Four Seasons Tokyo at Otemachi

      Case study: Bentley & Studio Waldemeyer’s fresh approach to lighting design

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Case study: Bentley & Studio Waldemeyer’s fresh approach to lighting design

      To celebrate its 100 year anniversary, Bentley Motors approached Studio Waldemeyer to help the brand create all aspects of illumination on the most sophisticated concept car in the company’s history…

      The vehicle Bentley Motors showcased to mark its 100 anniversary displays the future of luxury craftsmanship with seamless fusion of materials and intelligent curation of technology, whilst introducing light as a new luxury material – all highly relevant when centering the focus back to lighting solutions for tomorrow’s hotels.

      Bentley, which is a brand that has flirted with hotel design for many years with a handful of luxury hotel brands sheltering ‘Bentley Suites’, approached Studio Waldemeyer to join their design team and help design and engineer all aspects of illumination on the show car.

      The car manufacturer’s challenging design brief required a completely new approach to light design and engineering. Studio Waldemeyer created an innovative tool chain, seamlessly merging the latest in parametric design tools from the world of computational architecture with electronic circuit design software. This approach not only allowed the perfect 3D integration of light in the complex surfaces of the car, but also the turnaround of the project in record time.

      Close up of the centre console of the Bentley car

      Image credit: Bentley Motors

      The Bentley EXP 100 GT is by far the most complex and challenging project for Studio Waldemeyer up to date and represents the perfect combination of artistic expression and technical innovation the studio is know for.  Entering a new creative discipline the studio has yet again helped to raise the bar of innovation, in this case producing the most sophisticated illumination in the history of vehicle design.

      Starting at the very prominent front grill, the illumination continues along the central spine into the interior space and finishes off with the sophisticated treatment of the rear horseshoe panel and 3D rear light clusters. While the approach to the project was that of a holistic 3D body of light, each area had its own challenges – be it the exotic materials, complex curvatures and the interaction with specialist design teams and craftspeople.

      Attention to detail was paramount – the flying B logo required a weeks worth of hand polishing before receiving the tiny bespoke LED component that illuminates its wings. Different approaches were taken for every material – be it the hand woven silk or the 5000 year old river wood. The interior contains two hand blown crystal pieces that visualise the inner workings of the car’s AI. Collaborating closely with Cumbria Crystal, Studio Waldemeyer worked on the 3D design, implementation and illumination of this central feature.

      The champagne cream interior with led lighting of the car

      Image credit: Bentley Motors

      The biggest research effort went into the external illumination. Starting from the sculpted surfaces of the car’s exterior, thousands of LEDs had to be placed at precise locations, requiring large numbers of different bespoke circuit board designs. This is a unique problem for an industry that is normally geared to make large numbers of a single design. Since no design tools existed for this task, the studio created their own: merging parametric 3D software with PCB design programmes. The manufacture of these unique pieces of electronics was done in Italy – a country famous for its long tradition in fine craftsmanship.

      The concept car created a splash far beyond the automotive world and continues to receive praise in the press – garnering coverage in publications such as Wallpaper and Forbes – whilst collecting some of the most prestigious design awards in the process.

      Studio Waldemeyer is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

      Main image credit: Studio Waldemeyer

      Luxury outdoor terrace

      The Luxury Collection debuts in Abu Dhabi

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      The Luxury Collection debuts in Abu Dhabi

      Luxury in the desert, Al Wathba, A Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa’s Arabian-style resort celebrates Emirati culture through design, cuisine and memorable desert experiences…

      The Luxury Collection, part of Marriott International, has welcomed Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa to its unique ensemble of iconic hotels, marking the debut of the portfolio in the UAE capital.

      Luxury outdoor terrace

      Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa is located deep within the expansive landscape of Abu Dhabi. With a design reminiscent of a historic desert village, it is an intimate retreat suffused with natural beauty, unique tranquillity, and rare experiences.

      Pool overlooking the desert

      Image credit: Marriott International

      “We are delighted to welcome Al Wathba, Desert Resort & Spa to our ensemble of hotels that define the destination and offer our global explorers an authentic desert experience alongside warm Arabian hospitality,” said Guido De Wilde, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East, Marriott International. “Abu Dhabi’s legacy as an international cultural destination with a rich history and heritage, together with the diversity of its dramatic landscapes, offers a unique opportunity for us to guide our guests on transformative journeys that touch their spirits and enrich their lives.”

      Inspired by native architecture and the destination’s rich history, the resort’s 103 guestrooms and villas feature traditional Arabesque flourishes, mashrabiya detailing, and Bedouin accessories. Understated interiors and neutral tones sit in harmony with the desert landscape that wraps around this extraordinary hideaway. The villas come with spacious indulgence, private plunge pools and a patio that boasts unlimited views of the surrounding Arabian Desert.

      Luxury Arabian-style suite

      Image credit: Marriott International

      Six dining venues and bars lend themselves to a range of unique epicurean experiences. Bait Al Hanine offers a generous menu, including a wide selection of Lebanese classics, for all-day dining. Al Mabeet features authentic Emirati cuisine in an understated desert setting. Hayaakom, a Bedouin inspired lounge serves afternoon tea and sandwiches. Terra Secca is a trattoria-style, classic Italian restaurant that offers guests a theatrical view of the kitchen and chefs. Al Mesayan, an intimate rooftop bar serves as an ideal spot for stargazing or dune watching, while Panache offers a relaxed pool respite.

      Arabian style F&B area

      Image credit: Marriott International

      Nestled within a picturesque garden, the hotel’s spa is seen as the pinnacle of the entire hotel experience. Guests at Al Wathba can enjoy a range of health and wellness rituals in a contemporary setting, whilst harnessing age-old techniques. With 11 treatment rooms, the spa also boasts relaxation areas including a healing crystal salt sauna, traditional Turkish hammam, unique cryo experience, an open-air yoga pavilion, invigorating ice shower as well as steam rooms, plunge pools, and snow caves.

      Luxury pool with palm trees in the desert

      Image credit: Marriott International

      Al Wathba Desert Resort & Spa joins The Luxury Collection brand’s rapidly growing portfolio in the UAE which includes iconic hotels such as Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai, Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dubai and Ajman Saray, a Luxury Collection Resort, Ajman.

      Main image credit: Marriott International

      Behind the scenes: designing the ‘hottest boutique hotel’ in Dublin

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Behind the scenes: designing the ‘hottest boutique hotel’ in Dublin

      The Mayson is said to be Dublin’s ‘hottest new boutique hotel’ and one of the most modern and architecturally striking hotels added to the Dublin skyline. Editor Hamish Kilburn checks it out…

      Located in the heart of Dublin Docklands, The Mayson is an exciting restoration project by ODOS of 45,000 square feet.

      It now shelters a 94-key hotel, as well as destination bars, restaurants, a gym, ample event space and an outdoor courtyard.

      a modern penthouse with copper bath

      Image credit: The Mayson Dublin

      The Mayson is a redevelopment of two protected structures – one formerly a town house built in 1860 and the other an industrial warehouse dating back to 1870. Architects ODOS have kept the original features and fixtures such as the fireplaces and the restoration of the old Valence & McGrath pub including its shop front and worked in collaboration with ODON on interiors.

      Image credit: The Mayson Dublin

      “This exciting restoration project is a redevelopment of No.81 and No.82 North Wall Quay,” said David O’Shea, founder of ODOS. “ Both buildings were in a dilapidated condition and had not been used in over two decades. The concept was to redevelop these strikingly unique buildings by drawing on their existing, inherent characters. The ambition for No.81 was to retain a public house on the ground floor, resulting in intervention to the existing structure and restoring the original features. No.82 is one of the few remaining warehouse structures on the north quays and presented a rare to establish this forgotten building.”

      Image credit: The Mayson Dublin

      The hotel also features an unusual ‘living’ wall where plants grow up through an internal courtyard, adding to the unconventional off-beat ethos of The Mayson. Offering a rooftop restaurant with views of all over Dublin, Ryleigh’s restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and The Mayson Bar, which serves food all day long, there is a wide variety of food available.

      Main image credit: The Mayson

      Inside the latest luxury lifestyle hotel in Mayfair, London

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Inside the latest luxury lifestyle hotel in Mayfair, London

      From the people who brought us the renowned Cliveden House and Chewton Glen comes The Mayfair Townhouse, which is slated to open this Autumn…

      Curious, engaging and witty, The Mayfair Townhouse is said to deliver the unexpected and redefines what it means to be a London hotel – think  Oscar Wilde meets Alice in Wonderland.

      Part of Iconic Luxury Hotels, this will be the fifth property in the portfolio, but promises to offer a new unexpected personality from what the brand is traditionally known for. Bringing a new lifestyle product into one of London’s most distinguished neighbourhoods – The Mayfair Townhouse is the new charismatic ‘kid on the block’ – a product that has never been experienced in Mayfair.

      “We’ve created a product – a personality – that’s exceptionally unique to our collection at Iconic Luxury Hotels.” – Andrew Stembridge, Executive Director of Iconic Luxury Hotels.

      “There is nothing like The Mayfair Townhouse,” said Andrew Stembridge, Executive Director of Iconic Luxury Hotels, who has been instrumental in developing this outstanding lifestyle hotel for London’s Mayfair. “When the property debuts in Autumn 2020, you will see something that has not yet been done. We’ve created a product – a personality – that’s exceptionally unique to our collection at Iconic Luxury Hotels. We’re looking to give London and travellers from all over the world, something fresh, something totally different and something totally unexpected. This is a new and exciting chapter for Iconic Luxury Hotels, and as we welcome our second property in London, we look forward to creating remarkable memories in the heart of Mayfair.”

      Render of the entrance to the bar

      Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

      A carefully stylish, imaginative home for the modern traveller – the essence of the new Townhouse invites discerning travellers who appreciate an intuitive, perceptive level of service and a guest who above all, has a refined palette for curiosity. Without the traditions of a regular hotel, there is no room at the Townhouse that has not been thoughtfully curated. The hotel bridges the gap between ritzy high-end lavish hotels and the corporate enterprise properties that currently stand in Mayfair.

      When guests walk through the doors of this new Townhouse, expect the unexpected. Moments of surprise await around every corner of the fifteen connected Georgian buildings that line Half Moon Street, which was once the setting for Oscar Wilde’s most famous play, The Importance of Being Earnest. Built from 1730, Half Moon Street was a colourful haunt for bachelors, bohemians and artistic types in Victorian London. During this time many of Half Moon Street’s townhouses were split into residential apartments for the elite to live before marriage. Iconic fictional characters, Oscar Wilde’s Algernon Moncreiff and Bertie Wooster in P. G. Wodehouse’s comedies resided here. Moments of this history and culture are immersed throughout The Mayfair Townhouse’s discreet address, and quickly become the central pillars of design and personality of the eclectic house.

      A refined Mayfair restaurant inside the hotel

      Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

      Dandy is the cornerstone theme and design language of The Mayfair Townhouse – building on the historic connections with Oscar Wilde, Half Moon Street and the dandy lifestyle associated with Mayfair. Capturing this playful spirit to create a new era of the Dandy, Goddard Littlefair has helmed an authentic, quick-witted design of the Townhouse. Telling the tale of Oscar Wilde’s world through an imaginative design, Goddard Littlefair has revived the interiors of the townhouses of which seven are Grade-II listed, bringing to life the Georgian spirit and blending this with a contemporary rhythm. The fox, the hotel’s mischievous motif, is woven throughout the hotel, from the art collection showcasing a series of fox images, to intricate design elements throughout the property.

      The design delves into the personalities of the original inhabitants of the area, taking inspiration from characters like Wilde and his contemporary aesthetes, and also the flamboyant aesthetic movement of that period. The result? A contemporary Georgian style interwoven with English eccentricities, capturing the adventurous mischief of the dandy. Twists of the unexpected, curiosities, and a humorous, playful design tone resonate throughout the hotel through various fabrics and colour palettes, to create a flamboyant dressing on the residential townhouse.

      Luxe dining area

      Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

      If the walls could talk. Art plays a pivotal part of the hotel, with Minda Dowling, a leading art specialist, curating unique and unusual pieces for The Mayfair Townhouse to further bring each space to life. The hand-picked collection includes both known names and emerging artists, to celebrate different creators of our time all with their own wow factor. Take Clarita Brinkerhoff’s peacock sculpture for instance – the piece sits at 67 inches high and is made out of 25,000 Swarovski crystals. Guests are invited to learn about the art through special QR codes that have been developed – so guests can scan and absorb details.

      The aptly named Dandy Bar is the heart and soul of the Townhouse. This is where you’ll find refuge from the bustling streets of Mayfair. A theatrical, dimly lit atmosphere that creates a place to see and be seen. Dandy Bar epitomises bespoke cocktails. Take The Mayfair Dandy for example – an avant-garde take on the classic Dandy cocktail once enjoyed by hedonists of the area, or AR Lenoble Brut Champagne, Oscar Wilde’s favourite. Of course, the design evokes the dandy spirit. Lampshades have silk pleated shades, seating is covered in printed velvets and leathers with marble, brass and high gloss timbers adorn the room. The flamboyance of feathers in flapper outfits and the traditional gentleman’s pocket inspires the design of the Dandy Bar.

      A London hotspot bar

      Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

      Flavours of whimsy yet practicality make its way through the Townhouse’s individually designed guest rooms and suites. From the functional Classic Rooms, to the indoor-outdoor living themed Garden Suites, to the Dandy muse ‘Penthouse Suites’ – every corner of each room is thoughtfully designed and appeals to what the discerning modern traveller is seeking today.

      Super luxurious guestroom/suite

      Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

      Expect to find the highest quality linens and robes, superb bathrooms, luxury mattresses, his-or-her toiletries, good lighting and intelligent use of space. Little touches reflecting the hotel’s quick-witted personality include minibar contents from local artisans, flamboyant spare socks, takeaway mints and in-room cocktail kits using the dandy’s ingredient of absinthe.

      A very plush yet minimalist bathroom

      Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

      With no traditional restaurant at The Mayfair Townhouse, you’re invited to the Lower Ground floor – a vibrant space located downstairs off the entrance lobby. Appealing to the modern nomad traveller, this is a place to work, explore and connect with the personalities of the time, and enjoy breakfast. Take in the whimsical characters on the walls as you enjoy this convivial Library-esque space. Beyond the walls lies a further dining room, which instils a feeling that it belongs to the residence’s owner. Your own private versatile oasis which can be used for private dining, or a ‘meeting of the minds’ gathering place.

      From Autumn onwards, The Mayfair Townhouse is where you’ll find both luxury and the joy of the unexpected. Guests come for the exceptional service and inspiring atmosphere and leave with a renewed confidence that choosing personality over conformity is always worth it.

      Main image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

      Is this the most isolated hotel in Sweden?

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Is this the most isolated hotel in Sweden?

      Pater Noster, described as a ‘home on the horizon’, is an unedited destination in Sweden where no hotel designer has dared to design – until now, that is. Editor Hamish Kilburn explores how a team of entrepreneurs, hoteliers, restaurateurs, designers and professional sailors have given this island a new purpose…

      In the outpost of the archipelago that form the Pater Noster islands – one of Sweden’s most windblown, barren and exposed places – you will find an unlikely hotel experience that rises from the point where two straits (The Skagerack and Kattegatt) meet.

      It is marked by a lighthouse; a masterpiece that gave hope and guided seafarers safely for more than a century. Adjacent to it, the keepers and their families built their home, a small-scale community on an island dictated by the elements that had always been perceived as uninhabitable. Until now, that is.

      A dramatic view capturing the lighthouse and houses surrounding them

      Image credit: Pater Noster

      A team of Swedish entrepreneurs, hoteliers, restaurateurs, designers and professional sailors have breathed new life into the lighthouse master’s old home, creating nine design-led guestrooms, accommodating up to 18 guests.

      Entrance to the building

      Image credit: Pater Noster

      Award-winning design agency Stylt, which has completed projects such as Stora Hotellet and HUUS Hotel, in Gstaad, was responsible for the concept and interior design. “During my 30 years within the hospitality business, I have rarely come across such a unique destination”, says Stylt’s founder and partner in the lighthouse project Erik Nissen Johansen. “It’s all there – the remote location, the fantastic nature, the extreme weather conditions, the thrilling history – and soon, great hospitality with a dash of roughness and low-key luxury.”

      With the project being so isolated in the middle of the sea, logistics were perhaps the main challenge. “The extra layer of freight combined with heavy winds made things interesting,” Nissen explains. “We had an incident when our new DUX beds arrived at the dock. It was a rough sea and we lost a large box in the water. It quickly disappeared, and all the legs to 24 beds were drifting towardsDenmark. Luckily, we managed to catch all of them with our smaller boats, but they will probably rust faster than normal.”

      The interior design has completely been inspired by the destination, even down to the fruit bowl that is a repurposed piece of driftwood that washed up on the shores as the work was being completed. “When we were completing building the large dining table, a piece of driftwood just floated ashore,” Nissen tells Hotel Designs. “It was as if the island wanted to help.” The washed-up item was upcycled into a fruit bowl that now rests on a large dining table that was so large it had to be manufactured inside the property.

      Image credit: Pater Noster

      The artwork in the dining hall, shot by underwater photographer Christy Lee Rogers, hangs in a respectful bow to the hundreds of shipwrecks that surround the island. The photographic works together push the possibilities of movement, colour and light.

      “This is a home, not a hotel, filled with history.” – Mirja Lilja Hagsjö, Chief of Operations at Pater Noster.

      Ship and artwork in hallway

      Image credit: Pater Noster

      The entire site, which is only about 250 metres long and 120 metres wide, includes a restaurant, a bar and outdoor café. “The spirit of the old lighthouse master is all over the place” explains chief of operations Mirja Lilja Hagsjö. “This is a home, not a hotel, filled with history.”

      Pater Noster is an apt example how to meet the new demands within the world of hospitality, offering genuine guest experiences with a strong cultural heritage. Depending on the weather, the island is reached by boat or helicopter. It’s perfect for smaller groups looking for a one-off experience, hosting meetings and private parties as well as a range of activities such as deep-sea fishing, sailing, kayaking, scuba diving and visiting the legendary lighthouse itself.

      The property is the result of like-minded people, all of whom have different crafts and skills, coming together with a common aim: to put the island on the travel bucket list of all modern travellers and explorers. These individuals behind the project are entrepreneur Olle Langenius, Mirja Lilja Hagsjö (Chief of Operations), Zana ”Sassa” Usorac – (F&B), Frida Langenius och Carl Sylvan – transportation and sea adventures and Erik and Elisabeth Nissen Johansen (design and concept).

      Throughout August, Hotel Designs is exploring inspirational hotel concepts from around the world. If you would like to be included in this editorial series, please tweet @HotelDesigns.

      Main image credit: Pater Noster

      RPW Design unveils next stage of Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      RPW Design unveils next stage of Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire

      As well as being responsible for designing the guestrooms inside Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, which we are expecting to get a mock-up at the end of August, RPW Design has revealed the renovation of the hotel’s conference and banqueting space…

      The refreshed interiors of the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire’s meeting and event spaces seamlessly breathe fresh life into the historical Georgian property.

      In order to appeal to both the social and business clientele at the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, RPW Design has artistically designed different identities for each of the conference and banqueting rooms. These offer guests a more varied collection of options to fulfil their individual requirements.  To ensure the hotel remains quintessentially British, RPW Design chose to specifically work with British manufacturers and suppliers.

      “We are delighted to unveil the results of the collaboration between The Four Seasons Hampshire team and RPW Design,” says Elizabeth Lane, Partner at RPW Design. True to our convictions as a firm, the results are testament to our ability delivering designs that will stand the test of time.”

      Image credit: RPW Design/Four Seasons Hampshire

      Four Seasons Ballroom 

      Intended to be both adaptable and flexible the Four Seasons Ballroom, the largest room in the renovation, focuses on neutral colours to complement the natural light that brightens the room. In order to create a stylish aesthetic and reconnect with the property’s magnificent architecture and picturesque countryside location, RPW Design has chosen sophisticated furnishings and light fittings to complement the soft tonal colour scheme of the overall refurbishment. By choosing neutral tones the design lends itself to personalisation of the space for a variety of clients’ needs.

      Image credit: RPW Design/Four Seasons Hampshire

      Circulation Area 

      The design of the circulation area showcases RPW Design’s distinctive flair with a marvellous ceiling installation by Haberdashery, composed of 1,100 floating bone china leaves in natural white with 14 carat gold finishes. This spectacular yet organic display emphasises the central visual axis and circulation, welcoming guests into the Mandeville Ballroom.

      Image credit: RPW Design/Four Seasons Hampshire

      Mandeville Ballroom, Beckington Room and Bathurst Room

      In order to create a sense of intrigue whilst maintaining a very classic design throughout, RPW Design has carefully chosen contemporary crystal chandeliers for the Mandeville Ballroom, Beckington Room and Bathurst Room by Vaughan and Dernier & Hamlyn. Within these rooms, classic soft blues and greys complement the neutral shades, providing an elegant contrast and breathing fresh life into the space.

      Shrewsbury Room 

      RPW Design has not only modernised the hotel’s spaces but reconnected it with the area’s rich history. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding Dogmersfield Park, RPW Designs has collaborated with Scottish fabric artisans Timorous Beasties to develop a beautiful bespoke chocolate-coloured velvet with gold printed bird motif upholstery for all four walls of the Shrewsbury room. This gives the room warmth and a luxurious feel, coupled with the unique carpet design which incorporates oak leaf canopies. Styled in this way, the Shrewsbury Room can now act as a multi-functional space lending itself to be a ‘mini cinema’, a meeting room or simply a lounge.

      Main image credit: RPW Design/Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

      Inside Bermonds Locke – an alternative hotel experience

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Inside Bermonds Locke – an alternative hotel experience

      Ahead of speaking at Hotel Designs LIVE in October, Lifestyle hospitality brand Locke will open its third London property this September. Before then, Hotel Designs has managed to get a behind-the-scenes glance at the interiors inside Bermonds Locke

      Designed to be lived in, and offering an alternative to traditional hotels in the post-pandemic world, each individual studio apartment inside Bermonds Locke is equipped with fully fitted kitchens and modern living space.

      Combined with activated public spaces and a locally-led cultural programme, Bermonds Locke will simultaneously allow guests to enjoy the benefits of a lifestyle hotel. The flexibility of the home-meets-hotel format appeals to a broad range of travellers across the leisure and business markets, for both extended and short stays. As the demands of contemporary travellers rapidly change, Locke’s burgeoning success and European expansion plans put it at the centre of the future of travel.

      “We are delighted to open our third property in London with Bermonds Locke,” said Stephen McCall, CEO of edyn. “Locke aims to liberate guests from the confines of a typical hotel room by creating beautiful apartments that are designed to be lived in. The type of guest we’re accommodating wants to explore life as a local, and so the Bermondsey neighbourhood has played a significant role in defining the aesthetic, partners and programming.”

      “Concrete testing cubes destined for landfill find new purpose serving as a plinth for a six-metre long terrazzo tables in the ground floor workspaces.”

      Image credit: Locke

      Bermonds Locke marks the first collaboration for the brand with London-based interior architecture studio Holloway Li. Paying homage to nature’s wonder in both aesthetic and eco-responsibility, Holloway Li have created a living experience out of re-purposed construction materials in both the public areas and private apartments. Concrete testing cubes destined for landfill find new purpose serving as a plinth for a six-metre long terrazzo tables in the ground floor workspaces; whilst in the rooms bespoke bed frames woven out of blackened rebar are accented with linen canopies to infuse old ideas of the concrete jungle with a new sense of sanctuary.

      “We are really excited to be partnering with Locke to pave a new design direction for the brand’s home-meets-hotel concept,” explained Alex Holloway and Na Li, Co-Founders Holloway Li. “By challenging the purpose of materials, we hope to highlight how a circular material economy can generate an incredibly unique aesthetic and a new kind of living experience – doing more, with less.”

      Image credit: Locke

      Bringing the changing gradient of the desert sunset to south London, Locke’s signature studios on the upper floors will be dipped in blue, beige and grey hues and saturated vibrant pinks on the lower floors. Responding to a narrative and concept developed by Heather Tierney from Wanderlust (the visionary behind cult US restaurant The Butcher’s Daughter), Bermonds Locke evokes the Southern California cool of Joshua Tree, the Mojave Dessert and Abbott Kinney – a culture and food destination comparable to Bermondsey Street.

      Rendering of bar with lots of plants around it

      Image credit: Locke

      Situated within walking distance of some of London’s favourite spots, guests can enjoy the energetic Bermondsey Street – home to some of the best bars, restaurants and art galleries in London. To the north of the property, guests can meander through the cobbled streets of Shad Thames and Maltby Street Market– the smaller, slightly more charming younger sister of Borough Market. As with all Locke properties, Bermonds Locke comes fully staffed by a team of House Hosts, offering excellent insight to ensure both long and short-term visitors have access to the best local knowledge and insider tips.

      The opening of Bermonds Locke comes as the brand continues to expand both within the UK and internationally. With further openings planned in Dublin, Berlin, Lisbon, Munich and Copenhagen, Locke is also slated to open its fourth London outpost in Dalston in late 2020.

      Main image credit: Locke/Nicholas Worley

      Office Blueprint brings Naava Green Walls to London

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Office Blueprint brings Naava Green Walls to London

      Office Blueprint, a London-based furniture company, has launched Naava’s revolutionary green walls in the UK…

      Naava, the Finnish health technology company, and Office Blueprint have partnered to introduce Naava Green Walls to the UK to transform indoor air and positively impact wellbeing.

      Forward-thinking companies are looking for new solutions to create healthier environments for their employees. Wellbeing is at the forefront of workplace thinking in 2019 and almost every aspect of the workplace environment is under scrutiny. Ergonomic furniture helps stave off injury caused by sedentary work, varied types of workstations to accommodate different types of work and human-centric smart lighting systems. But air-quality is often left at the bottom of the list of elements to improve, despite the fact that most central business districts suffer from poor air quality.

      Naava is a unique piece of smart furniture which combines nature and technology to naturalise indoor air, reducing harmful chemicals and optimising humidity. Following a series of tests and studies, the proven effect of working in the vicinity of a Naava Green Wall include a reduction in illness, less fatigue and improved cognitive performance.

      Naava has designed an effective and stylish indoor vertical planter that houses beautiful green leaved plants specified for their non-allergen properties and their high performance biophilic air purification.

      Living wall in a winter setting

      Image caption: Made in Norway, Naava was founded in 2012

      However, Naava is not just another living wall it is an intelligent piece of furniture: its functions are driven by technology. A remote system monitors Naava around the clock, utilising AI to analyse the environment and directing the Green Wall’s functions accordingly and communicating the precise condition of the plants with a service team who intermittently visit to manage any needs. The in-built lighting system replicates natural daylight, providing the plants with a steady supply of light and fading out each evening to allow the plants to ‘sleep’ overnight.

      “One Naava vertical planter can purify up to 60sq metres of indoor air.”

      The product works by absorbing indoor air through the plants’ roots and a natural soil-less growth medium, developed to avoid pests and mould. The microbes of the roots then purify the air of harmful chemicals, and small, quiet and unseen fans return the pure and naturalised air back into the room. One Naava vertical planter can purify up to 60sq metres of indoor air and would be the equivalent of having approximately 6,000 potted plants in the same space.

      Image credit: Naava

      Naava’s versatility and mobility enables its use across a number of sectors including offices, hospitality, retail and educational premises. Naava can also be a mobile system, enabling versatility and the option to be used to delineate space.

      Neil Jenkins, Managing Director of Office Blueprint said: “With the average person spending 22 hours a day indoors it is of the upmost importance that toxic air quality is reduced. We are committed to healthy, inspiring and stress-free office environments which contributes to enhanced wellbeing and Naava fits perfectly with this mission and our existing product portfolio.”

      Several peer-reviewed scientific studies have shown that the patented and award-winning Naava is an efficient air purifier. In a Naava space people are happier and less stressed, make less mistakes and suffer less from indoor air symptoms (fatigue, headaches, eye irritation, respiratory problems). There is no other green wall that functions like Naava and Office Blueprint is delighted to be introducing Naava to the UK.

      WellTek is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

      Main image credit: WellTek/Naava

      Cork wall in a guestroom

      Product watch: wall tiles by Granorte bring new meaning to natural aesthetic

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Product watch: wall tiles by Granorte bring new meaning to natural aesthetic

      With the natural aesthetic of cork, Decodalle wall tiles from Granorte offer something new for high-end interiors. Hotel Designs explores…

      Delivering a rich collection of decorative cork veneers, Decodalle presents the depth and variety of finishes achievable in this natural and sustainable material, proving its association with retro finishes of the 1960s is dead.

      Cork wall in a guestroom

      Presenting a finish that’s not only intrinsically beautiful and diverse, but also warm, quiet and durable; Decodalle allows interiors a powerful natural aesthetic without compromising function. In fact, with its Parawax matt coating for resilience and lightweight agglomerated cork backing for easy fitting, Decodalle is a wall tile with impressive features all round. Greenguard certified, 100 per cent ortho-phthalate free and with no added formaldehyde, Decodalle also has the sustainable credentials to match its natural origins.

      “When developing products, we appreciate the single biggest influence in choosing cork: its status as a natural and renewable material,” said Paulo Rocha, product and R&D manager at Granorte. “We look for ways to preserve as much of this reasoning within the development of the product, so if there’s an option for a more sustainable or less polluting material we’ll take it, even if it means more development.”

      Decodalle is available in 14 cork looks in a 600mm x 300mm x 3mm format for vertical or horizontal application. From the natural forms of Expression and geometric blocks of Elements Rustic Black to the colours of Twist and conventional granulated looks like Forest and Grain, it’s a rounded collection that offers designers real opportunity to create a visual treat.

      Granorte is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

      Main image credit: Granorte

      PRODUCT WATCH: LED neon strip lighting in the spa

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      PRODUCT WATCH: LED neon strip lighting in the spa

      To understand the creative possibilities and boundaries of lighting design, Hotel Designs asks Timage Architecture to share why LED neon strip lighting should be considered in the spa and wellness area…

      We have long promoted the benefits of buying a marine-grade product for architectural application and have a dedicated Timage Architecture side to our business which focuses our product range for this specific audience.

      The quality of materials and design consideration that goes into a product originally destined for yacht application is generally much greater than its architectural counterpart.  The materials not only offer a better overall aesthetic but also are very durable and can sustain a more aggressive installation environment.  These characteristics sit well with those looking to source sustainable product solutions for the hospitality sector.  Our products are more suited to clients looking to buy once, perhaps paying a small premium over an alternative product but being sure that they will not have to revisit the item once again after a season or two of use.

      Nowhere in a hospitality setting is the above situation truer than in a spa.  The humidity levels, use of chemicals and temperatures can all culminate in poor product performance or failure, especially with regards to lighting.  Too often steam rooms have failed strip lighting under the seating or showers have fittings with a few diodes out.  These maintenance issues can have a negative impact upon the customer’s experience and overall perception of the spa.  Our marine-grade lighting can help resolve this problem, offering the hospitality sector a reliable and beautiful solution.

      Our range of neon flexible LED strips is one of the best examples of these transferable products.  The neon strip lights are produced to the length required for each installation and the connectors are then injection moulded to ensure a safe IP68 underwater rating.  Lengths up to 20 metres can be specified if powered from both ends and a 24Vdc low voltage input makes them a safe product should any of the outer skin be breached.  The strips are available in a huge variety of colour temperatures as well as fixed colours.  In addition, RGB, RGBW and RGB pixel chasing versions can also be specified.  The RGBW models can be supplied in several white colour temperatures to sit alongside the coloured chips.  RGBW offers the ultimate flexibility for a lighting plan allowing the user to select custom blended colours or run colour sequences whilst still maintaining the option of a high-quality white light.  This year sees the addition of CCT technology or Correlated Colour Temperature to the range which allows users to adjust the strip from warm through to cool white at the touch of a button.  CCT is a great choice for spaces that may have a dual function requiring different ambient lighting styles or simply for those who like to tweak and change their lighting settings from time to time.

      We have a large range of spa lighting solutions in addition to the neon strip lighting mentioned above and can supply luminaires for swimming pools, communal areas, shower enclosures and exterior zones.  Our lighting is always made from marine-grade materials and features the latest LED technology, rigorously tested for harsh environment application.  Please contact us for further product information or advice on spa lighting.

      Timage is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

      Main image credit: Timage

      Inside the first ‘luxe lifestyle wellness resort’ in Grenada

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Inside the first ‘luxe lifestyle wellness resort’ in Grenada

      Opening on October 1 2020, The Point at Petite Calvigny will be the first dedicated luxury lifestyle and wellness resort on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

      With just three design-led villas and 12 suites nestled on an 11-acre estate on the south coast of Grenada, The Point at Petite Calvigny is the island’s new ultra-luxury resort.

      The resort, which slopes down to Benji Bay, features a privately accessed secluded beach, a state of the art gym and wellness centre including The Petite Spa, five swimming pools, a beach bar and restaurant and a private marina.

      Chris Ashby, the property’s owner who, in collaboration with Adriana Hoyos Hospitality, took it upon himself to design the interiors following his extensive travel experience, fell in love with the raw, natural beauty of this part of Grenada and its stunning views. This ultimately inspired him to create the luxury ‘cloistered sanctuary’ where the outside world is left at the ‘entrance/gate’. “The Point is the first luxury resort in Grenada that is totally focussed on wellness,” Ashby explains. “We offer discerning travellers the perfect combination of luxury accommodation in a peaceful setting with the ability to design their stay exactly as they wish. I am proud to say that The Point is owned by a Grenadian, was built by Grenadians and is staffed by Grenadians.”

      No effort was spared in creating the perfect ambiance, which included changing the orientation of the buildings following recommendations from a Feng Shui consultant who advised that they be aligned ‘with water in front and mountains in the background’. As a result, all the buildings stand in an optimum location in order to capture uninterrupted views of the waters of Benji Bay, the unspoilt marine sanctuary of Woburn Bay and the private resort of Calvigny Island.

      Image caption: The hotel has been configured to capture uninterrupted views of the waters of Benji Bay, Woburn Bay and the private resort of Calvigny Island. | Image credit: The Point at Petite Calvigny

      The Point at Petite Calvigny, which was developed by C.A.C Partners Ltd., has been built to the highest eco standards without compromising on comfort or luxury. There are many hidden eco-friendly elements such as environmentally compliant building materials; super insulated walls, UV filters on windows and doors to minimise energy consumption; rainwater harvesting to provide drinking water and a wastewater treatment system that produces water to irrigate the gardens.  All toiletries are vegan friendly and free from parabens, sulphates and phosphates while the spa incorporates local products such as scrubs made using natural, local ingredients.

      “Designed in a contemporary West Indian style with warm wood finishes, all the rooms are spacious and bathed in natural light.”

      Reflecting the wellness focus of the resort and Grenada, all accommodation has been named after crystals such as Citrine and Blue Lace. Designed in a contemporary West Indian style with warm wood finishes, all the rooms are spacious and bathed in natural light from floor to ceiling windows that allow for magnificent, unobstructed views of the bay and nearby islands. Inside the rooms, nautical artwork further reflects the property’s unique sense of location, as does the lighting and sensitively designed furnishings.

      Image caption: The clean design of the interiors feature interesting lighting, natural materials and a large nautical map of the region. | Image credit: The Point

      Image caption: The clean design of the interiors feature interesting lighting, natural materials and a large nautical map of the region. | Image credit: The Point at Petite Calvigny

      Each of the three split level villas have three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a private infinity pool and deck with a grilling station. The 12 single-floor suites have two bedrooms, two bathrooms, private balconies and share two large free form swimming pools, a swim up bar and outdoor grilling station.  A selection of fresh herbs are available for guests wishing to add a little extra flavour to their barbecue.

      Image caption: Exterior image of one of three villas available at the resort. | Image credit: The Point.

      Image caption: Exterior image of one of three villas available at the resort. | Image credit: The Point at Petite Calvigny

      Both the villas and suites have fully custom kitchens, dining and living rooms and internet-based TV. Extra touches such as oil diffusers, mood lighting, high quality hypo allergenic bedding, insulation to reduce sound and black out curtains help to enhance sleep performance.

      The Point is specially designed to promote rest and rejuvenation. To take this up a level, and in order for the service to match Ashby’s aim, a complimentary consultation with the hotel’s ‘Vibe Director’ is available to each guest in order to create a stay that is perfectly attuned to their specific needs.

      Places like this sanctuary within the Caribbean are highly coveted. The Point Private Residence Club is the first and only luxury residence club on the island of Grenada.

      In conclusion, every detail of The Point has been specially designed and curated for the discerning eye – from the location and architecture of the residences to the carefully manicured tropical gardens and exceptional experiences – it is a paradise that is naturally self-isolating in its own unique corner of the world.

      Main image credit: The Point at Petite Calvigny

      A series of renders of W Sao Paulo

      W Hotels to open second hotel in Brazil

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      W Hotels to open second hotel in Brazil

      The 80-key W Gramado is expected to open in 2023 and will become the second W Hotels property to open in Brazil. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

      For some months now, the highly anticipated – and Covid delayed – opening of W Ibiza has taken the spotlight. In June, Hotel Designs welcome the project’s designers and architects from BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG to debate the future of public areas at Hotel Designs LIVE.

      A series of renders of W Sao Paulo

      While the noise amplifies as the hotel is finally able to open its vibrant doors, the cutting-edge hotel brand has announced its next venture. W Gramado will become the brand’s second hotel in Brazil and fourth in the Southern Cone of Latin America.

      The news was announced after the brand signed an agreement with KJP Participaçoes LTD to bring the W Hotels brand to Gramado, a mountain resort town in the Brazil’s southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul.

      “To have a cutting-edge W hotel in Rio Grande do Sul, a destination ready for the brand’s bold design, signature Whatever/Whenever service and innovative programming is exceptional,” said Laurent de Kousemaeker, Chief Development Officer, Caribbean and Latin America for Marriott International.

      Renders of the hotel’s design scheme, or any information on which architecture/design firm has been appointed for the project, have yet to be announced – but here’s what we do know.

      The 80 room hotel, W Gramado, will be located in the Swiss Village, the highest point of Gramado, known for exceptional views into the valley and hills beyond the city center. The property borders Orchids Park and is located less than one mile from the main attractions of Gramado. The property is planned to occupy a single four-story building with sustainable architecture with vegetation features that are indigenous to Orchids Park. The adjacent W Residences will be developed in a cluster of low-rise buildings within walking distance of the hotel.

      The hotel is set to offer guests the world’s most lust-worthy resort experience in a wildly different way, and provide Brazilian visitors an exciting new lodging option that embodies the W Hotels brand’s “work hard, play hard” philosophy.

      W Gramado will bring a lodging alternative that does not yet exist in the city, which will provide its guests and owners of W Residences an experience normally only offered in the most sought after global travel destinations. The hotel plans to provide several food and beverage options, both indoor and outdoor; an exclusive Wet Deck, AWAY Spa; FIT Fitness Centre, as well as a rooftop bar that will be at the highest point of Gramado, boasting a view across several surrounding cities. For corporate and social events, the stunning property will provide 500 square meters of meeting space and event centre.

      “W Gramado will help put the city firmly on the map as a sustainable luxury destinations with the arrival of W Hotel & Residences,” explained George Brody representing the owners of the Swiss Village. “I believe the city is perfectly set up to welcome future generations of travellers with this exciting addition to Orchid Park.”

      KJP Participaçoes LTD expects to begin construction in early 2021 and aims to complete and open the hotel in Q1 2023.

      Main image caption: Renders of W Hotel Sao Paulo, expected to open in 2021 | Image credits: Marriott International

      PRODUCT WATCH: hansgrohe expands its FinishPlus range

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      PRODUCT WATCH: hansgrohe expands its FinishPlus range

      New for 2020, hansgrohe expands its FinishPlus range to include on-trend Matt Black for an extended number of product lines…

      hansgrohe’s latest additions to the FinishPlus range of showerheads, basin and bath mixers, shower hoses and accessories, allows for a seamless and cohesive design aesthetic across the whole bathroom.

      Perfect for styling with white or coloured ceramics, crittal-style shower screens and statement lighting, Matt Black offers pared-back, refined elegance; emphasising the striking silhouettes of hansgrohe’s award-winning brassware. The Matt Black finish will be available from September as existing stock, ensuring immediate availability and minimal delivery times.

      line of finishes

      Image credit: hansgrohe

      When opting for FinishPlus, users are guaranteed to enjoy all the quality features they have come to expect from hansgrohe. Offering the ultimate in bathroom customisation, FinishPlus provides modern alternatives to the classic chrome standard, elevating bathroom design and welcoming individuality. With FinishPlus comes the opportunity for a homogeneous design scheme. From the basin mixers and showerpipes, through to overhead showerheads and valves, hansgrohe ensures all brassware parts are available in one consistent colour. Alternatively, the flexibility of FinishPlus means contrasting finishes can be contrasted for a truly unique visual effect.

      All FinishPlus surfaces offer exceptional robustness, durability and scratch-resistance; the result of the exhaustive research and development of the wider Hansgrohe Group. Produced in hansgrohe’s state-of-the-art PVD (physical vapor deposition) chambers, the surfaces are hand-finished by expert technicians. Brushed or polished until immaculately smooth, they offer the perfect finishing touch to any luxury bathroom. Since the finishes are manufactured at hansgrohe’s own plant, all products can be reproduced in the same surface finish for up to 15 years after purchase.

      FinishPlus is comprised of five colour options that suit a range of bathroom styles, including: Matt Black, Matt White, Gold Optic, Bronze and Black Chrome. All colours are also available in both the polished and brushed finishes, to ensure maximum personalisation when designing a new or renovating an existing scheme.

      hansgrohe is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

      Main image credit: hansgrohe

      Industry insight: 4 reasons why hotels need more mirrors

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Industry insight: 4 reasons why hotels need more mirrors

      Looking beyond pure aesthetics, Mirror Mania explores why all hotels of all styles and sizes need more reflective surfaces… 

      As interior styles change and evolve, there are few interior features that stand the test of time like mirrors. Sure, the frames may change – but what never ceases is our love affair with the looking glass.

      There is something captivating about mirrors. Bespoke mirrors in particular have that certain charm. A mirror that is designed for a specific space cannot fail to impress. But in case you need persuading, here are 4 reasons why your hotel or hospitality setting needs to make more use of mirrors.

      All eyes on you

      Let’s not forget how effective mirrors are at improving your ability to see all around an area. Mirrors reflecting busier areas, in receptions or hallways, can make it easier for crime detection – especially in areas where security cameras can’t cover. If you do have a physical security presence, they’ll be able to use mirrors to improve surveillance.

      Image credit: Mirror Mania

      You look fabulous

      Let’s face it: our always-on culture (cameras, that is) means we always want to look our best. That means being able to check our reflection several times before we go out – in the room, hotel bar and before we head out of the door.

      To make a lasting impression, shine

      We can’t help but associate a beautiful mirror with opulence. To leave a lasting impression on our guests, we need to do exactly that – impress them. A bright mirror draws us in while amplifying the atmosphere of the room. A cosy snug, slick living room or minimalist bathroom – any space can be illuminated with the right mirror.

      Light + spacious = clean

      Light and bright modern interior space

      Image credit: Mirror Mania

      Light, spacious areas naturally feel cleaner. A well-placed mirror can go a long way to opening up a room, without risking the vast feel of an empty space. Reflections can be used to accentuate features, adding more grandeur to a reception area by reflecting ornamental pieces or even fresh flowers.

      You may be looking around your space now and wondering how you can incorporate a mirror into the layout, or design. Integrating a mirror into the perfect surroundings isn’t always easy – so let the specialists at Mirror Mania do it for you!

      In addition to our stock of beautiful mirrors, we can also handcraft mirrors and glass to your specific specifications. Made in our British workshop, our glass craft is shipped all over the world. We are proud to adorn the walls of some incredibly luxurious homes and hotels. Let us brighten up your space too.

      Mirror Mania is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

      Main image credit: Mirror Mania

      Feature: putting personality back into public areas

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Feature: putting personality back into public areas

      Ahead of Hotel Designs putting this topic under the spotlight at part two of Hotel Designs LIVE on October 13, Stylo Graphics explores adding personality in public areas…

      This article was going to be about “ensuring Hotels are COVID -19 safe”, but considering the move away from short-term fixes and natural progression to understanding long-term solutions post-pandemic, we have decided to look at design in public areas.

      Since lockdown, Stylo Graphics had been re-engineering itself to meet the phenomenal demand for acrylic ‘sneeze’ screens, floor vinyls and posters, hand sanitisation stations and chair or table covers; announcing ‘don’t sit here’. We implored brands, retailers, companies and hotels to try and be creative. Nobody wants this stuff, but if you’ve got to have it at least make it engaging, informative of course, and maybe even fun.

      You see, Stylo know a bit about injecting a brand’s personality into a public space. It goes far beyond ensuring your logo font and colour are consistent with your corporate identity. And while in hotels great effort goes into ensuring the rooms and guest experience are given that premium feel, this doesn’t always apply to the public areas. We pondered this and concluded the spaces where people eat or wait are deemed as ‘functional’. Hotels rarely enjoy a reputation as ‘the place to go for that great dining experience’ and lounges or reception areas? Not much attention to detail required here as most visitors or guests will be absorbed in their iphones, laptops or other personal devices. So after all, you only need to deliver a decent meal and decent Wi-fi and you’re sorted right?

      Wrong. Those are the basics. What experience are you creating to overlay these basics and compel people to return? What gives that unique feel, or home from home and though this may sound understated, how often do you hear ‘wow, this is nice

      Okay, so what’s all this got to do with a company that’s forged its reputation in print and graphics? True, Stylo is at the end of the creative process. The interior designers and architects weave their magic and challenged us to bring their ideas to life. We’re the guys that take (3D CAD) ideas in theory and make them work in practice. That might be a unique ‘statement art’ piece created by our giant 3D printer (appropriately named Massivit), hand crafted artworks with an artisan feel, yet mass produced. Or a textured, tactile, relief printed wallpaper.

      We assist the design process by providing mood boards which can reflect yet still deliver on a modest budget. We call it ‘good, better, best’ allowing a choice of print and fabricated materials and products for those ‘money’s tight’ to ‘allow yourself to dream’ budget conversations with clients.

      We also understand the design process and help by ensuring our products are available in 3D cad to enable to be easily added to the interior designers digital walk through experience. And finally there’s no substitute to building a mock environment and getting potential customers into the environment to judge via a focus group what works. And what doesn’t.

      Synonymous with the interior designer’s choice of furniture, fabrics, floor covering, table height, seat depth, layout and lighting, graphics, wall covering and wall art are as essential to delivering your brand personality. Difficult to create, easy to lose.

      3D print to create unique ‘statement art’ pieces for foyer or lounge:

      Image credit: Stylo Graphics

      Use of great photography where a subject is picked out in raised and textured print and raised print on natural materials:

       

      ‘Good, better, best’ solution. Choosing between print or faux plants on living walls, embracing the linear effect of 3D print in statement art pieces and bringing in the playful to create an experience:


      Image credit: Stylo Graphics

      From design to 3D cad to render to reality:

      Image credit: Stylo Graphics

      To find out more information about Stylo Graphics, and how the company can help to transform/adapt your public areas, check out the website.

      Sleep & Eat 2020 Introduces ‘hotel guestroom 2035’

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Sleep & Eat 2020 Introduces ‘hotel guestroom 2035’

      International hotel groups, students, architects and designers are collaborating to create concept guestrooms of the future, which will be unveiled at Sleep & Eat 2020

      Sleep & Eat, which recently announced the plans around this year’s virtual event, has unveiled the hotel brand partners that will be working with award-winning architecture and design firms in the creation of this year’s ‘guestroom sets’.

      The firms are: Accor, partnering with Perkins and Will; IHG, working with AD Associates; and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, collaborating with Chalk Architecture, Hotel Hussy and students from University of West London. In addition, ReardonSmith Architects is creating a guestroom for a hotel group yet to be launched in collaboration with students from Glion Institute of Higher Education and Hotelschool The Hague led by the directors of hotel creative consultancy, HoCoSo, and branded by Delight Lifestyle Brand Agency.

      The designers and Hotel Brand Partners have been tasked with not only showcasing the best of innovative hotel design today but also, in this 15th anniversary year of the event, giving us a glimpse into what to expect from our hotel guestrooms over the next 15 years. Each Hotel Brand Partner has selected one of its brands for this forward-looking adventure into design innovation: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts – Wyndham; IHG – Voco; and Accor – Mővenpick Hotels & Resorts.

      Since this year Sleep & Eat will be a virtual event, the design projects will culminate in simulated digital walk-throughs allowing visitors to explore the concept in detail, navigate around the room and enjoy an interactive three-dimensional experience.

      For the hotel groups, this is a unique opportunity to work with design firms that are new to them and to imagine the future for their brands.

      “This year’s theme captured our imagination and enticed us to participate in Sleep & Eat 2020,” explained Chris Lee, Director of Architecture, Design & Construction for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. “We have been given the opportunity to approach guestroom design with a truly open mind and to bring our vision to life. It’s also a wonderful opportunity to work with our extended team including the inspiring designer Paul Nicholson at Chalk Architecture; Katie Brinsmead-Stockham for Hotel Hussy; and Professor Layton Reid and his students at the University of West London.”

      Emma King, Head of Design at IHG, said: “We have built many concept rooms in the past but this is different – the opportunity to conceptualise a room so far into the future,” she said. “Sleep & Eat is a great chance to showcase new design and we’re really pleased to be working with AD Associates on this.”

      Accor’s Vice President design for Lux and Premium brands, Federico Toresi, added: “This is a great opportunity for Accor to continue imagining the future of hospitality through design. Today, more than ever before, it is vital to create hotels that are aligned with expectations of our guests whilst fully reflecting brands’ ambitions and their promise.”

      Ever since their introduction, the Sets in all their iterations have proved a perennial favourite among visitors as a thought-provoking take on the hotel experience, cultural values and human desires. They have also been a rare opportunity for architects and designers to explore conceptual thought and interrogate societal and environmental issues.

      Neil Andrew, Head of Hospitality at Perkins and Will, says: “For us, innovative sustainable design is pivotal to our industry, now more than ever, so our Set will be exploring the role the sector can play in meeting the environmental targets we so urgently need to reach.”

      Jonny Sin, Director of ReardonSmith Architects, echoed this sentiment: “We are living through a time of re-calibration when some existing trends will accelerate and others will be re-thought. This makes it particularly meaningful to be working with students who will be the managers and owners, as well as influential guests, of hotels in 15 years’ time.”

      Katharine Le Quesne, MD of HoCoSo, added: “Engagement with tomorrow’s stakeholders has been key. Based on our relationships, we handpicked a team of students from two of the best hospitality schools in Europe, to inspire the creative process.”

      The four guestroom Sets will be joined by immersive wining and dining experiences as well as by a virtual lounge bar and hotel lobby, and the new on-line platform will enable all event participants and registered attendees around the globe to pre-arrange meetings at the event.

      Sleep & Eat Virtual will take place on 17-19 November. For more information and to register, visit the website.

      Main image credit: Pixabay/Sleep & Eat Virtual

      Feature: a new era of luxury hospitality has begun

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Feature: a new era of luxury hospitality has begun

      To coincide with the opening of Birch, which has been described as a ‘next-generation escape’ hotel just outside London, editor Hamish Kilburn considers how Covid-19 has challenged the luxury hotel market by hearing from international architecture and interior design firm Red Deer on the luxury hotel’s design story…

      Even after lockdown, Covid-19 has created a distance between us, which is predicted to last for a while. Although we will meet again as we did before, architecture firm Red Deer believes that a new shift in the luxury market will emerge from our time apart.

      “For Red Deer, luxury comes from the creation of a meaningful emotional connection between the hotel guest and the space they inhabit.”

      Red Deer considers the term ‘luxury’ as degraded through overuse, and the parameters of what constitutes a ‘luxury hotel’ can be difficult to define. The concept can be specific to each individual guest, based on their own expectation, habits and culture. For Red Deer, luxury comes from the creation of a meaningful emotional connection between the hotel guest and the space they inhabit.

      Image credit: Birch/Red Deer/Adam Firman

      “Millennials represent only about 32 per cent of spending in the personal luxury market, but by 2025 they are expected to make up 50 per cent of the total market,” writes Forbes contributor Pamela N. Danziger. “Some 130 per cent of market growth in the next seven years will be attributed to the Millennial generation.”

      Rejecting traditional wealth values

      The luxury industry has often been aligned with indulgence and excess rather than sustainability and connections. Quality craftsmanship and experiences may continue to command a premium price tag, however, Millennials are creating a new focus towards sustainability. Both Millennial and Gen Z groups’ expectations from luxury brands are very different from those of Gen X and Baby Boomers who favour traditional wealth values. Social connections and insider knowledge are of more importance to these younger consumers who are more likely to make value-based acquisitions and purchases. Luxury weaves its way through their experiences, free time, travel, community, self-growth and security.

      For the Birch hotel project, a 140-key hotel that is set within 55 acres of nature just outside of London, Red Deer deconstructed the meaning of a hotel and pieced it back together to ensure that no element was intrinsic without careful consideration. The obvious need for a bed and bathroom are present, however, more attention was given to the contemporary ‘luxuries’ such as a TV, telephone and smart lighting systems to ascertain their place in a luxury hotel for an increasingly younger generation of guests.

      “With Birch, the firm felt it crucial to collaborate with local artists and makers to create some unique pieces in the rooms.”

      Image credit: Birch/Red Deer/Adam Firman

      As the landscape for luxury hospitality has evolved, the onus is now focused on creating a unique and personalised one-to-one experience for guests. This bespoke experience is a key driver throughout the design of Red Deer’s projects. With Birch, the firm felt it crucial to collaborate with local artists and makers to create some unique pieces in the rooms and challenge the idea that uniformity was essential for large batch furniture specification.

      The most prominent of these pieces is a bespoke valet stand constructed by Jan Hendzel Studio, utilising recycled plastic orbs by sustainable material designer Charlotte Kidger, textured vases by ceramicist Emma Louise Payne and hand-beaten copper bowls by metalsmith Lucie Naujalis. It’s a piece that is intimate and personal, telling a story of three different elements brought together in a single form that is simultaneously light and robust, whilst able to be easily taken apart when required and updated over time. It’s a piece designed to stimulate the guest’s senses and spark their curiosity.

      Before the pandemic, the global luxury market was predicted to reach €1.3 trillion by 2025. As the hospitality industry enters a challenging period in Q2/3 2020 it is ever-important for the designers and hotel investors to consider the changing market needs and place social connections and insider knowledge alongside premium experiences at the forefront of their business models. Hotels aren’t just bedrooms with smart technology, but memory-making experiences that create value and loyalty.

      Image credit: Birch/Red Deer/Adam Firman

      Red Deer believes Birch to be an example of how hospitality projects should be approached, considering a long-term commitment to sustainability within a renovation or new build as a crucial component of architectural design.

      Main image credit: Birch/Red Deer/Adam Firman

      FEATURE: nautical lighting trends in 2020

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      FEATURE: nautical lighting trends in 2020

      On or off the water, lighting technology is evolving rapidly. Voltra Lighting explores this year’s most prominent nautical lighting trends…

      Every summer, discerning guests seek out the thrill of sailing away on luxury vessels to explore breathtaking far-flung destinations around the world.

      In order to meet the sky-high expectations of these jet-setters, yacht owners and luxury cruise liners invest in the most sophisticated decor elements from custom linen and drapes to designer furniture and premium cutlery. But, what is often forgotten is that to enhance your charter vessel’s interior design composition and experience, creative lighting schemes are a must.

      That’s why designer lighting brands, such as Voltra Lighting, offer just the right visual and chromatic accents to enhance the look and feel of your stylish marine vessel. Crafted to deliver homogeneous illumination throughout the luxe spaces of yachts and superyachts, its hallmark design is sure to compliment your vision of hi-tech and intimate lighting.

      According to designer and naval architect Adam Voorhees, “lighting plays such a critical role in how we understand a space..and how we can control and direct an experience in that space.” Mirroring this thought, especially over the last few years, superyacht lighting has grown to become an essential piece of the yacht design or refit process. From stunning chandeliers, wall lights, and decorative lamps to floor and furniture inlays, there are so many innovative solutions that are mushrooming when it comes to lighting up yachts.

      If you are considering using high-end lighting to create the perfect atmosphere within the cabins and lounging areas of your yacht, then here are some upcoming trends to keep in mind:

      • Natural stone lamps: Unique and modish, lighting fixtures fabricated from naturally occurring rock are increasingly being considered a statement decor accessory. These lamps evenly illuminate the surroundings without dazzling the eyes; thus enabling guests to navigate safely over to the deck for a relaxed evening of stargazing.
      • Smart lighting: These intuitive and connected vessels of light are programmed to respond to movement, external environmental conditions, or direct user input; making for an advanced way to light spaces up.
      • Marine light sculptures: Many lighting designers, simply through creative placement, turn tasteful lighting fixtures into works of art. This ensures that the installation remains the focal point of the yacht’s interiors.
      • Charging bays: Particularly useful considering the space restrictions in private yachts, Voltra has bay chargers that charge up to eight lamps simultaneously. It is easy to put anywhere on a flat surface and requires only one power-point per bay.
      • LEDs grow in popularity: Not only are LEDs less sensitive to vibrations of the yacht but also incredibly flexible (can be adjusted to the mood or time of the day) and provide the same (or better) quality of light as incandescent lamps.

      Iconically cordless

      The right mood lighting can offer the perfect backdrop for a candlelight dinner or a late evening aperitif, on the front deck of your luxury boat. But most yachts and superyachts do not have wired electricity on the deck, upfront.

      Enter the ambiance-setting manna from heaven – advanced cordless lighting.

      Timeless both in form and function, Voltra’s range of portable lamps are excellent design objects for your yacht’s open-air spaces. Here are some of the many reasons why our portable lamps are found in some of the finest locations across the world:

      • Battery-powered: Voltra’s future-proof light installations are an incredibly customizable and intelligent way to incorporate lighting into any design project. Being battery-operated it does away with design limitations relating to the location of available electrical outlets.
      • Rated IP 65: No need to worry about damage due to water spit and harsh winds, as our lamps are incredibly dust and water-resistant. Voltra’s iconic range is also made from materials that are anti-corrosive in the face of high humidity.
      • Customisable lighting: Voltra’s exquisite lamps feature power, light modes, and the freedom to change lumières, placing the power in the hands of the guests to set the ambiance they prefer.
      • Adherence: All Voltra lights have a silicone border on the bottom, which ensures that they adhere to any surface. And since each of our handcrafted lamp units weighs upwards of a solid 609g, it is unlikely to “slide” or fall easily during oceanic turbulence.

      Ultimately, be it a private yacht charter or a corporate event at sea, if you wish to create an intimate ambiance for your onboard guests, think Voltra cordless ambient lamps.

      Voltra Lighting is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

      Main image credit: Voltra Lighting

      Sneak peek: inside “the most stylish hotel in Crete”

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Sneak peek: inside “the most stylish hotel in Crete”

      CAYO Exclusive Resort and Spa – one of Greece’s most hotly-anticipated new hotel in 2021 – is expected to open in Crete on August 1. Ahead of the doors opening this weekend, Hotel Designs got a sneak peek inside…

      It must come as a compliment to the Italian designer Gian Paolo Venier that his latest hotel project, CAYO Exclusive Resort and Spa, which opens this weekend, is already being hailed ‘Crete’s most stylish hotel’.

      Taking luxury, gastronomy and design to a new level on the island, the property will open with a mind-body balancing spa, four gastronomic restaurants, stylish rooms, suites and villas with private plunge pools and unrivalled vistas of Spinalonga Island.

      A stone’s throw from sought-after Elounda, CAYO is situated in peaceful Plaka, a quaint village lined with boutiques, traditional tavernas and a sun-soaked beach.

      Image credit: CAYO

      “CAYO was created with the environment in mind – alongside its innovative reusable energy sources, guests are greeted with a seedling, which they can plant anywhere around the resort.”

      Drawing from a calming and neutral palette, Venier has blended cool greys, soft blues and greens with brushed marble, chic glass and stone in a nod toward the historical locale and architecture of nearby ancient city of Olous.

      Image credit: CAYO

      Awash with natural daylight, guestrooms and suites offer uninterrupted views of the ocean, complete with private terrace and heated plunge pool. CAYO was created with the environment in mind – alongside its innovative reusable energy sources, guests are greeted with a seedling, which they can plant anywhere around the resort. 

      Image credit: CAYO

      With a farm to fork ethos, the menus at CAYO’s four restaurants use the freshest seasonal produce, locally-sourced from selected eco-friendly farms and the resort’s own organic garden. Curated by Chef Lefteris Lazarou, the first Greek chef to be awarded with one Michelin Star, dishes range from authentic Greek to modern Mediterranean fare. In the spa, ancient rituals are combined with cutting-edge treatment techniques, based around the concept of the spiritual, cultural and natural environment.

      Image credit: CAYO

      Promising to promote inner-peace and restore wellness, CAYO Spa houses three spacious treatment rooms, steam, sauna and relaxation pool. From Yoga and Pilates to detox therapies and mental wellbeing, the fitness centre takes guests on a personalised journey, and the expert team are on hand to curate a 360’ programme. 

      While you cannot question the thoughtful design scheme and meaningful hospitality initiatives that the hotel shelters, the jury is out as to whether this is the most stylish hotel in Crete. Feel free to let us know your thoughts over on Twitter. Whether or not it deserves that bold status, there is no denying that its opening will take the destination’s luxury and gastronomy status up a rank or two. 

      Image credit: CAYO

      Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester to re-open in August

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester to re-open in August

      Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester, which will host MEET UP North on May 6, 2021, has sensibly decided to delay its reopening until August 28, allowing its team to put…

      Following the government announcement on June 23, which highlighted that the hospitality sector could re-open once more from July 4, The Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester started to work on its re-opening plan.

      The Manchester-based luxury hotel, which will host MEET UP North on May 6 2021, was among one of the first hotels in the UK to close its door to the public and offer its rooms to NHS key workers during the Covid-19 crisis. Having operated throughout the Covid-19 lockdown period due to hosting NHS professionals, the hotel has already had first-hand experience of operating under rigorous guidelines and processes in order to protect the NHS team and its own volunteers in the building. In a statement, the hotel said: “This has given us valuable insight to how to do things even more safely than we used to before the virus outbreak.

      In order to adapt its protocols to face the post-pandemic world, the hotel released a statement, which said: “Even though our doors are not officially open, members of our sales and commercial team have returned to the business and will be dealing with any guest enquiries as we head towards our re-opening date of the August 28.” 

      Within the statement, the hotel outlined some of its new health and safety measures, including increasing the frequency of sanitising all public areas and facilities, PPE, increased signage and contactless check-in.

      MEET UP North, which was forced to postpone this year due to the Covid-19 spread, will take place in Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester on May 6. To find out more about the event, and how to secure you tickets, click here.

      Main image credit: Stock Exchange Hotel

      Hotel Designs LIVE: ‘eco warrior’ Bill Bensley confirmed as headline speaker

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Hotel Designs LIVE: ‘eco warrior’ Bill Bensley confirmed as headline speaker

      Back by popular demand, following last months debut event, Hotel Designs LIVE, which will take place on October 13, has  announced the renowned ‘eco warrior’ Bill Bensley as its headline speaker…

      Last month, the industry gathered for Hotel Designs’ debut virtual conference, which broadcasted a series of debates and discussions.

      Following the positive response, highlighting how well the virtual event was received, Hotel Designs LIVE (part two) will welcome yet more internationally renowned designers, architects and hoteliers in order to start relevant conversations like no other.

      If you are designer, architect, hotelier or developer, click here to secure your complimentary virtual seat in the audience for Hotel Designs LIVE on October 13.

      The next edition of Hotel Designs LIVE, which takes place on October 13, will focus on sustainability, adding personality in public areas, reassuring the post-corona consumer and the revival of smart technology post-pandemic.

      Editor Hamish Kilburn, who will host the event, explains: “When we launched Hotel Designs LIVE as a meaningful way to keep the industry connected throughout lockdown, it was our mission to select engaging and thought-provoking topics that would resonate with our audience. The next Hotel Designs LIVE will look past the short-term issues and solutions that emerged during the pandemic, and will instead focus the editorial lens on wider topics, with sustainability expecting to dominate the general tone of the event. It is important to for us to continue discussing new ways to challenge conventional ideas in order to find sustainable, alternative methods when it comes to design and service – and who better to discuss this than the eco-warrior himself, Bill Bensley?”

      Affectionately known as the ‘Willy Wonka of Design’, Bensley is a dedicated eco-warrior and a highly qualified jack of all trades – gardener, fisherman, architect, interior designer, lover of all things natural, and most of all, a wide-ranging explorer of as many corners of the earth as he can. Most recently, he made headlines for unveiling his plans to design a human zoo after publishing his white-paper on sensible sustainable solutions.

      Sustainability is at the core of everything I create as a designer.” – Bill Bensley.

      When interviewed by Hotel Designs in 2018, the award-winning designer described himself in three words as: “serious, inquisitive and wacky”. Bringing all that energy to discuss innovative and sustainable solutions, Bensley will join Kilburn on the virtual stage to explore how design, architecture and hospitality can coincide with nature. “Sustainability is at the core of everything I create as a designer,” Bensley told Hotel Designs. “I am simply ecstatic to join Hamish Kilburn for Hotel Designs LIVE where we will talk about how, as an industry, it is essential for us to work together to design hotels with meaning, and rework conventional ideas and methods in the process – all to create a more profound and considerate international hotel design landscape that puts nature first.”

      Hotel Designs LIVE takes place virtually on October 13. Bensley is first speaker of the event who has been announced, with the full panel being unveiled next week.

      If you are a designer, architect, hotelier  or developer and would like to find out more about Hotel Designs LIVE, or book on to any or all of the above sessions, you can do so by visiting the event page.

      If you are a supplier to the hotel design industry and would like to promote your latest product or services to the Hotel Designs LIVE audience, please contact Katy Phillips via email or call +44 (0)1992 374050.

      FEATURE: inside Hilton Garden Inn at Heathrow airport’s £4.2m renovation

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      FEATURE: inside Hilton Garden Inn at Heathrow airport’s £4.2m renovation

      For optimists, the timing couldn’t be better for Hilton Garden Inn Heathrow Airport Hotel to unveil the result of its £4.2m renovation, which now shelters new guestrooms, meeting areas and a few Covid-friendly adaptations. Editor Hamish Kilburn takes a look inside…

      Following a number of openings and completed projects that have emerged since lockdown, I, like many, am feeling optimistic about the future of hospitality post-pandemic.

      The latest significant project that has opened its doors following an extensive renovation is Hilton Garden Inn London Heathroom Airport Hotel – and I am pleasantly surprised by the attention to detail in the design scheme as I step inside to have a look round.

      Although Hilton Garden Inn sits below some of the more desirable brands in the Hilton cluster, the hotel is fit for purpose – it is positioned steps from Hatton Cross Station, and offers easy access to all terminals at Heathrow Airport. What’s more, the newly refurbished hotel, which is the brainchild of Swedish design team DOOS, is warm, comfortable and even knocks on the door of luxury. 

      Image credit: Hilton Hotels

      As part of the £4.2 million renovation, all guestrooms have been refurbished, with 205 undergoing a light refurbishment and 159 undergoing a full refurbishment and upgrade to Deluxe King Rooms. Additional areas of focus include the reception, restaurant, bar, and gym. Four innovatively designed meeting rooms within the pavilion conferencing area in the gardens of the property have also been completely renovated. Further enhancements to the MICE offering include the creation of three additional meeting rooms within the main building and the renovation of a further three meeting rooms, creating a total of 10 bespoke meeting areas. 

      Each guestroom boasts the brand’s signature bedding featuring fresh, white duvets and crisp linens creating the perfect balance between comfort and support.  All bedrooms are fitted with optimum design elements to create a restful stay with stylish headboards, sophisticated lighting fixtures that fill the open space and soft furnishings. The theme is maintained through the upgraded Deluxe King Rooms which offer a larger en-suite bathroom and more luxurious settings, with additional plush sofa and unique lounge design features. The new bathrooms have been completely renovated and now feature large walk-in showers and modern, spacious vanity countertops.

      A total of 10 new and newly refurbished meeting and conference rooms have been added to the hotel’s offering. Three brand new distinctive meeting rooms are available in the hotel’s main event space, with the existing three rooms boasting full renovations. The refurbishment continues through the outdoor Pavilion event space located in the gardens of the hotel, where four modern and professional rooms with their own personalities have been created. With these built-for-purpose event amenities, Hilton’s professional spaces offer slick technology, modern menus and expert planners and service teams who are on hand to help guests create special and memorable experiences for up to 300 people. A new shop area has also been completed offering grab & go food, freshly brewed Piacetto coffee, refreshing cold drinks and convenient amenity travel items.

      In-house guests at Hilton Garden Inn Heathrow Airport will find greater convenience and more personalised experiences with Hilton’s refurbished health and wellness facilities, including a light and spacious purpose-built gym with state of art cardio and strength equipment by Technogym including the new high-intensity Technogym Bike where you can join interactive live spin classes from One Rebel studios in London.

      In response to the impact of Covid-19, the property has responded by implementing key protocols relating to cleanliness and hygiene. This has been done with the protection of customers, employees and collaborators in mind. The hotel is the first in the UK to receive the Certificate of Assurance from Bureau Veritas for its measures in response to Covid-19 prevention, as well as being a part of the rigorous Hilton CleanStay programme.

      Owned by Pandox AB, Hilton Garden Inn London Heathrow Airport offers amenities including complimentary WiFi throughout the hotel, a 24-hour business centre, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, full cooked-to-order breakfast, craft cocktails and shareable plates for dinner, that appeal to those travelling for business or leisure.

      Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

      PRODUCT WATCH: Crogiolio tiles by Casa Ceramica

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      PRODUCT WATCH: Crogiolio tiles by Casa Ceramica

      Crogiolio by Casa Ceramica is a series consisting of small-sized ceramics and stoneware tiles, with multiple identities…

      Crogiolio is a collection of seven; ‘Lume, Zellige, Scenario, D_Segni Blend, D_Segni Scaglie, D_Segni Colore and D_Segni’, that together interprets the craftsmanship and manual skills of traditional potters.

      This caters for contemporary taste, while retaining their uniqueness. A collective of versatile and distinctive products that incorporate ideas and impressions from past times. This collective reproduces the look and feel of tiles made by hand: inspired by the flaws typical of crafted ceramics. Carefully graduated colours create intense, constantly changing, hues. Perfect for intimate, comfortable and authentic interior design schemes.

      The glossiest of glazes, vibrant textures and colours. Irregular brush-strokes and old-fashioned decorative motifs: “what looks genuinely handmade is actually the product of a sophisticated technology.” This genetic make-up is shared by all the latest additions to the Crogiolo collection, with different stylistic inputs but the same narrative strength: D_Segni Blend, Scenario, Lume and Zellige. Light and carefully calculated imperfection are the key to Lume and Zellige. This porcelain stoneware series was created through leading-edge research into ultra-glossy glazes.

      Lume reinterprets the irregular beauty of hand-made majolica tiles, in the unusual 6×24 cm size. Using subtle variations in; hue, density of colour (in 6 shades), and variations in patterning, it makes every module unique and generates variegated compositions for installation with narrow joints.

      Zellige, on the other hand, is the 10×10 cm version of the traditional, exceptionally glossy, Moroccan glazed terracotta tiles. Its irregular edges, textures and colours (12) create the perfect replication of an exotic, hand-crafted product.

      Strong graphic motifs and geometric patterns make up the identity of Scenario. A 20×20 cm stoneware with a “brush-stroke” effect inspired by the Marazzi collection of the same name, created by painter and potter Venerio Martini in 1958. The uneven application of the colour recalls the hand-decoration process in used at the time. There are two surface variants: Semi Matt in three colours, suitable for the floors and walls of residential and light commercial locations, and Ultra-Glossy in five colours with a Mediterranean flavour.

      The new StepWise technology is central to D_Segni Blend. The collection of porcelain stoneware cement tiles in the 20×20 cm and 10×10 cm sizes are produced with latest-generation glazes. This provides a super-matt surface combined with a wealth of colour, in more than 40 pattern varieties and multiple tones of the same shade. All of D_Segni is enhanced by the ornamental exuberance of the mix decors, with 16 different motifs. All six colours in the range offer outstanding anti-slip performances, with no reduction in the soft surface “feel”. The resulting product is both; poetic, high-tech and, like all the other Crogiolo collection series, has a special ability to bring tradition into contemporary architecture.

      Casa Ceramica is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

      Main image credit: Casa Ceramica

      FEATURE: Geberit lifts the lid on bathroom hygiene

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      FEATURE: Geberit lifts the lid on bathroom hygiene

      While the fallout from Covid-19 has been felt everywhere, it’s fair to say that the impact has been particularly felt in the hotel industry. Here, Sophie Weston, channel marketing manager at Geberit, discusses the ‘new normal’ and examines the significance of the bathroom space in putting hygiene front-of-mind – and how existing product design and innovation can help shape the future for hotels…

      From July 4, hotels began the process of re-opening their doors after more than three months of lockdown – and, just like everywhere else, guests are seeing an entirely ‘new normal’. Among the new measures implemented by many hotels are keeping check-in as short as possible, introducing queueing systems and minimising lift usage.

      Yet one of the biggest shifts for guests is a move towards a more touchless experience. Using phone, emails and guests’ apps, alongside contactless payments and pre-payments, are all initiatives being encouraged where possible. As the general manager of  The Four Seasons Hotel in New York City – used by medics during the height of the pandemic as a self-proclaimed guinea pig for the industry – observed about this new trend: “…(it) is completely against a hotel’s nature of being hands-on and kind. We used to be known for the human touch — but now we’re all about no touch at all….”

      Going touchless?

      What the pandemic has taught us is that direct contact with others or surfaces can easily spread the transmission of the virus. This has been responsible for a huge change in consumer behaviour – according to research, 80 per cent of consumers expect to now change the way they engage with publicly available technology[1].

      But what of the hotel washroom – a natural focus for the highest standards of cleanliness and where hygiene is particularly crucial?

      Just last year, for example, P&G Professional found that 78 per cent of hotel guests believed cleanliness to be the most important factor when deciding where to stay.[2] Indeed, a ‘fresh smelling bathroom’ and ‘an immaculate bathroom’ were the top two choices for UK travellers when searching for a hotel room. This survey was undertaken in September – a lifetime ago in Covid-19 terms. So one can only imagine just how even more critical the washroom space will now be for our hotel guests.

      Modern, sleek bathroom

      Image credit: Geberit

      Importance of the washroom space

      It’s worth touching briefly upon the history of the bathroom and its evolution alongside disease prevention to put the significance of the space in a little more context. Today’s bathrooms developed alongside the 1950’s cholera epidemic, the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic and tuberculosis outbreaks. Back then, wallpaper, floorings and finishes were all designed to minimise the spread of bacteria and to promote health and hygiene; the need for bathrooms to be easily cleaned was a crucial consideration.

      In later years, when antibiotics and hygiene standards improved, the emphasis shifted from disease prevention in the bathroom. Bathrooms evolved into more sensory spaces, with trends like textured bathrooms in the 70s and into the 80s where carpets and toilet seat covers were ‘stylish’ additions in the space. More recent decades have seen the transformation of the bathroom into a sanctuary, with innovations such as bluetooth and infra-red technology developing alongside this. And hotels have, too, adapted their bathrooms in line with these consumer trends over the years.

      So what will the legacy of Covid-19 be in the ‘new normal’ bathroom and what will this mean for the hotel sector?

      Product innovations

      With touchless technology likely to be the new norm, this is, too, something we at Geberit are now seeing unprecedented demand for from our customers. Manufacturers have, of course, been producing touchless products for many years. Infra-red wall-mounted taps, for example, such as Geberit’s Brenta and Piave products, optimise hand hygiene in high footfall public washrooms and work in conjunction with a pre-wall frame system. Likewise, touchless WC flush controls like Geberit’s Sigma80 and Sigma10 incorporate innovations such as a sensor that allows the unit to flush as soon as the toilet has been used. Making the washroom space touchless wherever possible will be a huge consideration for hotels, particularly in high footfall public areas.

      But it’s not just this infra-red technology that can help put hygiene front-of-mind. More simple product developments from manufacturers – for instance, Geberit’s KeraTect Glaze – make cleaning easier with a non-porous and smoother surface; such glazes can also help prevent staining of the ceramics and create a high-gloss, effect.  Solutions like this not only help maintain high levels of hygiene but also, crucially, really help to enhance the look and feel of the bathroom as a ‘clean’ space.

      Similarly, developments such as Geberit’s Rimfree ceramic appliances and TurboFlush technology can eliminate tricky corners and hard-to-reach areas around the pan, with removable toilet seats also helping eradicate any hidden areas where dust and bacteria may proliferate.

      Image credit: Geberit

      Another area we’re predicting real growth in is wall-hung toilets and sanitaryware. Lifting the toilet from the floor naturally makes maintenance and cleaning much easier; and once again, with no hard to reach areas, dirt and dust accumulation is significantly reduced. Alongside this, we predict a strong future for the growth of the shower toilet, with products such as Geberit AquaClean providing guests with the ultimate hygienic experience.

      Hotels will, naturally, have to look at all these considerations alongside the wider guest experience of the washroom space. Hotel washrooms are increasingly seen as a place of sanctuary; indeed at Geberit we produced a White Paper in 2017 on the importance of establishing the bathroom as a sensory space and a retreat from our ‘always on’ world. As the trend for selling ‘experiences’ and creating an escapism for guests continues, so too will the value of creating a unique, positive guest experience. And this will need to be carefully balanced when incorporating any new designs and technology.

      Image credit: Geberit

      Hygiene as a selling point?

      The future will no doubt look quite different for hotels as they start to rebuild business – but there are encouraging signs. Knight Frank is confident about the sector’s potential recovery from Covid, predicting occupancy growth beginning slowly in Q3 followed by substantially stronger growth in Q4 as travel confidence returns.[3]

      The industry has, of course, been looking at new standards and new ways of working during the peak of the pandemic. The UK Housekeepers’ Association (UKHA) announced the launch of a new ‘Housekeeping COVID-19 Secure Standard’, designed to provide an industry-wide approach to cleaning and offering a clear process for housekeepers and accommodation managers to follow – in line with government guidelines. With more than 700 members at UKHA, the standard will be available to hotels across the sector.

      Meanwhile, the AA’s Covid Confident accreditation scheme, announced in June, is aimed at boosting public confidence as lockdown measures ease with premises indicating that they have the necessary health and safety measures in place to reopen to the public.

      What will be significant about this focus on hygiene is that, while the vast majority of hotels will undoubtedly always have had the hygiene of their guests as a priority, it has never needed to be a unique selling point. Until now.

      At a time when the pandemic has thrust hygiene into the spotlight, the onus is now on manufacturers and hotels to work together to find not only hygienically-optimised products but solutions and designs that also reinforce the perception of a clean space.

      As one US architect observed, what is significant about these periods of disease is that “architects are often inspired to come up with fresh ideas during these moments.” And this will need to apply to manufacturers too, as we continue to innovate and work in partnership with the hotel sector to help them adapt to these new times.

      Geberit is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

      Main image credit: Geberit

      Morris & Co. collaborates with architectural designer Ben Pentreath for AW20 collection

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Morris & Co. collaborates with architectural designer Ben Pentreath for AW20 collection

      Ben Pentreath, renowned architectural and interior designer, collaborates with Morris & Co. to create a joyous collection of colour and iconic pattern, new for AW20. Hotel Designs explores…

      Ben Pentreath’s Queen Square collection for Morris & Co. is the result of a seamless meeting of minds between an iconic brand and one of the country’s most sought after interior designers.

      The latest collection, which was named after the street that sheltered the Morris & Co factory and showroom, features designs across 18 fabrics and 18 wallpapers and creates nostalgic familiarity.

      “It was a wonderful experience to be let loose in the Morris & Co.” – Ben Pentreath, architectural and interior designer.

      Now, more than ever, the world is in a reflective mood, finding pleasure in the simple things; an ethos shared by William Morris, who designed from a place of appreciation and understanding. With a love of the English countryside and the beauty that surrounds us, this collection showcases the longevity of expertly crafted design, filling our hopes and hearts with positivity.

      “I’ve always loved the designs of William Morris, and we’ve used his superb, timeless papers and fabrics in many of our decoration projects over the years,” said Pentreath. “So it was a wonderful experience to be let loose in the Morris & Co. archive: we’ve taken many original patterns, and recoloured them in a palette of my favourite colours, to cast his designs in a completely new light.”

      Claire Vallis, creative director at Morris & Co. adds: “Working with Ben has been the most wonderful experience – his knowledge and clear vision have been instrumental in how we’ve used the products. Combining our passions to create his vision has been phenomenal, and seeing patterns that we know so well in a completely different light is incredibly exciting. We’re delighted with how joyful this collection is.”

      Preserving the integrity of Morris’s production methods has been paramount throughout this collection, with all 18 wallpapers surface printed on paper to retain their original look and feel. Similarly cotton/linen cloths provide the closest match to archival Morris & Co. design books, with each design screen printed for an unrivalled intensity of colour.

      Queen Square will be styled exclusively by Ben at his stunning Dorset home, with photography featuring in the collection’s design books. Revival designs such as Blackthorn and Daffodil appear alongside the much- loved Willow Bough wallpaper and the favourite scrolling frescos of Bachelor’s Button fabric and wallpaper. Saturated colours exult at the wonder of life, leaning towards an altogether brighter future and the enduring legacy of exceptional design.

      Morris & Co. is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

      Main image credit: Morris & Co.

      Everything you need to know about hospitality salaries and staff expectations

      1024 1024 Hamish Kilburn
      Everything you need to know about hospitality salaries and staff expectations

      Salaries and conditions in hospitality can be a touchy subject. It’s sometimes hard to know exactly what your staff need — and expect — to do their jobs properly. Planday’s industry expert Jonne Tanskanen explains how you can get an exclusive look at what your staff want with the results of the largest hospitality salary survey…

      If you asked your staff to rank the changes they would like at work, what would they say?

      For 66 per cent of hospitality workers in the UK, the answer is better financial remuneration. Then it’s a better work-life balance and the opportunities for training, development and promotion. 

      Image credit: Planday

      So what — exactly — does that look like?

      Discussions about salaries and conditions can be touchy and it’s a challenge to balance the investment you need to make in people to create quality experiences and keep your business plan on track. In a busy hotel, you can often schedule staff for the right number of hours but then reality gets in the way and your staff do more overtime, often with very little notice.

      Smart businesses understand that the best possible investment any hotel can make is in finding, training and keeping quality staff. They create better experiences for your guests, keep loyal customers coming back and help you grow your business along with it.

      But keeping quality staff longer takes investment and time for any HR Manager. And that’s why Planday recently partnered with the Hotel, Restaurant and Catering Show to hear exactly what more than 1,800 hospitality staff want. 

      In an exclusive report that you can download today, you’ll get the data you need to help keep your employees happy and grow your business.

      Join the hundreds of hospitality businesses around the world with the insight they need to keep quality staff for longer.

      • Understand the importance of employee benefits
      • View what benefits are available and used throughout the industry
      • Learn about other drivers that keep employees in their role
      • See the average annual salaries of hospitality workers
      • Find out how many extra hours are usually added to contracted amount per week
      • Read what hospitality employees feel about their work-life balance

      Make a smarter investment in the staff that help you stand out from the crowd. Get the insights you need today. 

      Planday is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

      Main image credit: Planday

      Hotel Designs updates in-house event calendar

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Hotel Designs updates in-house event calendar

      In the wake of pandemic, Hotel Designs has made a few amendments to this year’s in-house event calendar. Editor Hamish Kilburn explains…

      The internal whole team at Hotel Designs and Forum Events have been working tireless, reacting to the latest government guidelines, in order to organise premium networking events that are safe and effective for designers, hoteliers, architects, developers and key-industry suppliers.

      Ahead of officially opening nominations for The Brit List Awards 2020, here’s some clarification around the latest amendments to this year’s in-house events.

      Hotel Designs LIVE | October 13, 2020 | Virtual event

      The next Hotel Designs LIVE will take place on October 13 (more details on the line-up and how to participate coming soon).

      In order to continue to create conversations like no other, Hotel Designs has launched Hotel Designs LIVE, a one-day virtual conference to serve the industry during the Covid-19 crisis.  

      In addition to the live seminar sessions – and to ensure that the event is bridging the gap between hospitality suppliers and designers, architects, hoteliers and developers – the conference also included structured ‘PRODUCT WATCH’ pitches around each session, allowing suppliers the opportunity to pitch their products and services in a ‘live’ environment to the hospitality buyers that are tuned in.

      The inaugural Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place online on June 23, defined the point on international hotel design’s most relevant topics with the help of some of design, architecture and hospitality’s leading figures as well as identifying the latest product innovations on the market.

      #HotelDesignsLIVE

      The Brit List Awards 2020 | November 12, 2020 | Virtual event

      The Brit List Awards is back for another year to identify the leading interiors designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain.

      Following last year’s spectacular event, the nationwide search to find Britain’s leading interior designers, hoteliers and architects has begun.

      Unlike previous years, due to the outbreak of Covid-19, The Brit List Awards 2020 will take place as a virtual event on November 12, with a live winners’ party (MEET UP London) scheduled for January 28 2021 at Minotti London.

      Simply click here to apply/nominate free of charge for The Brit List Awards 2020.

      Sponsors:

      #TheBritListAwards2020

      MEET UP London/The Brit List Winners’ Party | January 28, 2021 | Minotti London

      For Hotel Designs’ first live networking event staged since lockdown, The Brit List Awards 2020 is gatecrashing MEET UP London.

      Sheltered safely inside Minotti London’s premium and spacious Fitzrovia showroom, MEET UP London will welcome the shortlisted finalists and winners of The Brit List Awards 2020. As well as celebrating Britain as a design and hospitality hub, the event will be themed ‘Inspiring Creativity’. To aptly mark this, Hotel Designs has invited an award-winning sound designer and functional music innovation Tom Middleton and award-winning research entrepreneur Ari Peralta to become headline speakers at the event. 

      Applying principles of neuroscience, behaviour and psychology, the visionaries will respond to MEET UP London’s theme by immersing our audience into a sensory experience like no other before. This will be followed by an engaging talk discussing how and why sound should be considered when designing the hotel of the future. From Jet Lag to Mindfulness solutions, their unique collaboration represents the synergy and creativity needed to future-proof hospitality.

      MEET UP North | May 6 | Stock Exchange Hotel, Manchester

      In response to the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic, MEET UP North has been forced to postpone its plans until next year. The event, which is Hotel Designs’ leading networking evening in the north, will return to Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester on May 6, 2021.

      Considering the vast amount of hotel projects currently on the boards in the north – many of which are slated to complete and open this year – the theme of MEET UP North will be Manchester On The Boards. The city, which has hosted the concept since its launch in 2018, will once again welcome leading designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers for the industry’s leading networking event in the north.

      Sponsors:

      If you would like to sponsor any of our upcoming events, please email Katy Phillips, or call +44 (0) 1992 374050. 

      In Conversation With: Penta Hotels’ new MD, Rogier Braakman

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      In Conversation With: Penta Hotels’ new MD, Rogier Braakman

      In February 2020, weeks before the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a pandemic, the new Managing Director of Penta Hotels Worldwide was announced. Following what we can only imagine was a turbulent start to his role, Editor Hamish Kilburn catches up with Rogier Braakman to understand his plans for the lifestyle hotel group…

      It’s hard to recall that a few months ago, before the words ‘furlough’ and ‘pandemic’ were being splashed across the daily news channels, the industry as a whole was feeling rather optimistic about 2020. New colour trends were being predicted, hotel groups were expanding, and, in February 2020, the news broke that Rogier Braakman would take over from Eugène Staal to become Managing Director of Penta Hotels Worldwide, marking a new era for the group. 

      As regions were seeing record-breaking levels of development, Covid-19 sent its shockwave through all industries – arguably hitting hospitality the hardest – which decimated sales and marketing strategies as businesses went into survival mode. “It is the biggest burden of every business owner being forced to suspend operations for an undefined time,” explained Braakman in a press release that was released at the time. “Since opening, we have operated our hotels 24/7, 365 days a year, and hadn’t had to close for a single day. Yet, instead of carrying out our initial plans, we have been working around the clock to temporarily suspend operations in many hotels, restructure our processes and ask for many intense sacrifices from all team members and stakeholders. Despite all this, we have been putting a lot of effort in bringing in new innovations and improving our product throughout all hotels.”

      Following the lockdown, and after what can only be described as one of the most challenging months for all hoteliers, I sat down with Braakman (virtually) to understand more about his role.

      Hamish Kilburn: Where were you self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic?

      RB: I make a weekly commute between our family home in the Dutch forest and our Frankfurt Penta office, always adhering strictly to all Covid-19 regulations. I feel privileged to be able to enjoy my family life and the positively contagious Penta-spirit!

      Image caption: The lounge inside Pentahotel Berlin

      Image caption: The lounge inside Pentahotel Berlin | Image credit: Penta Hotels

      “But what sets us apart from other lifestyle brands is that our ‘neighbourhood’ promise extends to the wider community and environment, which we have committed to protecting through various initiatives and our goal of being carbon neutral by 2030.” – Rogier Braakman, Managing Director, Penta Hotels.

      Hamish Kilburn: What makes Penta Hotels a unique lifestyle hotel brand?

      RB: Penta Hotels are characterised by our lively neighbourhood brand that emits a happy camper ambience. The positive attitude of our staff and our unique interior design makes us a model host. We have created a comfortable environment for our guests with a relaxed atmosphere centered around our buzzing Penta Lounges in every hotel, which function on a 24/7 basis where all our guests’ needs are catered for in one space. But what sets us apart from other lifestyle brands is that our ‘neighbourhood’ promise extends to the wider community and environment, which we have committed to protecting through various initiatives and our goal of being carbon neutral by 2030. In keeping with the Penta spirit, we don’t ever do single acts of charity, but instead offer ways that our guests can take part in giving back so that they too can feel a part of our community. However, lately we have had the tendency of exchanging the word ‘lifestyle’ more and more with the word ‘lively’, which we believe nowadays is more spot on.

      Hamish Kilburn: Can you explain a little bit about Penta Hotels’ plans for expansion?

      RB: Our focus is to grow our brand in prime locations in secondary cities or secondary locations in primary cities across Europe. Expansion should arise as a result of our strategy, rather than the other way around.

      Image caption: Suite inside Pentahotel Moscow | Image credit: Penta Hotels

      Image caption: Suite inside Pentahotel Moscow | Image credit: Penta Hotels

      Hamish Kilburn: You mention that lockdown has allowed you to look at new innovations and improving your product throughout all hotels. Can you elaborate on this?

      RB: With the pandemic we’ve had to adapt quickly to the new normal, or as I heard an entrepreneur recently say, a ‘temporary abnormal’. In just over a month, we managed to think up and execute our Between Us campaign, based on the notion that although Covid-19 has forced more physical distance between us, it can be seen as an opportunity for bonding and creating solidarity between people. Through this campaign we are allowing our guests to feel comfortable, safe, but also have fun with social distancing. It includes the VIP Rock Star Service where we’ve mapped out routes guests can take around the hotel and Penta Lounges that limit interaction with others, cashless payments, and introduced excellent hygiene training for our staff members that includes no housekeeping, but also exciting perks like free Take Care package on entry, and free bag of snacks every morning at your door.

      The campaign sets us apart from our competitors because it shows we are seizing the pandemic as an opportunity to learn how to better accommodate our guests, by finding new ways to create a safe and comfortable space. So far, guest feedback has been really positive.

      Image caption: Meeting room inside Penta Hotel Paris | Image credit: Penta Hotels

      Hamish Kilburn: What advice would you give the rest of the hospitality industry at this time?

      RB: Unfortunately, COVID-19 is a predator and it will stay around for a while, so we are having to take a real ‘don’t crack under pressure’ attitude as we adapt to new circumstances. In order to do this, we have to stay strong and try our best to turn this crisis into a success by playing to our strengths, as well as recognising which things weren’t working well even before the crisis. Our strengths have always been a positive attitude and creative approach, and we are making sure to always be direct with each other, not beat around the bush, and take immediate actions to make our hotels safe.

      Hamish Kilburn: How will lifestyle hotels, which typically focus heavily on utilising public areas, differ post-pandemic?

      RB: This predator is going to remain for a long time – so we’re going to need to work with it. We have revisited our business operations and figured out how best to safely and securely reopen, and although we do not want our hotels to serve as extended intensive care units, we need to make sure that all hygienic measures are in place and that people feel safe. Luckily, we don’t have small lobbies and most of our Pentalounges are extensive spaces in which we’ve been able to encourage social distancing with our Between Us campaign, by mapping out distanced routes and introducing cashless payments.

      We do not want our brand standards to vaporise due to all these extra precautions, so we had to redefine our new operating standards within the ‘temporary abnormal’. This means taking serious precautions that alter the Penta experience, including no more housekeeping, and training our staff on additional hygiene procedures. For example, when you check in, you’re given a ‘Take Care’ bag from Penta, and we’ve even made our own ‘Penta Pointer’ which is similar to a keyring that can be used to open all access points within the hotel, therefore reducing the risk of being contaminated. We’re also doing trials with heat cams to see how our guests are responding, and introduced the Penta Hotel app, which isn’t fully in place yet, but it means everyone can check in from home using their own device, or even chat to our reception team.

      Image caption: Fitness area inside Pentahotel Leipzig | Image credit: Penta Hotels

      Hamish Kilburn: What does lifestyle in ‘lifestyle hotel’ mean to you?

      RB: A lifestyle hotel means ensuring all our guests are happy campers, and however brief or extended their stay, they are made to feel part of our community. Instead of custom reception areas we have created social spaces in every hotel called the Penta Lounge, areas with 24/7 service where guests can check in, but also chill out, do some work or play on our games consoles. At our hotels, there is always an initiative that guests can take part in that benefits the wider community and environment, and our social staff members are always willing to engage with any problem a guest has

      Hamish Kilburn: What do you love most about the hospitality industry?

      RB: What I love best about hospitality is working with people, and I was drawn to Penta because it is an appealing and distinctive hotel brand centered around people, with a buzzing community spirit. I believe success comes from guest satisfaction and high-quality service, which is only possible when you have a team of brilliant staff members that communicate well with one another and our guests. I share Penta’s vision for a modern approach to hoteliering, where giving back to the community and providing a relaxed, neighbourhood feel is at the centre of its brand. Penta has had a rocky climb in the last year or so but our positive staff with their can-do attitude, have really helped with recent difficulties. Their team spirit and desire to truly make Penta a success has made me feel extremely supported and inspired my confidence that we will continue to succeed in the future.

      Image caption: The lounge inside Pentahotel Moscow | Image credit: Penta Hotels

      Image caption: The lounge inside Pentahotel Moscow | Image credit: Penta Hotels

      Hamish Kilburn: Can you explain Penta Hotels in three words?

      RB: Relaxed, positive, friendly

      Hamish Kilburn: If money or development were not obstacles, where in the world would you like to open a hotel?

      RB: Every self-conscious city with a sustainable, interesting and appealing backcountry deserves a Pentahotel.

      Penta Hotels, which has 28 operating properties across Europe and Asia, represents a new generation of neighbourhood lifestyle hotels offering modern-minded individuals and business travellers comfort and style in a relaxed atmosphere. Known for its unique interior design and attitude, the lifestyle brand stands for true innovation in the industry’s upper- midscale segment.

      Main image credit: Penta Hotels Worldwide

      IN VIDEO: Parkside’s discussion about colour & wellbeing

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      IN VIDEO: Parkside’s discussion about colour & wellbeing

      To officially mark the launch of the brand’s new Matrix collection, Parkside Architectural Tiles invited editor Hamish Kilburn to get comfortable on the virtual sofa to discuss colour and wellness in design, architecture and hospitality… 

      If the pandemic was a colour, it would arguably be a dull grey. While hospitality is reopening its doors, and designers are making their way back into studio life, the need for colour has never been greater than it is right now.

      Cue the launch of Matrix collection by Parkside Architectural Tiles, which was inspired by the brand’s desire to create a range of colours that would allow the design community to curate co-ordinated looks or mix and match colours to create striking design statements.

      Its launch has allowed us to question colour and its relationship to wellbeing in and outside the hotel. To start the conversation, Parkside welcomed experts in the international design and architecture arena to participate in an exclusive panel discussion where all colourful opinions were welcome, and indeed encouraged.

      Chaired by Joanna Watchman from workinmind.org, the experts on the virtual sofa were Ben Channon, associate architect and head of wellbeing at Assael Architecture; Constantina Tsoutsikou, founder of Studio LOST, who brought a hospitality and public space perspective; Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs, who was able view the topic through editorial lenses; and Vanessa Konig, Konig Colours, who collaborated with the brand to create the new collection.

      Here’s the discussion in full:

      Parkside Architectural Tiles is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

      Main image credit: Parkside Architectural Tiles

      Nobu to open debut hotel in Africa

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Nobu to open debut hotel in Africa

      Global lifestyle brand Nobu Hospitality, founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, has announced it will open its first hotel in Africa in 2021…

      Where rich heritage meets Nobu Hospitality’s contemporary flair, Nobu Hotel Marrakech will be located in the Hivernage district, steps from the historic heart of the city, souks and vibrant Djemaa el-Fna.

      Transformed into a luxury lifestyle destination, the hotel will house 71 spacious guest rooms and suites, a selection of dynamic dining venues and rooftop spaces, a 2,000 sq. ft luxurious spa and fitness centre, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and meeting and event space.

      King Mohammed VI’s “Tourism Development Strategy Vision 2020” plan has been the driving force at encouraging foreign investment in Morocco’s tourism sector.  His Majesty has outlined great vision and Nobu is pleased to be entering the market at this exciting time.

      Ahmed Bennani, President Hivernage Collection said, ‘The partnership with Nobu Hospitality with the launch of the Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Marrakech will enable our existing Pearl Hotel to be taken to next level. It is further significant, as the launch in Marrakech will be the first Nobu Hotel in Africa. Marrakech as a destination fits seamlessly within the Nobu Hotel collection and we expect it will be embraced by locals and the strong base of European and US Nobu customers.’   Daniel Shamoon, Director MC Hotels comments, “We are very pleased that Marrakech will become a part of our growing collection of Nobu Hotels joining Marbella and Ibiza Bay. In a time when our global society and economies are fragile, we maintain our continued belief and commitment to hospitality.”

      Trevor Horwell, Chief Executive Officer Nobu Hospitality comments, “We are excited to be working with Ahmed Bennani and his Hermitage Collection, and again with Daniel Shamoon and MC Hotels on this exciting project.  An increasing number of hotel owners today want to maintain the integrity of their properties, whilst having an appetite to work with us to enable complete differentiation, revenue advantage, and leveraging our food and beverage prowess.  The global health and economic crisis have underscored this, and with Nobu’s strong appeal to the local market as well as the international traveller, we are pleased to provide such advantage.”

      Bathroom inspiration: 400 colours by Bette to choose from

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Bathroom inspiration: 400 colours by Bette to choose from

      German bathroom manufacturer Bette offers its baths, shower trays and basins in more than 400 colours – and also creates bespoke colours for large projects…

      Bathroom brand Bette can create its baths, shower trays and washbasins in more than 400 colours because of the way its products are made.

      Each item is individually manufactured in titanium-steel, before its durable BetteGlaze enamel finish is applied and fired. Bette mixes colour pigments into the BetteGlaze enamel finish, prior to application, which is why such a huge range of colours, including gloss, matt, shimmering and glittering options, are available.

      Bette’s unique finish not only allows more than 400 colour options, but the glazed titanium-steel results in products that keep their good looks for many years, are easy to clean, 100 per cent recyclable and come with a 30 year warranty, making them ideal for both contract and residential projects.

      22 matt colours

      Some of Bette’s most popular colours are its 22 exclusive matt options. These colours are often selected for Bette’s flush-to-floor shower trays, as well as its baths and basins. The colours take their inspiration from natural stone colours, and also include matt white.

      Bespoke colours

      In addition, if customers working on large projects require a specific colour that Bette does not currently produce, the company offers the option of creating a bespoke colour.

      Bette’s approach to colour

      Sven Rensinghoff, head of marketing at Bette comments: “Our glazed titanium-steel baths, basins and shower trays can be given attractive visual depth through the colour selection. Our goal is to not only use colour as a decorative element, but to support the spatial effect of our products.

      “Coloured products can provide eye-catching dashes of colour, for example, the spotlight can be put on the washing area by selecting the round BetteCraft washbasin in luminous green or a soft shade of blue. Eye-catching special effect colours, such as our Midnight black glitter colour, or the ever-changing Forest colour, can create impact and visual interest that changes as the lighting alters.

      “In addition to innovative and eye-catching colours, Bette also offers a wide range of timeless, discreet shades including pastels, earth and stone colours and matt options. These can help to radiate a calming effect and convey a natural cosiness and are some of our most popular colours. For example, more than 40 per cent of Bette customers currently choose timeless, natural, matt colours for their Bette glazed titanium-steel shower floors.”

      Bette is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

      Main image credit: Bette

      Six Senses to open second hotel in Italy

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Six Senses to open second hotel in Italy

      Six Senses Antognolla, which marks the brand’s second opening in Italy, will shelter more branded residences than it will rooms…

      Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has announced its latest project in the group’s expanding portfolio with Six Senses Antognolla, set in Umbria, the green heart of Italy.

      Opening in 2023, the same year as the hotel plans to open its debut London property, Six Senses Antognolla will welcome guests to a rural escape against the backdrop of olive groves, vineyards and cypress-topped hills.

      The castle, borgo and estate are being reincarnated with a sustainable focus. There will be 71 rooms and 79 branded residences, a diverse wellness and cultural offering, 18-hole golf course, equestrian centre, cookery school and organic farm. Encompassing a 1,335-acre (540-hectare) site, the surrounding contours and forest provide privacy and exclusivity, while the variety of facilities and activities make it a year-round destination. 

      The redevelopment is being headed by VIY Management (VIYM), a London-based investment firm focused on luxury hospitality and mixed-use real estate projects and Alessio Carabba Tettamanti, an investor in Antognolla and the owner of the luxury Umbrian estate Tenuta di Murlo. The masterplan is by Woods Bagot, ranked sixth in the BD World Architecture 100. Interiors are by Tokyo-based Design Studio SPIN, known for transforming the interiors of renowned hotels and restaurants into the most luxurious venues. 

      “We are delighted that our vision of the project is in line with that of Six Senses.” – Jim Ryan, development director, Antognolla

       “We are thrilled to start bringing our collaborative plans with Six Senses to life. Antognolla is a unique project in Italy in terms of its concept; combining a luxury hotel in a medieval castle, stylish serviced residential properties, an exceptional golf course and a luxurious spa complex – all of which will be operated by a world-renowned international hospitality brand,” said development director Jim Ryan of Antognolla. “We are delighted that our vision of the project is in line with that of Six Senses, and we have a truly unique opportunity to carefully preserve and develop this area of historical and cultural significance.”

      A new chapter in this rich history has now begun. The 71 guest rooms and suites will be located within the historical castle and traditional old borgo buildings. The 79 residences, which will soon be available to purchase, range from apartments and two-bedroom villas to six-bedroom farmhouses, combining the heritage of Umbria with the comfort of modern living. All accommodations offer a unique home-from-home retreat thanks to the location, design features and abundant resort facilities. Old or new, everything blends seamlessly with the surroundings.

      Six Senses Spa will be located within a contemporary wing of the new main building, and will offer wellness programming that incorporates sleep health, nutrition, movement and self-discovery.

      Running through the centre of the estate, the 18-hole golf course has been designed by renowned designer Robert Trent Jones Jr. With long, cliff-lined fairways, undulating greens and pesky lakes, the course has been installed to provide year-round playability and quick-drying surfaces. Drainage water is captured and recycled, boosting the course’s eco-credentials.

      The charm of Umbria’s ancient towns and villages is complemented by its cuisine, which is renowned for superb ingredients and authentically rustic dishes. Guests and residents will enjoy the very best of local produce, including herbs, olives, fruit and vegetables grown on the estate itself.

      Main image credit: Six Senses

      INDUSTRY INSIGHT: sustainable art in hotels

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      INDUSTRY INSIGHT: sustainable art in hotels

      Driving the industry to search for and specify sustainable art, Artelier explores sustainable artwork in luxury contexts…

      The drive for sustainability has grown tremendously in the last few years, with individuals and businesses alike becoming committed to sustainable values.

      The drive for sustainability has grown tremendously in the last few years, with individuals and businesses alike becoming committed to sustainable values. What once was more of a fashionable trend has rightly become a major cross-sector movement, and increasingly diverse industries are promoting eco-conscious practices. Most importantly, consumers are holding companies accountable for their claims, and want them to do more than swap out plastic straws or reuse cups. This has led to a push for innovative new concepts, uses of materials, and structural changes, so that the needs of projects are met in a significantly more sustainable way.

      Within sectors such as luxury hospitality, a major question has arisen over how to deliver the exquisite interior design that a discerning clientele have come to expect, whilst also being sustainable. Naturally, the two do not need to be mutually exclusive – much of cutting-edge luxury design now favours natural materials and a stripped-back simplicity, which lends itself to sustainable products. A key way of sustainably creating adding luxury to these spaces are intelligently curated artworks. Sustainable artworks can bridge the gap between creating a stunning aesthetic experience and promoting environmentally responsible design.

      As art consultants, Artelier have discovered first-hand how art can enhance and deepen a project’s focus on sustainability. Here, Artelier’s curators offer their insight into the dilemmas faced by luxury industries, and explore how inventive artists can create sustainable artworks by transforming humble materials into stunning installations.

      The dilemma of decorating sustainably

      After the architectural and engineering efforts in new-build projects, it is critical for the interior design to likewise be sustainable, whilst creating the right aesthetic impression. Few luxury items, however, can offer sustainability, since often they are made from materials like precious metals and rare marbles. Artworks are in themselves luxury items, and can meanwhile be produced with full sustainability in mind – artists can take basic and sustainable materials and through their craftsmanship make them luxury items. Rather than being a ‘token’ sustainable element, a newly commissioned artwork can reflect the owner’s own sustainable philosophy as each aspect of producing the artwork can be transparently low-impact.

      The idea of bespoke items and artworks has long been at the height of luxury, and so many private clients have supported artists through commissioning artworks. In their pursuit of the bespoke and one-off, patrons have championed low-volume craftsmanship for their willingness to pay for artworks to be hand-made specially for them. In recent years, technology has advanced so much that a similar visual effect can be achieved – eye-catching surfaces can be cost-effectively created by companies with faux metals, resins and plastics. Whilst they meet the tastes of clients and can be seductively beautiful objects, the materials used to create these effects are not sustainable. When private clients instead choose to invest in commissioned artworks, they not only receive an ultra-bespoke interior feature, but a significantly more sustainable option.

      Image credit: Artelier


      Natural materials

      While some contemporary artists actively use ancient craft techniques, more broadly many artists authentically engage with sustainability through using exclusively natural materials. Taking humble and widespread materials such as wood, they are able to creatively transform them into fine art. The artworks communicate the natural beauty of earth’s resources, and deeply connect viewers with the environment by making them experience nature in new and surprising ways.

      One such artist is Christian Burchard, who creates wood sculptures from a tree species native to the area surrounding his studio in Oregon, USA. His expressive carving creates poetic and dynamic sculptural compositions. He aims to show viewers the essence of the wood’s natural structures, allowing the material to ‘speak its own language’, rather than imposing onto it. Artelier commissioned a collection of Burchard’s work for superyacht Pelorus (115m). The client and the interior designer used a neutral palette within the interiors, as they wanted a pure and natural design that utilised organic materials. They approached Artelier for us to identify artists that were in tune with their own materials, and would contribute to the sustainable feel of the overall design.

      Artist Stuart Ian Frost’s creates site-specific installations from natural, and often foraged, raw materials. Each installation is created specially for its landscape, and Frost seeks to evoke the particularities of the individual environment. He draws inspiration from local geographical features and the raw materials themselves, but also often looks to incorporate the culture and architecture of the area. Like Burchard, Frost’s artworks seek to present nature in an unfamiliar, yet illuminating way, encouraging the viewer to challenge their own perceptions of the materials. His large-scale sculptures playfully incorporate pattern and organic shapes to transform the raw materials, giving them a newfound vitality. Meanwhile, his smaller scale artworks use foraged natural materials, such as bird quills, and represent them in expressive geometric designs.

      Found materials are also central to British multi-disciplinary artist Sir Richard Long, who uses basic materials like mud or rocks to create sculptures, paintings, and installations. In so doing, he pushes the boundaries of which materials are typically considered suitable for fine art. Many of his artworks are created while on walks in landscapes, a primordial engagement between man and earth, and are left to be reclaimed by nature. His gallery artworks likewise present a visceral engagement with natural resources, such as his paintings created from mud from the Riven Avon in England; Long uses his bare hands to paint, preserving his gestures by leaving his hand and finger prints visible.

      In such ways, many artists are naturally resourceful and low impact, by their use of foraged and natural materials. Conceptually, many of these artists are also inspired by how the natural world can be represented to viewers, in a way that emphasises man’s harmony with nature rather than dominance over it. Within a sustainable project, these artworks bear special significance, as they symbolise the objective behind incorporating sustainability – a re-evaluation of how humankind interacts with the environment, and how we can better preserve and respect natural resources.

      Sustainability in the world of hospitality

      As modern, eco-conscious people travel the world, they seek hotels that are likewise committed to sustainability. Hoteliers and hospitality designers must respond to this demand, and while efforts to promote environmentally conscious operations like reducing washing or plastic waste are worthwhile, sustainability has to be a key concern from the initial stages of hotel design to be more deeply effective.

      However, when considering the sheer scale of hotels and how hotel areas will be used, ensuring sustainability throughout the hotel poses more obstacles than in private spaces. Many materials, for example, need to be more hard-wearing: carpets that use synthetic fibres are easier to clean, and often need to be synthetic in order to comply with fire safety regulations. Meanwhile, while materials like marbles or metals can be used sparingly in private properties, they are simply not sustainable at the quantity required for hotels.

      Image credit: Artelier

      For a hotel project to be truly sustainable, sustainability has to be a core consideration from the inception of the project. It has to be considered in everything from structural materials and utilising natural sun and ventilation, to being rigorous in sourcing reputable interior suppliers who prioritise sustainable production. In order to make sustainable hotel design more than simply tapping into a trend, new hotels have focus on longevity – much negative environmental impact comes from the waste of replacing worn-out features.

      Considering this level of care to incorporate sustainability, it is essential that decorative aspects are not an afterthought to the project. After great effort has gone into sustainable design solutions, artworks can be overlooked, and in reality not be that sustainable. Whilst on an individual basis each artwork’s sustainability may not be a major source for concern, together they can make a significant impact. If every room features artworks as well as the lobby, stairwells, and spa areas, irresponsible sourcing and using even small amounts of unsustainable materials can quickly add up. It is essential, therefore, to work coherently with specialist art consultants who are able to make sourcing sustainable art straightforward, and curate the entire collection for minimal environmental impact.

      In addition, sustainable artworks bring many benefits to the hotel project. If a hotel decides to compromise on luxury materials in favour of sustainability, and opt for a more neutral, pared-back approach to interior design, the artwork can become the accent or focal point in the space. Sourcing art is further a great opportunity for supporting local artists, as artworks can be created from local materials and shipping costs are minimised. Supporting sustainable artists also makes for an engaging way for the hotel to promote its values and reflect its context.

      Image credit: Artelier

      Communicating sustainability through art

      With the move towards environmental concern, many mass-producing companies have tried to meet this demand by providing ‘sustainable’ products. However, is there really space for this in the future, when increasingly the move towards sustainability goes beyond natural materials, but also sustainable practices in the studio? Clients are trying to achieve a sense of connection in their projects, and so the individualism of makers is in itself becoming increasingly more valued. Bespoke artworks are a more authentic and personal way of decorating. A specially commissioned artwork can symbolically convey the central concerns of a client, and communicate their focus on sustainability.

      Image credit: Artelier

      Ever since artworks were created by ancient civilisations, artists have used their work as a traditional form of visual communication, that goes beyond simply decorative enhancement. Art engages the viewer’s attention and creates atmosphere, producing an immediate and non-verbal understanding. A basic material transformed into a large-scale art installation instantly conveys to viewers the artist’s commentary on man’s relationship with the natural world. For instance, in a commission for the headquarters of a company at the forefront of recycling innovation, Artelier commissioned a mobile sculpture that embodied the company values. Created from sustainable steam-bent wood, the mobile constantly evolves and transforms, representing the concept of recycling forms.

      Art offers a way to combine luxury with truly sustainable practices, and is one of the few products to be able to do so. But it more than simply decoration – art is able to tell a story. It communicates the deeper essence of the project, and is an evocative way of representing its sustainable values. The skill of the art consultant is to be able to source artworks that stay true to the project’s commitment to sustainability, and curate them in such a way that conveys the message to a wider audience.

      Artelier is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

      Main image credit: Artelier

      IN PICTURES: Inside the soon-to-open Hotel Fariones, Lanzarote

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      IN PICTURES: Inside the soon-to-open Hotel Fariones, Lanzarote

      The new five-star Hotel Fariones, which will open in Lanzarote in September of this year, will shelter laid-back luxury. Editor Hamish Kilburn gets a sneak peek inside…

      Hotel Fariones will open in Lanzarote on September 1, having undergone a significant refurbishment under the privately-owned PY Hotels & Resorts family that also owns the acclaimed Princesa Yaiza resort.

      Located in the centre of Puerto del Carmen on the southeast coast of the island, the hotel boasts an enviable beachfront location surrounded by palm trees with direct access to an idyllic sandy cove and the extensive Playa Grande beach. 

      Featuring 213 contemporary rooms, guests can choose from a range of categories, all with outdoor terraces and many with panoramic views over the Atlantic Ocean. There are a range of spacious suites accommodating up to four adults, including the impressive 150m² Royal Suite Fariones with an expansive outdoor terrace and private Jacuzzi.

      Image of interiors of suite in the hotel in Lanzarote

      Image credit: Hotel Fariones

      A spectacular sea view infinity pool and two heated outdoor Jacuzzis encircled by palm trees provide a tranquil setting at all times of day. 

      A rooftop pool and lounge bar will launch in the second phase of the hotel’s opening. The rooftop will provide one of the best locations to watch the sunset in Lanzarote, with views over Fuerteventura and The Isla de Lobos.

      rooftop pool in hotel

      Image credit: Hotel Fariones

      The hotel will offer a variety of restaurants to suit every palate. The main à la carte restaurant, Restaurant Atlantico, will serve fresh local fish and shellfish with traditional Canarian influences, whilst a snack bar will serve light lunches on a sophisticated outdoor terrace overlooking the ocean. A buffet restaurant will launch in phase two, along with Kaori restaurant specialising in Asian Haute Cuisine.

      Stairway to ocean front

      Image credit: Hotel Fariones

      Open year round, Hotel Fariones is the ideal destination, with a quirky interior design scheme that is complimented further by Lanzarote’s 365 days of sunshine. 

      Image credit: Hotel Fariones

      Gessi unveils holistic Architectural Wellness program

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Gessi unveils holistic Architectural Wellness program

      Gessi Architectural Wellness is a revolutionary concept, which allows the customer to immerse emotionally in the fusion of light and water, perfectly merged into “holistic” wellness areas. Hotel Designs explores…

      The bathroom brand Gessi has become synonymous with wellness with its aims to create unique environments, characterised by authentic beauty, innovation and technology that represent the best in bathroom design.

      Architectural Wellness was born from Gessi’s passion and research for innovation, technology and architecture. The creative solution brilliantly blends all these elements together. Architectural Wellness matches the most advanced attainments in lighting engineering by the historical brand Artemide with the science of water by Gessi.

      Gessi Architectural Wellness is a revolutionary concept, which allows the customer to immerse emotionally in the fusion of light and water, perfectly merged into “holistic” wellness areas.

      The large shower that helps to evoke wellness

      Image credit: Gessi

      Harmonising design, customisation and “five sense wellness” functions to a new level, the Binario System of the Program provides for the ceiling installation of rails similar to those used in the lighting industry. In these locations, customisable in number, length and shape, the user can place modules with different functions: waterfall, atomisation, rainfall, designer lighting spots by Artemide or chromo-therapy lights and sound loudspeakers. Gessi has developed the lighting technology with Artemide following a long-standing collaboration in this field. The technical ceiling rail, where the chosen elements for lighting, water and sound are fitted, can be arranged and customised in almost infinite ways even adding new modules. It can even be extended beyond the shower area in order to provide lighting and sound to the bathroom and it could create architectural compositions.

      A wellness setup with bathroom and outdoor space

      Image credit: Gessi

      The System provides for the greatest liberty in customisation of the wellness experience by allowing the user the management of manifold water and light functions according to the his/her needs and pleasures.

      Gessi is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

      Main image credit: Gessi

      FEATURE: inside Timothy Oulton’s self-isolation dome

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      FEATURE: inside Timothy Oulton’s self-isolation dome

      It may not be a hotel, but Timothy Oulton Studio’s Halodome was meaningfully created ahead of its time to shelter a luxurious home-from-home. Its dynamically designed interiors are enclosed under a dome structure – and its naturally isolating features meet the new demands of modern travellers…

      Originally conceived as a refuge for visitors, Timothy Oulton Studio’s Halodome, which is nestled at the centre of a mature lychee garden in southern China, has evolved into a living, breathing test bed – the kind of experiment in sustainable architecture, materiality and hospitality that can only happen meaningfully over the course of time.

      The current global situation has only served to push this testing bed to new extremes, with co-founders Timothy Oulton and Simon Laws establishing the garden their base for 2020, allowing them to continue working whilst riding out the storm.

      “The Halodome is China’s first residential building certified to German Passivhaus standard.”

      Designed and built entirely by the practice, the Halodome is China’s first residential building certified to German Passivhaus standard. It uses sustainably sourced FSC and reclaimed timbers alongside high performance glazing to create a soaring column free space that can be internally configured to suit the varying needs of visitors who arrive from all four corners of the globe, with guests typically staying for anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.

      Inside the luxury dome

      Image credit: Timothy Oulton Studio

      More recently however, Oulton and Laws have found themselves part of a small group, residing permanently in the garden; using the dome as a base from which to continue working on projects whilst simultaneously contemplating what the future holds for hospitality and design post-Covid 19. Time spent in the dome living, working and hosting local industry leaders as their businesses began to emerge from lockdown has proved an invaluable insight. It is precisely Halodome’s ability to offer a hospitable environment bridging the gap between living and visiting that has stimulated so much interest in the design this year.

      “Furthermore, it [the Halodome] can offer guests the chance to escape crowded cities and reconnect with nature.” – Simon Laws, co-founder, Timothy Oulton Studio.

      “The hospitality sector in is in a deep period of reflection and transition,” Laws told Hotel Designs. “Hoteliers are looking to pivot their businesses and adapt to the new normal. At the same time, there is an opportunity for the industry to actively turn towards a more sustainable future. What the Halodome does rather successfully is offer a multipurpose space that meets unique new demands – it is in itself a bubble, cocooning its occupants safely in a manner that can be easily adapted to individual or group needs. Furthermore, it can offer guests the chance to escape crowded cities and reconnect with nature in a really unique setting.”

      The Halodome’s ecological, logistical and long-term fiscal credentials undoubtedly play a part in concept’s appeal to the sector. The prefabricated building can be shipped anywhere in the world in just three containers, which can be combined with the shipping of pieces crafted by the studio’s sister company – the global furniture manufacturer Timothy Oulton – to offer an entire hospitality solution where needed. Its passive energy design principles take careful consideration of sun control, ventilation and insulation, combined with modern, high performance and recycled materials, to create a building with a smaller ecological footprint and ongoing energy cost savings.

      Hoteliers have found themselves charting unknown territory and the Timothy Oulton Studio team believes concepts like the Halodome can help to navigate these choppy new waters.

      Timothy Oulton Studio is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

      Main image credit: Timothy Oulton Studio

      PRODUCT WATCH: Stock Collection by Ulster Carpets

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      PRODUCT WATCH: Stock Collection by Ulster Carpets

      The collection by Ulster Carpets is full of quick contract carpet solutions…

      Ulster Carpets understands that many projects require quick turnaround times and speedy delivery. That’s why many of its stock ranges are becoming ever more popular within the commercial market.

      From contemporary styles to traditional elegance, the diversity of Ulster’s stock ranges means there is a stock collection to suit every type of project and the quality, extensive colour and design options will leave interior designers spoilt for choice.

      Here’s a look at some of the stock designs on offer:

      • Vescent – The eclectic new contract stock collection features six contemporary designs – Linea, Arbor, Nebula, Calx, Vapor and Nexus – in 21 colourways. The neutral colour palette reflects modern textile trends, while a flash of colour is added for those seeking something different. From structured designs to more organic styles, the secret to the success of Vescent is the diversity of the collection.

      • Fusion – Striking patterns and colourways that have been designed to make an impact set Fusion apart. The selection of blues, greys and neutrals are perfect for current colouring demands, while the scale of the bold designs is tempered by the use of texture to accentuate the softness and practicality of the axminster pile.

       

      Image credit: Ulster Carpets

      • The Mix – this collection, typifies our core values of design, excellence, customer focus and outstanding product quality. Designed exclusively to meet the varied demands of the international hospitality industry, The Mix consists of 8 contemporary designs that are as eye-catching in public areas as they are in guestrooms.

      Image credit: Ulster Carpets

      As well as design choice, Ulster also provides quality. As we control every aspect of the manufacturing process, we can guarantee the quality of every carpet. Carpets in the Stock Collection are manufactured in a hard wearing combination of 80 per cent wool and 20 per cent nylon in a variety of colour matching widths making them perfect for a wide range of busy contract applications, including bedrooms and suites; corridors; meeting rooms; and public areas.

      Vescent, Fusion and The Mix are just three examples of our comprehensive stock collection, giving you an unrivalled level of choice.

      Ulster Carpets is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

      Main image credit: Ulster Carpets

      FIRST LOOK: 2020 Outdoor Collection by Minotti

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      FIRST LOOK: 2020 Outdoor Collection by Minotti

      Borders between the indoors and outdoors cease to exist in the 2020 Outdoor Collection by Minotti, which was marvellously coordinated by Rodolfo Dordoni. Editor Hamish Kilburn shares his first peek of the collection…

      Long before the pandemic disrupted our social lives, the industry had identified a rising interest in open-air living.

      A demand for biophillic design, combined with a desire to explore new sustainable approaches and materials to evoke wellbeing, opened the door so that designers could flirt with nature to design innovative spaces.

      Minotti, very much a pioneer behind changing the definition of premium outdoor furniture, has used this approach for some time now in its designs for furnishing open-air areas. The brand realised early on that spaces with an inviting, relaxing vibe – whether they are corners of urban nature, exteriors nestled in the lush green landscape or overlooking the tranquil waters – evoke a natural sense of luxury and escape.

      The 2020 Outdoor Collection develops these principles with targeted design proposals, which originate from different design cultures but are conceived to co-exist in a harmonious dialogue. It focuses on the independence of the individual pieces, each with its own identity and original personality, but also with the versatility required to design compositions that can furnish large spaces, and to be mixed with other elements of different styles from the 2020 Outdoor Collection.

      The collection, coordinated by Rodolfo Dordoni with Minotti Studio, hosts pieces by leading international designers, such as GamFratesi, Marcio Kogan / studio mk27 and Dordoni himself. The outdoor furniture pieces are based on the main geometric shapes – square, rectangle, circle -, one of the characterising features of the 2020 Indoor Collection. The couture aspect, another leitmotiv of Minotti’s interior design projects, can be found in the sophisticated juxtaposition of the materials, in the choice of precious natural wood types, in the exquisite finishes, the textures and the tactile feel of the textile coverings.

      Statement pieces of the 2020 Outdoor Collection, coordinated by Rodolfo Dordoni with Minotti Studio, include:

      Sunray – Rodolfo Dordoni Design

      Lifestyle shot featuring Minotti sofas outside

      Image credit: Minotti

      Sunray designs a new, open-air landscape where exquisite design and carefully researched comfort join forces to create an intimate, relaxing atmosphere. With its enveloping design, the Sunray seating system is inspired by the desire to design situations that convey a sensation of intimacy and relaxation, in line with the concept of open-air living that imitates the comfort and beauty of indoor furnishing solutions.I

      It is designed both to play a leading role in outdoor settings and to complement the other furnishing pieces in the collection.
      It juxtaposes different shapes and materials: its airy surface in natural teak wood defines its horizontal line, while the curved backrest with interwoven cords gives it a dynamic allure.

      The system, composed of pieces that can be used alone or combined together, offers a variety of compositional solutions thanks to the high versatility of its elements. The family is composed of armchair, sofa, end element with or without extending top, chaise-longue, loveseat, daybed with reclining backrest, and square and rectangular coffee tables.

      Sunray Meg – Rodolfo Dordoni

      Simple coffee table next to outdoor minotti sofa

      Image credit: Minotti

      With a simple and clean design but a vibrant personality, the Sunray Meg coffee tables add a distinctive splash of colour to outdoor settings.
      The Sunray Meg family hosts a series of versatile, practical coffee tables in various sizes and heights that blend in perfectly with the most diverse compositions of the Outdoor collection.

      The simple, airy design of the metal tubular structure in polished Bronze finish allows for its combination with all the products in the collection. Its distinctive feature is the colour of the top in stratified HPL laminate, available in glossy lacquered White, Rust and Khaki Green finishes, blending in seamlessly with the palette of the outdoor textile collection.

      EDITOR’S PICK: Florida – Rodolfo Dordoni

      Luxury outdoor minotti sofa on terrace

      Image credit: Minotti

      Natural teak is the wood chosen for Florida to complement the mood of the 2020 Collection and design living compositions blurring the boundaries between indoors and outdoors.

      The wide range of elements in Florida allows for the creation of many linear or sinuous compositions that meet the increasingly common need to enjoy smaller, more intimate spaces, as well as convivial spaces also in outdoor environments.

      The seating system presents itself as a carefully-designed collection of soft and geometric volumes, defined by profiles in eco-leather suitable for outdoor use, available in four colours – Light Grey, Dark Grey, Brown and Sand. The structure of Florida is in metal, appropriately treated to resist corrosion, and it is immersed in a foam padding, then covered in waterproof fibre and fabric, making it weatherproof.

      The Florida coffee table features feet in solid natural teak wood and a top with shaped edge in Pietra del Cardoso, in a brushed finish. Due to its mineral composition, Pietra del Cardoso is exceptionally compact and extremely weatherproof.
      The backrest cushions are attached to the wooden rear supports thanks to refined Pewter coloured metal frog fasteners, allowing for the quick release of the cushions and consequently an easy removal of the coverings. The feet are made of solid natural teak wood, as are the rear reinforcements that support the padded backrest.

      Fynn Outdoor – GamFratesi

      Low reclined outdoor chairs by Minotti

      Image credit: Minotti

      In Fynn, Scandinavian values meet Italian tradition. A contemporary design for outdoor spaces in teak wood, crafted with fine cabinet-making workmanship.

      With a completely innovative approach, the fine cabinet-making process used for the manufacturing of outdoor wooden furniture is applied to a family of outdoor furnishing pieces in solid teak, combining sophisticated workmanship with an ultra-contemporary design.

      Characterised by an interwoven frame that hosts soft seat and backrest cushions, Fynn has in the armrest its signature element.
      Elongated and slightly curved, rounded and smooth to the touch, it is completely handmade: its precise, well-defined line identifies the entire family, composed of armchair, lounge and dining little armchairs, benches, footstools, coffee tables in different sizes and a dining table.

      The Fynn Outdoor armchair and little armchairs feature a distinctive ultra-lightweight aesthetic with a simple structure in teak. The frame is interwoven with wicker-effect cords in Mud colour, hosting a padded seat and backrest cushion, designed as a single element. The informal rigour with which Fynn Outdoor hosts the padded element designs a comfortable seat.

      The bench completes the family. Its cushions sit on a frame interwoven with wicker-effect cords in Mud colour.
      The coffee tables also share the same line as the wooden armrest, which designs a slight curve also found in the rounded sides of the top. The central part of the coffee table is enhanced by the presence of the top in Pietra del Cardoso, creating a sophisticated combination of materials.

      Daiki Outdoor – Marcio Kogan/studio mk27

      The low-level Daiki outdoor chair by Minotti

      Image credit: Minotti

      The Daiki seats, born out of the Brazilian architect’s passion for Japanese culture, go outdoors, where the open-air space is conceived and experienced as an extension of the indoor living area: a veritable tribute to Japanese design culture.
      The Daiki family includes armchairs with a deep seat, available both with and without arms, a dining little armchair and a footstool.

      Created using sophisticated wood crafting techniques, the curved shell in solid teak comprises two elements joined at a 45° angle, with a sloping backrest that guarantees maximum comfort. In the outdoor version the shell offers a snug fit for the stitched cushions, and is set on a stainless-steel frame with Bronze-coloured varnished polished legs.

      A design that also explores and reinterprets the American Mid-Century atmospheres, injecting new life into the style of contemporary outdoor furnishing with its clean, bold lines, exquisite teak working technique and balanced proportions.

      Block Outdoor – Rodolfo Dordoni

      Luxe white Minotti table

      Image credit: Minotti

      With its sculptural look and frame in solid wood inspired by Brutalist architecture, Block Outdoor stands out for its big personality.
      Structured in the form of a block of solid wood, the base of the Outdoor version of the Block coffee table retains its solid volume in the shape of an “L” or an upside-down “T”, but it is proposed in natural teak.

      The top, with smooth edges resembling a river pebble, and tactile finish, is available in Pietra del Cardoso or with a plastic look in White glossy lacquer plastic finish.

      The Block Outdoor coffee table is available in two different heights, both with rectangular top.

      Avery – Minotti Studio

      Patterend rug by Minotti

      Image credit: Minotti

      With its modern vibe and reassuring, sophisticated colour, the Avery rug elegantly furnishes outdoor spaces. The Avery rug stands out for its woven mesh structure, made with special looms that are exclusively custom-engineered for Minotti. It is the result of a semi-artisanal crafting process, which involves assembling strips of material sewn with high tenacity yarn. The acrylic fibre used to make it respects and enhances its characteristics of permeability, breathability and suitability for humid environments.

      In conclusion, by using the same designers and styles in both areas of the 2020 collection, Minotti and the masterful designers behind each piece have further blurred the line between indoor and outdoor furniture, and in the process have taken luxury furniture into a new era.

      Main image credit: Minotti

      PRODUCT WATCH: AXOR Edge, transcending boundaries in bathroom aesthetics

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      PRODUCT WATCH: AXOR Edge, transcending boundaries in bathroom aesthetics

      13 years after the first collection with French designer Jean-Marie Massaud, Hotel Designs speaks to the designer about AXOR Edge; a striking symbiosis of geometrical form and precision manufacturing…

      Using a new ultra-precise manufacturing process ordinarily reserved for diamond milling and space construction, the collection still transcends boundaries in aesthetics and technology. Asymmetrically combined cubes set smooth polished surfaces against intricate texture to yield a design that is strong yet delicate.

      black scene showing the AXOR Edge range

      Image credit: AXOR Edge/hansgrohe

      Design: geometric, architectural, and asymmetrical

      The collection is defined by avant-garde expression, celebrating the interplay of perfectly proportioned plains and edges in an asymmetrical form. Partially enriched with a fine texture, the three-dimensional mixer offers a more tactile experience with water. For those who prefer a more minimalistic appearance, AXOR Edge is also available without texturing.

      Every element of the mixer, including the handle and the spout, has perfect 45° chamfers. Ordinarily recognised in the field of construction as a safety measure, here the chamfers pay testament to the small architectural details and overall virtuosity of design.

      Technology: precision at the heart of design

      Especially developed for the production of AXOR Edge, a state-of-the-art diamond-cutting machine assures accurate planes and contours. The diamond-tipped tool, which is more commonly seen in the space and laser industries, is used here to mill the chamfers with the same high base quality required for diamond milling.

      With high speeds of 60,000 revolutions per minute and hyper-controlled temperatures, allowing a variation of barely 0.1 degree, the result creates tolerances that are 600 times finer than conventional methods of milling brass: ultraprecision. Line by line, precision-pointed pyramids are created in this way, reflecting the interplay of light and shadow in a such a way to inspire a pause in a world of fast-moving transience.

      Jean-Marie Massaud tells Hotel Designs: “In my collaboration with AXOR, we always seek to provide a better user experience. With AXOR Edge, we have answered the demand for refinement and uniqueness. More than a mixer, each product in the collection is a jewel, a masterpiece, a unique architectural object drilled from a brass block and then dressed with personal finishes. A real functional piece of art that shares your intimacy for life – that’s my understanding of luxury.”

      Close up of tap

      Image credit: AXOR edge/hansgrohe

      AXOR Edge is available for the washbasin, bath, bidet and with shower thermostat modules. Manufactured in the vacuum chambers of the AXOR production plant, AXOR Edge is available in five polished AXOR FinishPlus surface colours, from Polished Brass to Polished Black Chrome.

      hansgrohe is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

      Main image credit: hansgrohe

      Hotel Designs LIVE – what you missed

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Hotel Designs LIVE – what you missed

      The debut Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place during lockdown on June 23, broadcasted four engaging virtual seminars. Editor Hamish Kilburn and publisher Katy Phillips share the highlights…

      On June 23, hundreds of leading designers, architects and hoteliers from around the world tuned in for the debut of Hotel Designs LIVE.

      The new one-day virtual conference, hosted by editor Hamish Kilburn from his hometown of Whitstable in England, broadcasted live conversations with industry experts on topics such as technology, public areas, sleep and wellness. In his opening speech, Kilburn explained how the concept emerged. “Hotel Designs LIVE (sponsored by Technological Innovations Group) was born in the chaotic realms of the coronavirus crisis,” he said. “It is our way – and we believe the most meaningful method – to keep the industry connected while also keeping the conversation flowing.”

      Seminar 1: technology

      To kick-start the event in a spectacular fashion, Jason Bradbury made a dramatic entrance, on a hover board (we wouldn’t expect anything less). The former presenter of The Gadget Show, who has built an international career as a futurology and tech-trends corporate speaker, took the microphone to start the conference’s debut session entitled: Technology’s role in tomorrow’s hotel.

      The seminar included PRODUCT WATCH pitches from Hamilton LitestatTechnological Innovations GroupNT SecurityAir Reviver and Aqualisa.

      Seminar 2: public areas

      Following a quick-fire interview with Technological Innovations Group, the event’s headline sponsor, and after Jason Bradbury took the mic the debut session entitled Technology’s Role in tomorrow’s hotel, Kilburn launched the first panel discussion of the day, which was entitled: Will public areas ever be the same?

      Emma King (Head of Design (Europe) IHG), Alon Barronwitz (Director at Baranowitz + Kronenberg) and Geraldine Dohogne (Founder of Beyond Design) got comfortable on the virtual sofa to discuss the difficult reality of public areas post-pandemic. The main takeaways were adapting as designers to meet modern consumer demands to create flexible and clean spaces, while embedding discreet technology to enhance the guest experience. The panel also discussed the need for intuitive public areas for ‘bleisure’ guests.

      Stylo Graphics, which sponsored the session, asked the panel whether they have managed to implement directional signage controls and physical distancing measures to safeguard guest and staff wellbeing whilst maintaining great guest experience. King responded: “We have adjusted layouts of public areas and included social distancing measures in our hotels. To do this effectively, we have ensured that the colours and styles we have used are in keeping with our brand standards.”

      The seminar included PRODUCT WATCH pitches from Inspired By Design and Falcon Contract Flooring.

      Seminar 3: sleep

      Up next, steering the conversation away from the pandemic, Kilburn focuses the editorial lens on sleep with a session entitled: Designing the guestroom to evoke a better night’s sleep, which was sponsored by Silentnight Group.

      In order to explore this area of the hotel experience, he welcomed Darija Aziz, the in-house designer for Zedwell Hotels, to discuss one particular project that centres its entire model around sleep performance; Zedwell Piccadilly.

      Zedwell has been designed with sleep at its core but also to promote health and wellbeing in every form,” Aziz explained. “Rooms were designed to eliminate clutter and remove anxiety, hence no TV or complicated controls. Interestingly, all the guestrooms have no windows in order to eliminate central London noise and bright lights.”

      Adding context to the conversation, and bringing technology back into the discussion, Kilburn welcomes sound architect Tom Middleton into the seminar who explained that technology generically exposes the wrong frequency, and the fact that influences such a circadian rhythm needs to be more considered when designing the guestroom to evoke sleep performance.

      The seminar included PRODUCT WATCH pitches from Silentnight Group, Atlas Concorde and Franklite.

      Seminar 4: wellness

      To aptly conclude the series of seminars, Kilburn hosted the session entitled: The future of wellness post-pandemic, and shared the screen with Beverley Bayes (Director of Sparcstudio), Michael Lahm (Vice President and COO of TLEE Spa and Ivaylo Lefterov (Hotel Development Director at Miris), which is the developer behind Svart, the world’s first ‘energy positive’ hotel.

      As well as looking at hygiene, the panel discussed the demand for biophilic design, Covid-19 friendly materials such as copper and pushing the limits of wellness. In addition, injecting personalisation (and bespoke elements) in design and service.

      Short-term, the pandemic has put a question mark on F&B in spa areas, but the general thoughts of the day were that healthy cuisine was a link that connects wellness and wellbeing.

      When asked what each of the panelists look for in a spa experience, the general consensus was a meaningful treatment and seamless execution and experiences within the spa that balance indoor and outdoor spaces.

      The seminar included an insightful PRODUCT WATCH pitch from hansgrohe.

      Following the success of the inaugural virtual conference, Hotel Designs LIVE is back for a second edition, which will take place on October 13. The themes selected for the next event will include the evolution of discreet technology in hotel design, sustainability in design and architecture, reassuring the hotel consumer post-pandemic and adding personality in public areas.

      Tickets for Hotel Designs LIVE will be available shortly. To discuss sponsorship opportunities for any of the sessions above, please contact Katy Phillips or call +44 (0) 1992 374050.

      #HotelDesignsLIVE

      5 Minutes With: Sarah Beall on how Forum Events went digital

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      5 Minutes With: Sarah Beall on how Forum Events went digital

      Like all businesses, Forum Events & Media Group (owner of Hotel Designs, Hotel Summit and Interior Design & Architecture Summit) has been forced to adjust its operations in the face of Covid-19 and the resulting lockdown’. Managing Director Sarah Beall explains how Forum has used technology to take its events business into the digital age…

      Hotel Designs LIVE, the one-day virtual conference which took place last month, was the collective result of an adaptable team who put content first. The four seminars put the editorial spotlight on integral topics and debates, while also welcoming relevant suppliers to pitch their latest products. The parent company – the infrastructure, if you like –  behind Hotel Designs is Forum Events & Media. And in order to share how the company is adapting, and able to host virtual events such as Hotel Designs LIVE, we caught up with its Managing Director, Sarah Beall.

      Hotel Designs: How has Forum Events & Media transitioned from live to virtual events during the Covid-19 pandemic?

      Sarah Beall: Our Forums and Summits are unlike exhibitions or other large scale B2B events – they facilitate supply and demand, and serve their industries by bringing together buyers and suppliers for a series of pre-arranged face-to-face meetings.

      We’ve tackled the Covid-19 crisis head-on by using our cutting-edge proprietary matching-making software to create an interface for live video meetings in a ‘virtual Forum’ environment, taking our live experience online.

      HD: How was this achieved and what role has technology played during the transition?

      SB: Redirecting our focus from live events to virtual means we can continue to deliver expectations to our exhibitor partners and delegates alike. Our appointment setting software is bespoke – we assigned our development team the task of integrating it with a video conferencing platform, so we can now create and deliver a live itinerary of pre-arranged meetings for participants.

      “Our virtual format replicates our live events” – Sarah Beall, Managing Director, Forum Events & Media.

      HD: How can people attend your virtual events and how do they work?

      SB: Our virtual format replicates our live events, bringing together 65 key decision makers with 35 industry suppliers. The event registration process is exactly the same for both delegates and suppliers – the only difference is that all the meetings take place online as opposed to a physical venue.

      HD: What are the main benefits of virtual events for your supplier partners?

      SB: It’s all too easy to bury your head in the sand and wait for this pandemic to pass – but at Forum we know how important it is to stay in touch with our clients and create new business relationships with future prospects. Our virtual Forums are a powerful way to do business and stay connected from anywhere in the world.

      HD: What are the main benefits of virtual events for your attending delegates?

      SB: For anyone in procurement, events and meetings are keys to success – relationships with suppliers all start from an initial meeting and product knowledge. But right now companies will want to reduce the risk of their employees catching coronavirus, so we expect they will carry out due diligence as to whether they can attend live events. As a response, we are providing a safe solution for everyone, with buyers and suppliers meeting via video call from the comfort of their home office.

      HD: Will virtual events operate alongside live events as part of the ‘new normal’?

      SB: Live events are where deals are done and new products are put into the hands of a buyer – I do not see that changing. However, as we move out of lockdown hybrid events that offer both live and virtual attendees the opportunity to meet with trusted suppliers can only help expand the marketplace and increase supplier export worldwide.

      HD: How does Forum intend to develop its virtual events offering going forward?

      SB: Our virtual platform will allow us to hold our Forums and Summits worldwide, enter new industries and connect even more buyers and suppliers.

      We cannot wait to welcome attendees back to our live events from September and have implemented a Covid safe risk assessment at all our venues.

      But we are prepared and ready to kickstart our Forums from this month across four industries via our virtual platform. And we will continue to serve industries by holding hybrid live and virtual events that are Covid safe throughout the remainder of the year and beyond, if required.

      Interior Design & Architecture Summit is taking place on September 2 at Hilton London Canary Wharf.

      Hotel Summit is taking place on November 23 – 24 at Five Lakes Hotel, Colchester.

      PRODUCT WATCH: Chandelier by Buster + Punch

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      PRODUCT WATCH: Chandelier by Buster + Punch

      With lighting playing a vital role in all first impressions, Hotel Designs takes a closer look at the modern interpretation of Chandelier by Buster + Punch

      Designers and architects are often willing to think outside the box in order to evoke a lasting first impression.

      When it comes to lighting in public areas, however, often opting for a simple, clean and striking design scheme can make the brightest statement. A pendant chandelier, for example, will complement a modern and contemporary interior design style.

      Chandelier by Buster + Punch is an eye-catching lighting display that can work in many lifestyle and luxury settings. Designers can choose from classic diamond or cascade formation, as well as a 19-pendant drop or a 31-pendant drop.

      The dimmable lighting product aims to immediately set the tone by allowing users to personalise the brightness so that they can achieve the right ambience in all public areas. As well as the lobby and dining areas, designers may wish to add the pendent chandelier in the stairwell in order to add a new layer while acting as a decorative feature that also provides much needed functional lighting.

      The bespoke heavy metal chandelier is a stylish LED light for large stairwell spaces or living areas.  The chandelier is teamed with the brand’s critically acclaimed LED Buster bulbs available in gold, smoked or crystal finishes. The brand’s heavy metal solid metal pendants are available in smoked, bronze, steel or brass.

      Buster + Punch is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

      Main image credit: Buster + Punch

      INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Make a statement with a striking tiled feature wall

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Make a statement with a striking tiled feature wall

      CTD Architectural Tiles explains how designers create an eye-catching moment in the lobby with a tiled feature wall…

      Interior design is vital to the success of today’s hospitality spaces: where, in a world of social media and photo sharing, it becomes a key component of a guest’s stay.

      Feature walls provide energy and vibrancy to liven up any hotel space, from the lobby to the restaurant to the bedrooms, and are sure to make an impactful first impression.

      The purpose of a feature wall is to draw the eye to a particular area – this is likely to be the room’s existing focal point. In the bathroom, this might be a shower wall, whereas in the bedroom, it might be the headboard behind the bed. In any case, it should be used to create an eye-catching centrepiece, around which the rest of the room will flow.

      Image caption: Genesis range by CTD Architectural Tiles

      All a space needs is one beautiful feature wall to make the room really stand out. Whether you’re working with a client who wants to make a statement in a large, grand hotel, or you’re working in a smaller, more bespoke space, a feature wall can be used to make an impact in a variety of ways.

      Typically, most designers will tend to use paint or wallpaper when creating a feature wall, but tiles actually offer a more effective alternative – especially for bathrooms. With so many textures and colours to choose from, tiles are a great way to add visual interest to an otherwise plain space and can often create a much more impressive impact! Tiles come in a variety of finishes, sizes and colours, making them the perfect option for creating style.

      Image caption: The Metallic collection by CTD Architectural Tiles in bathroom setting

      Image caption: The Metallic collection by CTD Architectural Tiles in bathroom setting

      Patterned, textured and wood effect tiles all look great as feature walls. Textured tiles add warmth and depth, while contrasting colours can be used to make a striking wall pattern. Meanwhile, wood effect tiles can be used to create a final look ranging from rustic and weathered, to modern and elegant, depending on the hotel’s overall aesthetic.

      CTD Architectural Tiles offers a wide range of tiles for all styles of hotels, ideal for creating a beautiful feature wall. Most recently, it has launched a new collection called Genesis, which offers cutting-edge design with an interesting variety of textures and decorations, inspired by sensory touch and visual sensations. Presented across ten different formats, from tri-dimensional design to nature patterns, the smooth colours of this range are perfect for creating a feature wall in minimalist settings. White and Sand present a more neutral option, whereas Black, Deep Blue and Red offer a truly intense option for statement walls.

      Another one of CTD Architectural’s most stylish collections for creating a tiled feature wall is the Metallic range. These enamelled stoneware tiles are inspired by crude steels and metals, creating an on-trend look of modernity and urban style. These tiles are guaranteed to bring a strong personality to any space and the collection offers both a smooth and a structured surface for greater versatility in designing a feature wall for any hotel space.

      CTD Architectural Tiles is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

      Main image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

      Rosewood to arrive in Sardinia

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Rosewood to arrive in Sardinia

      The ultra-luxury property in Sardinia is to shelter Rosewood Hotels & Resorts’ debut island resort in Italy…

      With recent announcements stating that the brand is preparing its arrivals in Madrid and St Barths – and now Sardinia – it’s safe to say that Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has embarked on a new chapter of luxury hotel development.

      The most recent news from the brand is that it has been appointed by Quianto Capital Limited to manage Rosewood Porto Cervo, which will open on Sardinia, Italy in 2022.

      Joining sister properties in Tuscany and Venice as the group’s third opening in Italy, this latest jewel in the collection will bring Rosewood’s signature style of ultra-luxury hospitality to one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in the Mediterranean.

      “Rosewood Porto Cervo will showcase our visionary, innovative ambition for creating one-of-a-kind resorts through Rosewood’s uniquely sophisticated lens,” says Sonia Cheng, chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotel Group. “We look forward to showcasing our brand’s A Sense of Place philosophy as we create a luxurious haven in Sardinia,”

      “The three-story Rosewood Porto Cervo will feature 65 guestrooms, including 26 suites, all complemented by spectacular 180-degree ocean views of the Mediterranean Sea.”

      The resort will be located in Costa Smeralda, Italy’s jet-set destination, known for its stunning white sand beaches and turquoise water.  Just 1.5 kilometers south of Porto Cervo town, the three-story Rosewood Porto Cervo will feature 65 guestrooms, including 26 suites, all complemented by spectacular 180-degree ocean views of the Mediterranean Sea and thoughtful amenities, which are finely tuned to the desires of today’s affluential explorers. A modern oasis, the resort’s serene design aesthetic will exude a captivating estate-style atmosphere coupled with personalised services and exceptional privacy.

      Set to become the new social nexus of Sardinia, Rosewood Porto Cervo will house a spectrum of distinctive dining and leisure concepts designed to reflect the surrounding nature and local culture.

      “We are honored to join hands with Rosewood Hotels & Resorts,” says Petra Hofer, chief executive officer of Quianto Capital Limited. “We are proud to showcase the rich offerings of Sardinia, as well as Rosewood’s refined ultra-luxury hospitality, to create a new legacy and world-class retreat in the Mediterranean.”

      Furthering Rosewood’s reputation for exceptional culinary standards, the resort will feature four versatile dining venues for an ultra-luxurious island experience. A bistro and lounge bar will serve sumptuous dishes and handcrafted cocktails inspired by the flavours and colours of local produce, while the property’s pool bar and beach club will host lively music with the sun-kissed shoreline as a backdrop.

      “As the strategic advisor to Quianto Capital Limited during the operator selection process, we held firm on finding a luxury hospitality partner that would add the most value to reflect the destination’s unique culture, history and geography in the design and operation of the hotel,” says Enrico Meneghetti, chief executive officer of Enma Capital & Partners Limited. “Through its A Sense of Place philosophy, Rosewood Porto Cervo will definitely achieve this goal.”

      In addition, the resort will be expressly designed as a sanctuary for renewal and rejuvenation. From signature spa journeys to body therapies, guests will be spoiled with an array of bespoke experiences that will harmonise the body and mind, improve well-being, and leave guests feeling serene, radiant and refreshed.

      The architecture and design team that will create the Sardinian jewel is yet to be announced. Meanwhile, Rosewood’s luxury journey of expansion into new destinations continues…

      Main image credit: Pixabay

      PRODUCT WATCH: A world of mirrors

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      PRODUCT WATCH: A world of mirrors

      Following designer Peter Mance’s editorial gaze into reflective surfaces, Hotel Designs takes a look at Mirror Mania’s world of mirrors…

      There’s something truly special about a unique, handmade mirror. Mirror Mania believes that a mirror is much more than a simple reflective surface – it is a work of art that can truly enhance and transform its surroundings.

      Established for more than 20 years, the company is a family run business, based in Norfolk where we design and manufacture all our mirrors.

      Headed by one of the Britain’s leading Mirror Artists – Phillip Orr, the brand understands that it is sometimes difficult to find a company that offers unique and bespoke products which is why its wide range of handmade, exclusively designed products, include art deco, modern and traditional designs, as wells as framed, frameless and metal framed mirrors, ceiling domes and decorative glass panels.

      Whether designers are looking for a mirror to enhance their interior theme, or they need a mirror around which to design a room, Mirror Mania’s one-of-a-kind designs are sure to meet your requirements. Each mirror takes its inspiration from different works of art – including culture-inspired themes.

      Mirrors inspired by cultures of the world

      Different cultures often inspire interior decor trends – the last few years have seen major influences from Morocco, Japan and Scandinavia. If you’re going for a country theme in your home, it needs to run through all aspects of your decor. The company has rounded up some of its favourite hand-crafted mirrors from our collection to suit whatever style – or country – you’re creating in your home.

      Scandanavia

      Image credit: Mirror Mania

      Contrasting colours and a combination of smooth and sharp lines means this gorgeous circular mirror will complement any Scandinavian themed interior. With a choice of bronze, black or grey glass effects and various trimming colours, you can truly make this mirror your own.

      Greece

      Image credit: Mirror Mania

      With staggered vertical mirrors and an overhanging edge, this stunning mirror is reminiscent of the temples of ancient Greece. For a statement of grandeur and luxury, there really is no other choice – while the bronze colouring makes this mirror bang on trend, and perfect for combining with lush colourways.

      Africa

      Image credit: Mirror Mania

      African-inspired interiors can’t be complete without a safari theme, and this beautiful zebra striped glass wall art is the perfect way to add a modern safari feel to any room. Hand painted stripes and a strip of narrow mirror creates the perfect combination of elegance and authentic style.

      England

      Image credit: Mirror Mania

      This mirror could have been taken from any mill in England. Reminiscent of the industrial Victorian era with black metal edging and a tall, curved arch, this authentic mirror will look wonderful in any surroundings that nod to the bygone Industrial Revolution.

      Japan

      Image credit: Mirror Mania

      If you’re going for an Oriental theme, this mirror embodies the Far East style: minimalist symmetry. The metal frame – available in a selection of colours – adds a modern twist to this stunning Oriental style mirror.

      Handmade mirrors delivered internationally

      The company recently received an order from North Carolina, for two of our Babushka mirrors. The geometric style and sharp lines make this mirror stand out – and geography doesn’t need to stand in the way of you and your perfect mirror.

      With international delivery from Mirror Mania, you can place your order from anywhere in the world and the company will ensure it is delivered to you in perfect condition.

      Mirror Mania is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

      Main image credit: Mirror Mania

      Unveiled: the 2020 Indoor Collection by Minotti

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Unveiled: the 2020 Indoor Collection by Minotti

      It may not be the unveiling that the Italian furniture brand had in mind, but the 2020 collection of indoor furniture pieces by Minotti reaffirms its identity and reputation in the luxury interior design arena. Editor Hamish Kilburn learns more…

      Celebrating the arrival of a new collection by Minotti has become somewhat of an annual phenomenon at Hotel Designs.

      The grand unveiling has traditionally taken place during Milan Design Week. This year, however, while the industry has been forced to adapt to social distancing guidelines following the outbreak of Covid-19, the brand has instead launched the 2020 collection virtually. And while the manner of which the pieces have been unveiled has been disrupted, the same cannot be said for the new line of furniture, which are all (in true Minotti style) characterised by the purity of their shapes and volumes, defined by rigorous geometries with an architectural appeal.

      The 2020 Indoor Collection reflects a contemporary, modernist style and extends the identity of Minotti, connected to the same high-quality sartorial savoir-faire found in haute couture, used to craft a range of products that are increasingly exclusive. The new upholstered seating systems, seats and furnishing pieces are combined with a sophisticated tailoring thanks to the exquisite materials and the exclusive textile collection.

      Each item evokes a silent elegance – Minotti needs not shout – with a strong international vocation in terms of style and design, though entirely Italian in its imprinting. This is the common thread in all the projects, designed by a strong team coordinated by Rodolfo Dordoni with the Minotti Studio.

      With Rodolfo Dordoni, nendo, Marcio Kogan/studio mk27, Christophe Delcourt and GamFratesi, the 2020 Indoor Collection looks West, to the sophisticated Mid-Century atmospheres of California; East, to the formal minimalism of Japan; and North, to the striking rigour of Scandinavia, all filtered by Minotti’s own well-defined sensitivity and personality. The Collection develops a language that embraces the know-how of the tradition related to the world of upholstery, with a high level of sartorial craftsmanship. It features sculptural complements and seating elements with a strong personality that look back to the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies, reinterpreting their spirit, and was created for use in interiors located at different latitudes, in Europe, the Americas and Asia.

      Statement pieces of the 2020 Indoor Collection, coordinated by Rodolfo Dordoni with Minotti Studio, include:

      Connery – Rodolfo Dordoni design

      Image credit: Minotti

      Contemporary, with a strong architectural appeal and pure lines reminiscent of the Mid-Century American spirit, the Connery seating system sports an exquisite aesthetic and design that instantly catch the eye.

      The clever combination of fine materials and sophisticated details adds a hint of couture to its design. An extremely versatile seating system, in terms of both composition and combination of materials, Connery has a distinctive personality also expressed in the pairing of original square and round chaise-lounges.

      Torii– nendo design

      Luxury interiors with Minotti products

      Image credit: Minotti

      Airy, with constructive details linked to Japanese tradition, the Torii modular seats play with round edged volumes, thin profiles and the apparent formal simplicity of an extremely detailed design. The metal structure of the legs of the seats and tables is Nendo’s nod to the image of the “torii”, the entrance gate to Shinto shrines in Japan.

      With an interlocking game, the horizontal elements are laid on the vertical supports, ensuring a sophisticated visual lightness that accommodates the padded volume, characterised by couture craftsmanship.

      The Torii family includes sofas – with high or low backrest and a linear shape, rounded at the arms – inclined sofas with a combination of two different depths, armchairs and lounge and dining little armchairs, ottomans, coffee tables, and a slender, oval-shaped console table, ideal for placing anywhere in the living area.

      Blazer – Rodolfo Dordoni design

      Striking interior setting featuring Minotti seats

      Image credit: Minotti

      A virtuous combination of its design appeal, visible in the rigorous geometry of its volumes, and the haute couture approach exemplified by its precise, meticulous sartorial craftsmanship, Blazer is one of the creations that best expresses the most authentic artisanal attitude of Minotti.
      All the surfaces of the elements feature stitching, designing evenly-spaced bands on the covering of the base, cushions, armrests and backrest, and creating a quilting effect that identifies its look and instantly provides a sensation of comfort.

      The system includes seats with a depth of 108 cm and chaise-longue elements with a depth of 143 cm – with high and low backrests and armrests.
      The system is complemented by a series of cushions in different sizes and headrests, which can be freely positioned, decorating the seats and offering maximum comfort.

      The wide range, comprising sofas with strong character as well as modular elements, allows for the creation of original configurations, freely customisable thanks to the extensive choice of elements and exclusive coverings available.

      EDITOR’S PICK: Daiki – Marcio Kogan/studio mk27 design

      Inspired by the Brazilian architect’s many trips to Japan, the Daiki seats are born out of Marcio Kogan’s deep passion for Japanese culture and are conceived as a real tribute to Japanese design.

      The Daiki family includes armchairs with a deep seat, available both with and without armrests, and footstool. Created using sophisticated wood crafting techniques, the curved shell comprises two elements joined at a 45° angle, with a sloping backrest that guarantees maximum comfort. In palisander Santos or flamed ash veneer with Liquorice colour stain, the shell offers a snug fit for the cushions, and sits on a metal frame with legs in a Black-Nickel finish. In the version with leather upholstery, the cushions are quilted with stitching, while in the fabric version they only feature stitching.

      Daiki offers a design that also explores and reinterprets the American Mid-Century atmospheres in its bold, clean lines, precious materials and balanced proportions.

      Fynn Collection – GamFratesi design

      Image credit: Minotti

      Scandinavian values meet Italian tradition in Fynn, a project created by combining fine cabinet-making in the wooden elements and sophisticated upholstering with fabric or saddle-hide.

      The signature element of the Fynn seats is the armrest, elongated and slightly curved, rounded and smooth to the touch, 100 per cent handmade. Its precise, well-defined line identifies the whole family of seats, in the two Fynn and Fynn Saddle-Hide versions. Covered with the exclusive fabrics and saddle-hides in the collection, it fully expresses the high level of the elegant sartorial process which has always been Minotti’s distinguishing mark.

      The family comprises armchairs, lounge and dining little armchairs, benches, footstools and coffee tables.

      Mattia – Rodolfo Dordoni design

      Single Minotti armchair

      Image credit: Minotti

      Mattia is inspired by the reinterpretation of a creative sign from the early Seventies, offering a modern take on a design from the Minotti archive.
      The finely contoured shell accommodates the seat, opening up like a corolla to host the original roller feature of the backrest. Formal solutions reminiscent of sculptures and the balance between the rigid structure and the suspended volume give life to seats with a soft, enveloping look.

      The family comprises a three-seater sofa, an armchair and swivel lounge armchair, available with leather shell and fabric upholstered seat and backrest, or with total fabric or leather covering.

      Conceived as precious details to streamline and lighten the design, the steel feet jetting out from underneath sport a Black-Nickel finish. The swivel base of the lounge armchair is available in the same finish.

      Liam – Rodolfo Dordoni design

      Contemporary low table in front of Minotti sofa

      Image credit: Minotti

      With its clean lines, exquisite materials and sophisticated finishes, Liam adopts an architectural approach to design, expressed in its rational shapes.

      The family of Liam coffee tables is characterised by the airy 1 cm square steel structure, which designs a lightweight volume, defined by a polished Pewter colour finish. It hosts a top in Calacatta marble, Grigio Orobico marble, Black pâte de verre glass or brushed oak with Moka colour lacquer finish. In some elements, it also accommodates a lower, wooden surface for holding books, magazines and objects, also in brushed oak with Moka colour lacquer finish. Liam comes in a range of different sizes, with a square or rectangular shape, which can be used together to design original configurations, also matching them with tops of different materials.

      Flirt – Rodolfo Dordoni design

      Designed as a jewel-sculpture, with its metallic glints, the Flirt coffee table adds a bright touch to interiors. The structure, made entirely from a sheet of polished stainless-steel, is bent to form two “C”s facing one another, offering two semi-circular tops on different levels. Like an artist’s multiple, Flirt only comes in one size and is varnished in Black-Nickel or Gold. The screws that join the two C-shaped elements serve as decorative details, enhancing the metal sheet.

      In conclusion, the new Indoor Collection was designed imagining those living in them, their gestures and daily routines, tactile sensations, exclusive materials, the effect of the light as it illuminates a wooden or marble surface, and the gleam of a metal detail. Sophisticated furnishings, like a tailored suit, made to fit the user’s personality and taste, in line with Minotti’s design tradition. The different cultural backgrounds of the designers merge and contribute to give shape and voice to the “Minotti project”, which gathers the creative stimuli of the designers and is an exceptional example of contemporary style.

      Hotel Designs will be publishing its round-up of the Outdoor Collection 2020 by Minotti shortly. Minotti London, which is exclusive style partner at MEET UP London, is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

      Main image credit: Minotti

      Parkside launches Matrix ceramic wall tile collection

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Parkside launches Matrix ceramic wall tile collection

      Designed in collaboration with a leading colour consultant, Matrix is the latest ceramic wall tile collection from specification company Parkside Architectural Tiles…

      Inspiring creativity, Matrix offers an unprecedented portfolio of 23 tile colours, available in matt or gloss finishes, accompanied by matching grouts and trims.

      With the Matrix collection, Parkside wanted to create a range of colours that would allow the design community to curate co-ordinated looks or mix and match colours to create striking design statements.

      The Matrix colours were developed in collaboration with colour consultant Vanessa Konig, who wanted to ensure that they would complement natural materials as well as work across a range of environments; from warm, cosy restaurants and bars to more pared-back, minimalist designs.

      Image credit: Parkside Architectural Tiles

      The colours range from neutrals and pastels through to brights and jewels with some colours, such as Victoria Purple or Heritage Blue, being particularly on trend. Vanessa comments, “The deep, almost ultramarine, Heritage Blue would team up well with crisp white architectural details, used as you would a paint colour. For example, completely tiling a bathroom space floor to ceiling in this rich, elegant colour.”

      Available in 148 x 148mm and 98 x 198mm, every Matrix colour is accompanied by matching straight edge and box trims, as well as grout, allowing the creation of a beautifully coordinated end result in solid colour, or to experiment with striking designs combining contrasting tiles, grouts and trims. Sample boxes are available that include all 23 tile colours, grouts and a selection of trims.

      Image credit: Parkside Architectural Tiles

      If Matrix doesn’t have the options to meet specific colour requirements for a project, then Parkside’s Design Lab can work to any RAL or Pantone reference for ceramic wall tiles in a variety of sizes. However, with 23 tile, grout and trim colours to choose from, Matrix is a wonderful place to start.

      Parkside Architectural Tiles is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

      Main image credit: Parkside Architectural Tiles

      GOING LIVE: Discussing colour & wellbeing with Parkside

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      GOING LIVE: Discussing colour & wellbeing with Parkside

      Placing colour and wellbeing under the spotlight, editor Hamish Kilburn will join Parkside Architectural Tiles’ live at 16:00 (BST) today for the virtual panel discussion entitled: Curative Colour: the power to heal (click here to register)…

      Parkside Architectural Tiles is hosting a webinar to celebrate the upcoming launch of its new ceramic wall tile collection. Inspiring creativity, Matrix offers a range of 23 colours, accompanied by matching grouts and trims, that will allow the design community to curate co-ordinated looks or mix and match colours to create striking design statements.

      Click here to secure your virtual seats in the audience.

      Chaired by Joanna Watchman from workinmind.org, experts in wellbeing in the workplace, key designers and industry professionals will discuss how colour can improve wellbeing and be incorporated into thoughtful design. Joining Watchman on the virtual sofa will be Ben Channon, associate architect and head of wellbeing at Assael Architecture; Constantina Tsoutsikou, founder of Studio LOST who will bring a hospitality and public space perspective; Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs; and Vanessa Konig, Konig Colours.

      The webinar will be recorded and sent out afterwards to all registered attendees. If you have a question in advance for our panel then please pop this in the ‘questions and comments’ box when registering or email the team here.

      Parkside Architectural Tiles is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

      Main image credit: Parkside Architectural Tiles

      Enter UK Bathrooms Design Awards today!

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Enter UK Bathrooms Design Awards today!

      UK Bathrooms, one of the leading online store for premium designer bathroom products, has launched the UK Bathrooms Design Awards…

      The size of your project isn’t important, from the smallest cloakroom to a spacious house bathroom, all entries for the UK Bathrooms Design Awards are welcome.

      The expert panel of judges will be looking at sources of inspiration, clever use of space, product choice, overall design and lifestyle features.

      Entering couldn’t be easier, you simply need to take photos of your space, preferably before, during and after shots, log onto the website and complete the online entry form. A bathroom space is not always the easiest to take photographs of so UK Bathrooms offer the following advice:

      • Prepare the space first by starting with a blank canvas and then add back in a few *lifestyle items, maybe a candle or plant
      • Ensure everything is spotless and gleaming
      • Pop the toilet lid down
      • Focus on the best feature in the space
      • Try to balance the brightness form any window by switching off flash
      • Give a sense of space by stepping back as far you can in the room
      • Check reflections in mirrors and shower screens – make sure you’re not in them
      • Try different heights but usually best angle is from waist height or from sitting down
      • Avoid unwanted corners of furniture or parts of items around the edge of your shot
      • Avoid extra photo filters try to keep as real as possible

      Once you have taken your photos you only need to decide which category to enter, choosing from best design, where the prize is £500 Love 2 Shop Vouchers, best traditional bathroom or best contemporary bathroom and win Villeroy & Boch Tableware worth £500.  There are also three categories for professionals who can enter to win best architect/interior designer bathroom, best hotel/guest house/restaurant bathroom or best trades bathroom and enjoy the prize of £500 worth of products from www.ukbathrooms.com.

      Graeme Borchard, Managing Director at UK Bathrooms explains: “As the leading online store for premium designer bathroom products we sell to thousands of homeowners and professionals and decided that it was time to give something back and to recognise some of the stunning bathrooms that are being created in homes and businesses across the UK.  The UK Bathrooms Design Awards have been launched to recognise innovation in bathroom design.”  Graeme continues “We are extremely grateful to our manufacturers and distributors for their help and support, these currently include Arnolds, Bayswater, Barwicks, Crosswater, hansgrohe, Keuco, Matki, Perrin & Rowe, Victoria+Albert, Villeroy & Boch, VitrA and Zehnder Bisque.”

      The panel of judges will carefully consider all entries before making their decision in October 2020. For further details including full terms and conditions visit the website.

      UK Bathrooms is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

      Main image credit: UK Bathrooms/VitrA

      FEATURE: the making of a Moroccan dream

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      FEATURE: the making of a Moroccan dream

      Hotel Designs explores how design firm KAI Interiors converted an authentic Moroccan building into a timeless hotel… 

      The Dar Jasmine Boutique Hotel began as a dream in owner Yasmina Markouch’s mind when she began digging to make way for the building that now stands proudly in Chefchaouen, Morocco.

      After hunting for the ideal designer, she finally found KAI Interiors and we came on board to bring her dream into reality.

      Kai Interiors wanted to create an authentic, welcoming boutique hotel, led by traditional techniques, taking inspiration from Moroccan style and utilising local craftspeople to produce the majority of items and finishes. It needed to be authentic, but to have a contemporary twist, so it stands apart from the other hotels in the area.

      The build and fit-out itself took four years to complete. A vast amount of the elements are bespoke and handcrafted. The design is a perfect combination of Moroccan culture and traditional techniques, with a modern European edge. It is colourful and rich, yet calming and inviting. It feels elegant and luxurious, yet still feels rustic and sympathetic to the local area and surroundings. The aesthetic of the hotel sets the tone, but it was imperative that everything was practical too.

      Rich green planting and Jasmine flowers feature throughout the site, enhancing the natural light and the stunning view. We aimed to incorporate the view into the interior, and integrating the inside with natural surroundings was essential. One of the special elements about this hotel is the natural setting, featuring a wonderful roof terrace space perfect for yoga sessions and enjoying the view. One side overlooks the mountains, whilst the other looks down on the Chefchaouen city below, which is sprinkled with many variations of blue painted homes. The exterior of the hotel is painted in a very pale blue, in keeping with the theme of the city. Huge windows in the restaurant allow guests to view the city below and form a smooth transition into the natural setting outside.

      The restaurant and bar space is an impactful statement with dark blue tadelakt walls, contrasted with the bright exotic fabric. The lighting is a mix of hand-carved pineapple wall lights and perforated bronze pendants, designed to create delicate shadows against the walls in the evenings. Internal furniture and joinery were made by one joiner, which brought a cohesive character to the space. A stand out piece is the bar frontage, which features hand carved palm leaves.

      Image credit: KAI Interiors/The Dar Jasmine Hotel

      Image credit: KAI Interiors/The Dar Jasmine Hotel

      The communal spaces were designed to feel like a relaxing, home environment where guests feel comfortable to roam the grounds. It was requested that guests have the opportunity to enjoy peaceful moments within the space, so small nooks and hideaways were created throughout.

      The hotel rooms are all inspired by different areas of the world; this is a hotel designed both to accommodate, but also inspire, travel. All of the tiles used within the hotel were hand cut and glazed to bespoke colours, then set into bespoke patterns and shapes. Striking elements of the hotel are the marble parquet flooring, which makes a strong statement on arrival, and the many Moroccan tiles which are celebrated from room to room. Vases and pots with hand painted patterns were made by local tribes in the mountains and brought down to the city, then positioned within the hotel.

      KAI Interiors is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

      Main image credit: KAI Interiors/The Dar Jasmine Hotel

      PRODUCT WATCH: Focus’ latest outdoor fireplaces

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      PRODUCT WATCH: Focus’ latest outdoor fireplaces

      Summer, according to Focus, should be spent outside surrounded by elegance and warmth. Hotel Designs gets cosy around the outdoor fire to understand the brand’s latest range of products…

      Gathering around a fire is the highlight of convivial summer evenings.

      But a Focus design gives the experience extra soul and style, making special moments of life, whether on vacation, on the terrace or by the pool, unforgettable.

      Luxurious terrace with outdoor fireplace

      Image credit: Focus

      Focus’s outdoor range, which includes seven models – Gyrofocus, Bathyscafocus, Domofocus, Emifocus, Ergofocus, Miofocus and Paxfocus available in two versions: rust or black paint with anti-corrosion treatment.  This range offers a warm welcome to guests in any location.

      New for Summer 2020: compact and moveable, the amazing Bubble takes over the terrace.

      Image credit: Focus

      The new Bubble brazier is designed as a wood-burning outdoor fire. Intended to be installed in a garden or on a terrace, for the city or country, it is a compact and chic heat source with flickering flames designed to be enjoyed on balmy summer evenings. Equipped with two castors (on the back) and measuring a compact 700 mm in diameter, this brazier can be easily moved on level ground. Its removable inner bowl makes for low maintenance while its anti-corrosion coating allows it to withstand the effects of environment,  protecting the quality of its finish and its design. Bubble is part of the brazier-barbecue range that includes the ever-popular Sigmafocus and Diagofocus.

      Specialist outdoor treatments and finishes

      With the rust version, the fireplaces are treated with acid in the factory to start the process which allows metal to age naturally. Whilst, on delivery, the rust-finished fires are orange, the outdoor installation will allow the rust to evolve over time. Rusty steel will darken and evolve a unique patina resembling old leather or patinated bronze. It is then, according to Focus its most authentic and resplendent.

      Image credit: Focus

      In the matt black version, the paint has a specific anti-corrosion treatment. To benefit from the Focus guarantee, all outdoor models must be installed under cover and at least 10 km from the seaside.

      Focus is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

      Main image credit: Focus

      FIRST LOOK: Bespoke by Burlington floods personality into the hotel bathroom

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      FIRST LOOK: Bespoke by Burlington floods personality into the hotel bathroom

      The new Bespoke by Burlington collection, which was designed in collaboration with Julie Ingham, marks a ‘new era’ for the leaders in traditional bathrooms…

      With the launch of Bespoke by Burlington, Bathroom Brands Group Projects has just stretched the limits of possibilities when it comes to customisation in bathroom aesthetics.

      Representing a new era of classic bathroom design, Bespoke by Burlington is a distinctive and unique collection of coloured and hand-decorated ceramics. Offering true customisation, the new products provide architects, specifiers and designers with an unsurpassed level of individuality, placing Burlington at the very forefront of modern-day bathroom design, whilst remaining true to its historic influences and style.

      “The new Bespoke by Burlington collection marks a really exciting turning point for us as a Group,” explained Mick Bone, Director of Group Projects at Bathroom Brands. “Burlington’s products, in particular the Edwardian collection, have long been favourites of specifiers, designers and architects, especially within the hospitality market. Now, we can offer them even more choice when it comes to customisation, whilst maintaining the enduring quality and sought after authentic traditional style that Burlington has become known for.”

      Image caption: Oriental Blossum from the Bespoke by Burlington collection

      Drawing inspiration from the decorated and coloured ceramics of bygone eras, Burlington worked in collaboration with British designer Julie Ingham to create the Bespoke by Burlington collection. Made to order by skilled craft workers in Staffordshire, in England, using the finest materials, the collection is presented on a selection of Burlington’s best-selling Edwardian basins and WCs.

      From the intricate hand-illustrated patterns of the Art Deco, Floral, Seascape and Cityscape decorated designs to the bold and captivating shades of the Confetti Pink, Alaska Blue and Moon Grey ceramics, the wide choice of stunning pieces broadens Burlington’s portfolio to now encompass bolder colours and exquisite decorative details, offering the opportunity to deliver truly unique projects.

      Ideal for commercial, hospitality and residential design projects, Bespoke Lettering provides the ultimate opportunity for personalisation. Customers may choose between three lettering styles and a choice of two locations on selected basin sizes in Burlington’s Edwardian basin collection, the perfect individual finishing touch a bathroom scheme.

      Burlington is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

      Main image credit: Burlington

      Hyatt to expand Alila Brand in Americas

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Hyatt to expand Alila Brand in Americas

      Expected to open in early 2021, Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas will become the brand’s debut new-build resort and will shelter innovative eco-design and authentic destination experiences…

      Hyatt has announced plans for the first new-build Alila resort in the Americas, which will be located in Encinitas, Calif., a quintessential beach town in San Diego’s North County Coastal region.

      Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas is being designed by San Diego-based Joseph Wong Design Associates with interior design by Mark Zeff Associates. Developed by JMI Realty and Fenway Capital Advisors, the hotel will add to Hyatt’s growing Alila brand portfolio, joining Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort, as the brand’s second hotel in California and the U.S., along with 14 other luxury properties worldwide.

      “We are thrilled to announce the development of the first new-build Alila resort in the Americas, marking a significant milestone for Hyatt,” said Susan Santiago, Global Head of Lifestyle and Miraval Operations at Hyatt. “The Alila brand has long been a leader in crafted luxury and responsible tourism, and Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas will embody that same ethos when it debuts in Southern California.”

      Situated along coastal bluffs and overlooking Grandview and South Ponto Beaches, Alila Marea Beach Resort Encinitas will be a luxury oceanfront hotel with 130 guestrooms, including 16 suites. The resort will offer an ocean-view restaurant with rooftop patio, a pool with pool bar and an infinity-edge hot tub, a luxury Spa Alila and spectacular wedding and events venues, all with panoramic Pacific Ocean and lagoon views.

      The hotel will seamlessly blend into the bluffs with natural building materials and native plants, delivering on the brand’s reputation of innovative eco-design. With the hotel’s namesake, “Marea,” meaning “tide” in Italian and Spanish, the resort will provide a distinctly Southern California feel, with bespoke experiences inspired by the area’s natural landscape, as well as its vibrant surf and beach culture.

      Main image credit: Hyatt/Alila

      Luxury outdoor area at Sopwell House

      MINIVIEW: Designing a ‘bare foot luxury spa’ at Sopwell House

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      MINIVIEW: Designing a ‘bare foot luxury spa’ at Sopwell House

      Design studio Sparcstudio created a relaxed, yet elegant design concept to the recently refurbished £14 million Cottonmill Club spa within Sopwell House in St Albans, Hertfordshire…

      Set in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside, on the outskirts of historic St Albans in England, the Club at Cottonmill within Sopwell House was unveiled to the public in August last year.

      Luxury outdoor area at Sopwell House

      With an eye on the luxury guest market, the £14 million project covered an extensive development period of six years. Owned since 1986 by the family-run AB Hotels, Sopwell House retains its original Georgian grandeur with the main building sheltering the majority of the hotel’s accommodation, its restaurants and the spa, which now has a two-tiered membership that offers a new level of exclusivity in the shape of The Club at Cottonmill.

      Image credit: Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House, designed by Sparcstudio

      Image credit: Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House, designed by Sparcstudio Design

      Sparcstudio developed the interiors and architectural design for the project which included a total refurbishment of the existing spa areas and the addition of a large, sleek glazed three-storey extension linking on to a new private spa garden (designed by Ann Marie Powell). Sparcstudio worked with Debi Green to develop the operational details and ISA Architects were appointed to assist with the delivery of the building itself.

      Tasked with creating a premium aesthetic throughout the spa, Sparcstudio employed a rich, natural palette of materials, including marble and carved limestone relief tiles in the reception’s column cladding, as well as end-grain timbers to create a tactile feel.

      Image credit: Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House, designed by Sparcstudio

      Clever space planning with bespoke designed elements and experiences create moments of surprise for the guest as Beverley Bayes, Creative Director, Sparcstudio explains: “The unique feel of Cottonmill is largely down to space-planning and the inclusion of so many bespoke aspects and experiences.

      Image credit: Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House, designed by Sparcstudio

      Image credit: Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House, designed by Sparcstudio

      “We hope there is an element of surprise in the guest journey, which begins in the spaces carved out of original rooms within the Georgian building, but ends in an amazing contemporary new build over three levels with full-height glazing and direct links to the glamorous spa garden.”

      The project features bespoke furniture design and fittings, from the small oval glass, brass and stone tables in the ‘sitting room’, the luxurious bespoke double loungers for the Garden Relaxation and Whisper rooms to bronze privacy screens, as well as the glazed critical screens between reception and the ‘sitting room’ with ‘cotton-reel’ installation.

      Image credit: Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House, designed by Sparcstudio

      Image credit: Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House, designed by Sparcstudio

      Bayes elaborates: “We are very lucky to have worked with a visionary client who has been involved in every detail. AB Hotels managed the implementation of this huge project themselves and we respect the extra mile they went to ensure the design was beautifully implemented, from the ‘sunray’ veneered doors with their Calacatta-lined architraves to the etched glass doors and bespoke cast metal handles of the heat cabins.”

      Image credit: Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House, designed by Sparcstudio

      Barefoot luxury

      The overall feel of the interiors is über luxurious and is driven by the guest experience and the desire to create a beautiful spa journey that is stimulating as well as ‘Relaxed and Informal’, combining glamour and a sense of ‘Barefoot luxury’ that you might enjoy in a luxury resort outside of the UK. Bayes explains: “The swinging woven suspended seats around the bespoke fireplaces (clad with blocks of end grain willow) provide a playful touch and the social centre piece of each of the main relaxation spaces.

      Image credit: Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House, designed by Sparcstudio

      Image credit: Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House, designed by Sparcstudio

      “We are particularly proud of the variety of bespoke designed heat cabins that we created which range from the organic sauna which is formed from Aspen, a white timber, and with the natural light flooding in, feels like you are sitting in the garden, to the glamorously lit Quartz lined salt stream room, and the first floor angular Panoramic that provides dramatic views on two sides of the grounds. ‘The jewel in the crown’ is the green slate lined outdoor Hydro-pool which is designed to provide an experience akin to ‘wild swimming’.

      Comfort was key in the design of aspects and elements throughout the spa which boasts deep bespoke sofas laden with cushions in grey green and aqua shades crafted from fabrics including washed cotton and linen. Interiors feature a rich and sumptuous, but natural palette of materials, which includes smerelda marble, carved limestone relief tiles (reception column cladding) and end grain timbers to create a tactile feel. Bayes concludes: “We think the overall outcome is luxurious, warm and welcoming, definitely relaxing and conducive to contemplation and wellbeing.”

      Sparcstudio is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

      Main image credit: SparcStudio/Sopwell House

      Mirror, mirror on the wall, how do I meaningfully design reflective surfaces?

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Mirror, mirror on the wall, how do I meaningfully design reflective surfaces?

      Reflective surfaces mirror a fascination for us all. Whether viewed across a becalmed lake or through an ornate framed reflection over the mantel place they each are seemingly a portal to another world. Designer Peter Mance, the director of MAAPS Design and Architecture, explains…

      For interior design, mirrors and reflective surfaces are a material superpower and an integral component of how MAAPS reimagines and designs space.

      Once solely a mystical surface and religious metaphor for divine interpretation by Scryers and Soothsayers, mirrors are seemingly a portal to another world. As such, reflection continues to carry a residual sense of visual mystery, fascination and wonder, whether viewed across a becalmed lake or through an ornate framed mirror above the mantel.

      In the context of architecture and interiors, mirrors retain a magical ability to bend, extend, and morph our perception of and our relationship to inhabited space. Hovering between two and three dimensions, and in the fleeting moment of transparency, mimicry, and illusion, one’s imagination and perception of reality both instantly undergo four remarkable kinds of spatial transformation through a looking glass. This is what Plato refers to as a “visual spirit” which zips from the eye to a mirror, is reflected back to the observer’s face, thence to the mirror again, and finally back to the eye…

      Compressed History

      The first mirrored surfaces recorded are in found in polished artifacts dating back to 600BC. Hero(n) of Alexandria (15 to 75AD), a Greek mathematician and engineer who invented the steam engine, extols the many virtues and practical applications of refraction and reflection in his work of Catoptrica.

      His explorations and observations form the philosophical foundations of perception and understanding of visual reality.

      Later, and more menacingly, the power of reflected light was deployed in warfare by Anthemius (of Tralles) in ~500AD. Adopting a central hexagonal mirror and an encircling corona to guide the light of the sun to a single point of focus, Anthemius created the “burning” mirror – effectively the first analogue laser capable of incinerating approaching fleets or armies.

      Greek explorations seeking answers to the secret of light and perception, and later taken up by Arabic scholars, were lost; then rediscovered and translated into Latin to be studied anew throughout Europe during the Renaissance period. Murano in Italy became the epicentre of glass and subsequently mirror technology during the 15th & 16thC. It is no coincidence that Venetian artisans evolve the highly coveted skill of applying tin backing to glass sheets

      As Italy’s economic dominance wains during the 17thC, France’s unrelenting desire to acquire the secrets of mirrors finally succeeds when three Murano masters are bribed and transported into France. The Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles is the first dramatic spatial expression of this transfer of knowledge and breaks the Venetian monopoly of this magical surface. The captured technology of mirror making is here wielded by the Sun King as a regal platform, reflecting and multiplying the ornate splendour of this spectacular room and the expansive gardens beyond – representing a kingdom of infinite opulence.

      Public/private view

      Mirrors in a public place provide a collective shared view and simultaneous private view. We are constantly intrigued, anticipating what may happen consciously when these parallel views states and individual perceptions of realities collide. A tantalising, fractured kaleidoscope of splintered shards of illusionary reality are experienced as space and time are transformed by these glamourous and beguiling surfaces.

      Humankind are one of the few species that can intellectually comprehend reflection and identify ourselves in a reflection. It is interesting to note that we often describe our internal mental landscape and moods using outward spatial perceptions – to reflect, to gain a sense of perspective.

      The mirror is a unique facet of a noetic experience within the places in which we dwell and inhabit. Providing an internalised realm of calm meditation of what we see. Sometimes pleasurable, occasionally surprising or reassuring, often strangely disconcerting, the act of catching oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continual assessment of ourselves. The viewer, through their observation is necessary reflected, and the conscious moment of evaluation, place, and time, is instant.

      Use in space

      Designing with mirrors is to invite a space to transform and open. The use of a large statement mirror can make a small room appear much larger than it is, particularly if the mirror encompasses an entire wall, is placed in a central location, or even if it is shaped like a window to create the illusion of openness and space beyond.

      Image caption: Jewel Hotel Guestroom, New York | Image credit: MAAPS/RHA

      Depending on the size, shape, placement, and ornamentation of a mirror, it can serve a variety of different aesthetic and functional purposes in an architectural or interior setting. Mirrors can act as spatial camouflage, layering, collapsing, and disrupting the passage of light.  Within interiors mirrors can be considered as deliberate object, or as a mass surface, a portal, or as a focusing device.

      Glancing views providing anticipation of approaching spaces, providing visual intrigue and pull, a sense of discovery, and self-animated movement. Mirrors positioned close to the line of the ceiling visually appropriate illusionary volumes and breath into the implied space beyond.

      Image caption: Mirage installation for Hungary’s 2014 Sziget Music Festival | IMage credit: Studio Nomad

      Ultimately, mirrors possess a chameleon quality and can dramatically transform a built space, where an interior either expands or dissolves and our visual experience of perception is shifted. Whether mirrors serve to accentuate an existing interior, lead you visually through to another space, tease and stimulate our curiosity, keep the imagination engaged, or simply to characterise a newly built space, they are versatile devices and instruments of light.

      Mirrors in bathroom

      Image caption: The Infiniti Bathroom | Image credit: MAAPS

      Therefore, it is only natural as designers that we want to celebrate reflection within the interior as both a quality of physical and mental space. In a constrained bathroom, 900mm wide, we played the Infiniti game and applied mirrors to directly opposing surfaces. The smallest room transforms into a meditative space for expansive contemplation.

      Sir John Soane’s Museum

      Soane’s s use of light and mirrors is perhaps the most captivating aspect of the museum interior for us. Many of the principle rooms are delightfully augmented and subtly rendered with natural lighting effects and carefully positioned mirrors. Perhaps seen to greatest effect in the Library, Dining Room and Breakfast Room.

      Soane’s use of light is a distinctive and consistent trait of his architecture and interiors. He produced complex, multi-layered effects with light and shade by innovatively deploying forms and structure to marshal the play of light. Creatively implementing devices, still in use today, such as top-lighting, strategically aligned mirrored surfaces and vistas, along with coloured glass to transform the experience of the spaces he designed.

      Soane’s spatial techniques were instrumental and one of the contextual sources of inspiration for our use of mirrors with the guestrooms at Club Quarters Lincoln’s Inn Fields hotel.

      Mirrors in modern guestroom

      Image caption: Club Quarters, Lincoln’s Inn Fields Alumni Guestroom | Image credit: MAAPS

      Perception of light

      Lebbeus Woods’ notes on “Measuring Light” (April 30, 2012) are apposite when considering our relationship and engagement with the reflected self. As with Sir John Soane, it is the handling of light that is important. “Light is a natural phenomenon the complexity of which reveals the structure of human consciousness. Objects, including building, in their absorption and reflection of light stimulate a human’s neural networks, in effect activating the brain. The more complex and nuanced the stimulation the more the brain comes to life. Shape, edge, texture, colour, shadow, highlight – play with and against one another – effectively enable the brain to make the most subtle distinctions, thereby imbuing human experiences with a richness and complexity that defines it… the perception of light is central.”

      The mirror can therefore be viewed as an instrument that reveals the presence of light and therefore giving it a precise measure and place in our conception of interior space. As designers for Zoffini we have taken to heart Woods’ sensibilities of light and aligned it with Anthemius’ articulated mirror instrument to create our own variant of a “Shift Mirror”. Breaking the reflected surface, to redirect light, and to offer an altered sense of perspective.

      Image caption: Shift Mirror, Crown Mirror, and Sutton Fire Surround for Zoffini | Image credit: MAAPS

      In conclusion, it is not at all surprising that we have come to appreciate the mirrored surface as such a wonderful and adaptive material in the world of design. The mirror is an oddly passive, introspective, intrusive, and energetic surface. Not just because it reflects the environments and people around it, but because by the very nature of its reflective quality transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.

      Though we may have rationally put away all mystical metaphors, mirrors will remain analogous with the stuff of magic and imagination – from mirrors on walls used by manipulative stepmothers to joining Alice with her Looking Glass portal to step through into a different world.

      Written and pondered while listening too: The Beat – ‘Mirror in the Bathroom’, Benjamin Britten – ‘Narcissus from Six Metamorphoses after Ovid’, Need For Mirrors – ‘Reverie’, Maurice Ravel – ‘Miroirs III’, Harold Budd – ‘The Serpent in Quicksilver’, Bomb The Base – ‘So Special (Toob’s Special Special Mix), John McCarthy & Ken Currie, BBC Something Understood (06/03/2016) – ‘On Reflection’; Reading Mark Pendergrast – Mirror Mirror, Lebbeus Woods blog notes from Slow Manifesto, Jonathan Miller – On Reflection, Stefan Buzas & Richard Bryant – Sir John Soane’s Museum, Team Yellowtrace – Mesmerising Mirrors in Art & Architecture, David Hockney – Secret Knowledge… at home.

      MAAPS Design and Architecture is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

      Main image credit: David Hockney – Viewers Looking at a Ready-Made with Skull and Mirrors

      The Flame of mori.london by Studio Waldemeyer

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      The Flame of mori.london by Studio Waldemeyer

      Lighting expert Mortiz Waldemeyer’s innovative collection was born from the simple act of playing with fire. Hotel Designs learns more…

      As far back as the collective memory of mankind goes, the flame has been the first and only light source, guiding our ancestors through history from the moment we dared to differentiate ourselves from the animal kingdom. The fascination with the movement and warmth of this light source is hardwired into our brains thanks to millions of years of this most special of relationships. The advent of electric light has done nothing to diminish our love for candle light, if anything it has helped to emphasise, just how special it’s effect is to us.

      A few years back a playful experiment with a small LED matrix at Studio Waldemeyer produced a surprising result. Despite it’s very low resolution, the digital circuit managed to perfectly reproduce the complex motion of a flame. But the surprise was less in the technical ability but in people’s response to it. As if by magic we had captured the essence of everything a flame means, and added some intrigue. The tiny circuit had its own soul and captured peoples imagination unlike anything we had created up to this point or since.

      After an encouraging debut with Ingo Maurer, London based Studio Waldemeyer launched their own brand mori.london on Kickstarter in 2017 while simultaneously showing the new line during Milan Design Week.

      Studio Waldemeyer

      Image credit: Studio Waldemeyer

      mori.london sets out to define a completely new category of LED lighting: playful, emotional, atmospheric and elegant, always innovative and always low power and low impact on the environment. mori.london creates the perfect balance of beautifully crafted objects with a sprinkling of tech. We use inspiration from the past to re-invent the future.

      The response to the concept has been incredible: thumbs up from design heroes     such as Ingo Maurer, Philippe Starck and Tom Dixon and a place in MoMA’s permanent collection. The London Design Museum shows the history of light inventions starting with Edison’s light bulb and finishing with the mori.london LED candle.

      The versatility of the concept perfectly lends itself to beautiful bespoke installations. Bicester village trusted Studio Waldemeyer two years in a row with gigantic Christmas installations based on LED flames. Thousands of oil lamps and flying lanterns magically transformed their UK, French and German retail villages.

      Nobu Hotel’s minimalist Christmas tree made it onto every single list of London’s best Christmas trees in 2018 while mori.london chandeliers started appearing at Rossana Orlandi Gallery during Milan design week.

      Studio Waldemeyer

      Image Credit: Studio Waldemeyer

      The product range is growing further, currently, new wall lights and XL flames are in the works with higher resolution and more detailed animation, while the studio has taken on new commissions of the largest installations yet to be seen.

      Studio Waldemeyer is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

      Main image credit: Studio Waldemeyer

      Lighting design: guests’ demands come first

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Lighting design: guests’ demands come first

      Following the industry emerging from the pandemic, lighting brand Franklite explains how guests are at the heart as the hospitality industry enters unchartered waters…

      It’s important to understand how the right light can be used in different environments. For instance, in a hotel, light can be used to create an ambience and welcoming feel when paired with the right decor and natural light.

      The right light can create a warm and friendly atmosphere; however, the wrong light can easily detract from a nicely decorated room.

      Lighting in hotels should be installed with guests at the heart. The entire guest experience starts as soon as you arrive at the front desk of a hotel. If you are arriving late at night, the lighting should be warm and welcoming, helping you to feel relaxed and comforted. This is in contrast to when arriving in the morning, where there should be plenty of daylight or if not possible, bright white lighting, to help you feel energised and awake.

      Image credit: Franklite

      It’s important to make the best use of light in each space, to create a relaxing atmosphere throughout the entire hotel. For example, the lighting in the restaurant will require different lighting at different times of the day. During the day, where natural light changes are more noticeable, different scenes make it easy to adapt and maintain the right light level. At night, the lighting may be needed to assist in creating a romantic setting.

      Understanding these nuances has been the key to Franklite’s success, having manufactured and distributed decorative lighting products from our purpose-built premises for more than 45 years. The brand is renowned, both in the U.K. and abroad, for the quality and versatility of its lighting, a reputation built on using only the finest components in the manufacturing process.

      The lighting brand has evolved into a company offering a diverse range of decorative LED lighting products for both interior and exterior, domestic and contract applications, including all areas of hospitality and especially in hotels.

      Franklite was one of the first manufacturers of energy saving chandeliers within the U.K. lighting industry. The brand understands the importance of keeping up to date with changes in regulation, the development of super-efficient light sources, and changing interior design trends.

      Along with its constantly updated catalogue range, Franklite is able to offer bespoke LED lighting solutions for special projects, ensuring your design is ahead of the game and adding that ‘WOW’ factor when required. The company has dedicated contract sales and technical teams with many years of experience in lighting to assist with all your requirements.

      If you would like any assistance or advice on using our products in your next project, please contact us on 01908 691818 or visit the website.

      Main image credit: Franklite

       

      UPDATE: Sleep & Eat goes virtual for 2020

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      UPDATE: Sleep & Eat goes virtual for 2020

      This year’s Sleep & Eat, which was due to physically take place at Olympia London in November, will now happen in a virtual format…

      The highly anticipated Sleep & Eat event, which year-on-year welcomes designers, architects and suppliers from across the UK and Europe, has announced that the 2020 event will go ahead, but in a slightly different format.

      Instead of being sheltered inside Olympia London, the event will now be rebranded as Sleep & Eat Virtual 2020, following the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

      In a statement, the organisers said: “For 15 years Sleep & Eat has been the place where the hospitality design community connects, and we understand the importance of this in the current climate. With Sleep & Eat Virtual we are excited to create an event which will enable the industry to continue to gain inspiration, source new products, expand their knowledge and network with contacts old and new.” 

      Uniquely, Sleep & Eat Virtual 2020 will also co-locate virtually with Decorex with the aim to bring the industry together on November 3 – 5. This co-location is said to offer new and exciting opportunities for both events, which will attract new audiences.

      “For the industry to bounce back quickly there is a real need for us to come together in 2020 and discuss our future,” said Sleep & Event Director, Mark Gordon. “There is still a huge desire for the industry to be united, to be inspired, share knowledge, and spark planned and ad-hoc conversations. Sleep & Eat Virtual will give all the opportunity to achieve this and we are very excited.”

      Main image credit: Sleep & Eat

      CASE STUDY: a bespoke lighting scheme for The St. Regis Venice

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      CASE STUDY: a bespoke lighting scheme for The St. Regis Venice

      Bespoke lighting solution provider Inspired by Design was approached by interior design firm Sagrada to assist in sourcing lighting for just under 200 guestrooms and suites inside The St Regis Venice…

      The St Regis Venice, designed by London-based design firm Sagrada, captures unmatched vistas that stretch over the building’s luxurious gardens, as well as the Grand Canal.

      When it came to lighting, here’s how the designers created the appropriate ambiance in both the public areas and guestrooms.

      “It was a difficult project to achieve as it required our extensive knowledge of manufacturers worldwide to produce a bespoke floor light reminiscent of the 1950s,” explains Simon Shuck from Inspired by Design. “As always, we rose to the challenge and found a factory that still had the molds available.” The factory then provided sample finishes with slightly colour variation to ensure we could match the clients exacting finishes. To finish the floorlight there was a shade manufactured to the interior designers choice of fabric and detailing.

      However, the involvement did not stop there.

      The next item was to produce a bespoke triptych mirror for the bathrooms. It had an exquisite sandblasted detailing to be produced on either side, backlit and to a very specific size and shape. The factory worked closely with the design team as numerous drawings and revisions were made until all the finer details of their designs were achieved before the triptych went into production.

      Image credit: St Regis Venice/Marriott Hotels

      Within the nearly 200 guestrooms and suites, the company’s expertise was tested again to produce both the bedside and vanity pendants . These required a facetted design to the glass, produced by Venetian master glass blowers to replicate the ceiling details. At the same time the faceting enabled the light to to cast a shadow onto the headboards to mimic the detailing on the ceiling and drapes.

      Many samples had to be produced to ensure that the overall design intent would be achieved and as always the Venetian artisans lived up to their reputation.

      The completed lighting creates a perfect ambience in the guestrooms, which compliments the history of the building. Shuck adds: “We are confident that when the guests arrive into their room they will be greeted by a beautifully and tastefully designed bedroom creating a luxurious stay in a very relaxed atmosphere.”

      Inspired By Design is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

      Main image credit: St Regis Venice/Marriott Hotels

      Falcon Contract Flooring: the people behind the brand

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Falcon Contract Flooring: the people behind the brand

      To celebrate putting flooring under this month’s editorial spotlight, Hotel Designs was given access into one of the industry’s most trusted carpet and vinyl specialist brands. Editor Hamish Kilburn learns more about Falcon Contract Flooring’s ethos and the people who are driving its continued success…

      By the time Charles and Tom Hassall took over the reins, Falcon Contract Flooring had vast grown since the beginning with two men and a van. They had secured a huge client in Whitbread (think Premier Inn, Beefeaters, Brewers Fayre, Table Table and Bar + Block) thanks to Ian Hassall and had the determination to expand further. They did just that.

      Since 2012, Falcon have experienced 675 per cent growth. Two office staff has increased to more than 30. From once having 10 installers, they now have more than 100, working up to seven days a week. It is likely you will have seen a Falcon van on the road, considering they have gone from a fleet of five vans, to a fleet of more than 65. In the short space of only eight years; this amount of growth is unprecedented.

      Gone are the days of servicing areas around Birmingham, the company works on a nationwide basis and has work from John O’Groats Grouts to Land’s End.  Over the last eight years, Falcon had forecast a growth of 30 per cent year-on-year, and they have achieved it, even beyond their expectation. Last year alone, Falcon reached a 45 per cent growth from the year before. Part of this is down to installing 15,000 bedrooms for hotels around Britain in 2019. To put that into perspective, the average Travelodge hotel in the UK holds 75 rooms, to complete as many rooms as they did, Falcon would be fitting nearly three full hotels a week; and that’s just part of the works completed! There is a reason Falcon are the chosen contractor for some of the top hospitality clients.

      Falcon have storage throughout England and Scotland to accommodate for the capacity of projects and enquiries. In April 2019, Falcon bought their second warehouse in order to withstand the constant growth and were thrilled at the prospect of expanding further. Nowhere is unreachable, the Falcon fly’s high and goes far.

      Image credit: Falcon Contract Flooring

      Transparency

      The key to Falcon’s success has arguably been their morals, their values, their honesty and their integrity. The transparency offered to each client is completely guaranteed. From original enquiry, to free survey, to quotation, to the running of the works up to completion and invoicing; the team will be clear every step of the way.

      The surveyors will offer advice and strategy in terms of work and the quotation is transparent and concise, detailing every part of the job. Project Managers are allocated to each project and this will be their first port of call, day or night; they are available 24 hours a day. This is a company based on honesty, and when issues and problems arise, they do not shy away. Falcon come up with solutions, not problems and any complications are handled professionally and efficiently.

      With clients in the medical sector, Falcon realise how important it is to adhere to scopes of work and set timeframes. Installers will work at all hours of the day and night to achieve the best results with minimal snagging. With the amount of work completed last year, it is clear the team are streamlined and successful in their methods.

      As an innovative differentiator, Falcon are currently in the process of developing their very own CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) system, something they have been working on for several years to get just right, in the hope of achieving the perfect client and contractor relationship. The primary objective is drive transparency through so the client can see exactly what stage their project is at; a tracking process, you could say. This will be a first for the flooring trade and is a first to market application; again, confirming Falcon to be the most forward thinking and pioneering company of its industry.

      Falcon are also fantastic at saving clients’ money. Last year they saved their clients more than one million pounds from sourcing better and using innovative ways to produce great results. Above all else they are a partner of choice.

      Image credit: Falcon Contract Flooring

      The clients

      Falcon’s reputation has earned them some of the top hospitality clients in the UK, including the biggest hotel chains in the UK – Travelodge and Premier Inn. Covering new builds and refurbishments, Falcon have held the contract with these two hotel giants for several years. But it wasn’t just handed to them; Falcon work hard for the results they are seeing today. When Travelodge suffered a leak in a London hotel on a Friday evening, Falcon bought the whole team in to measure, cut and prepare the carpet for replacement. Installers travelled and worked through the night to amend the flood damage and by morning, the hotel was back up and running.

      Falcon can offer a reactive and maintenance service; offering work completions with 24 hours SLA. If a hotel room goes offline, Falcon can potentially attend, repair or replace within a day; helping the hospitality sector keep up with demand and revenue. They offer minimal disruption to a business whilst working to strict Health and Safety guidelines.

      As one of the UK’s leading contractors, Falcon are experienced in working alongside other companies and every team member, internal staff or installers are approachable and friendly. Their installers are experienced and experts of their trade, making it easy for them to work alone or to be supervised on site.

      Although a large amount of their work comes from hospitality, Falcon have worked hard over the past few years to build up a good portfolio in Healthcare with a large contract with BMI hospitals around the UK, as well as Audley villages Retirement homes. During the recent global pandemic, for a company who strive to help others, they were grateful to those on the frontline and did everything they could to make their jobs a little easier in the hospitals. When working in healthcare, it is important to complete works at a convenient time. Falcon can adapt to the client’s needs and last-minute changes do not faze them, they will always make sure the job is completed and the job is completed to the highest of standards.

      What’s next?

      So, what’s left to achieve for this nationwide flooring contractor? Managing Director Charles has the drive and determination to take Falcon to a global platform and is thrilled to be opening the first Falcon office in India in October 2020. With enquiries coming from all over Europe and the Far East, it is no surprise now is the time to branch out.

      With initial interest coming from the US, Falcon plan to open the first of 12 proposed offices over a 3-year period in America from March 2021. Having spent months there, Falcon have a clear vision of where they will take the brand and they also have a very strategic plan on how this will be executed.

      It would be wrong to say Covid-19 hasn’t impacted on every one of us. Falcon are no different, but they refuse to sit back. One of Falcon’s biggest traits is helping the local community and anybody in need. They are offering to fully audit an estate or site to generate a report for what could be done to aid the reopening of site’s and maintaining government guidelines. This could be using Hazard warning signs or stop signs imbedded in vinyl or carpet. There is also the ability to replace carpet for more infection control safe materials if required.

      So, why choose Falcon over any other UK based flooring contractor? It may be their experience and knowledge of all flooring aspects from carpet, to wooden floors, to vinyl, to safety flooring. It may be their USP for their fast and reactive response to a problem. It may be their top client list and contracts obtained over a period of years. It may be the incredible growth showing the real success they have achieved over the last five years. But the main reason, the real reason why Falcon should be the contractor of choice? The people who work there. The people who run the jobs, who dedicate their time to guarantee a successful project and to guarantee a happy client. You won’t find a more committed or hard-working team.

      Main image credit: Falcon Contract Flooring

      Technology talk with Technological Innovations Group

      730 565 Hamish Kilburn
      Technology talk with Technological Innovations Group

      Following lengthy debates regarding technology that took place at Hotel Designs LIVE, editor Hamish Kilburn caught up Technological Innovations Group’s Director of Hospitality, Leisure and Retail (EMEA) Christophe Malsot…  

      Technological Innovations Group (TIG) was the headline sponsor of Hotel Designs LIVE, the new one-day virtual conference that was born out of the idea to keep the industry connected and talking during the pandemic.

      Following my address to the audience of designers, architects, hoteliers and developers, I took five minutes ahead of going live to the first seminar of the day to speak to the brand’s Director of Hospitality, Leisure and Retail (EMEA), Christophe Malsot. In the quick-fire interview, I wanted to know more about the TIG ‘ecosystem of solutions’, understand how its meeting new demands of modern travellers and users as well as understanding Malsot’s view on where technology in hospitality is heading.

      Hamish Kilburn: Christophe, in a sentence, what does Technological Innovations Group (TIG) do?

      Christophe Malsot: We are an EMEA sales agency offering an ecosystem of brands at the forefront of leading-edge technology development – we provide a full range of AV, UC, IT and control solutions that work together to create superior smart spaces that transform your future!

      HK: Your vision is to create smart spaces that transform the future. Define a smart space?

      CM: Smart Spaces connect people and technology in new ways: they add real value and are created with the latest AV/UC solutions that work together seamlessly to provide a convenient, efficient and secure user experience. 

      The term refers to a space that uses Internet of Things to connect every device with a simple, intuitive and user-friendly control solution. This significantly enhances the customer experience, and increases their loyalty to you.

      For example, hosting a large group seminar or conference is easier than ever before. Guests will be impressed by the ease with which they can run their presentation and control the technologies in the room. Wireless presentation systems offer flexibility, enabling guests to stream uncompressed video from any laptop or mobile device, with just the touch of a button. Hosts can enjoy full control over the lighting, shades, temperature, and audio volume in the room through a simple touch screen. With cost-effective and energy-efficient technologies such as occupancy sensors and room scheduling software, the lighting and AV systems automatically shut down when the room is empty. And any system troubles can be remotely solved.

      HK: On your website, you mention that TIG is an eco-system of solutions for smart spaces, can you explain what you mean by this?

      CM: At TIG, we work hard to push the boundaries of technological integration for Smart Spaces. We offer a solutions-based approach to your current and future needs. There is no ‘one size fits all’, so our portfolio includes solutions that complement one another to create bespoke experiences. Our biggest technology provider is Crestron, and Crestron always sits at the heart of our ecosystem. But the other brands we represent work together to perfectly c