9th March 2023 | IN HOTEL DESIGN | BY SBID ShareTweetPinterestLinkedIn In this week’s interview with 2022 SBID Awards winners of the Hotel Bedroom & Suites Design category, Brime Robbins, Maria Brime & Garrett Robbins shine the spotlight on the intricate details of their project, discuss their design approach and talk about connecting the world and translating the stories and culture through design. Brime Robbins were commissioned for the interior design at Andaz Prague, the first Hyatt hotel in the Czech Republic and the first luxury lifestyle hotel in Prague. In the historic building known ‘Sugar Palace’ Brime Robbins worked to not only preserve and elevate the historic features of the building but create an experience integral to the identity of Prague itself. SBID Awards Category: Hotel Bedroom & Suites Design Practice: Brime Robbins Entry: Andaz Prague Firstly, tell us a bit about the design of your project. What were the key ideas, concepts and processes behind it? In transforming the historic Sugar Palace building into a luxury Andaz hotel, Brime Robbins harnessed the central design inspiration of Czech myths and legends; making “the global local”, and transporting guests to a legendary world beyond the restored casement windows and crown mouldings. Awoken from their slumber within the dormant building, the characters from the legends emerge from the walls and floors to greet guests and guide them through an unforgettable journey through Andaz Prague. This design approach connects visiting guests with a strong, passionate sense of place, reconnecting native people of Prague with their childhoods and engaging with local artists and craftsmen with modern and refined materials. Guests are immersed into a world of never-ending stories, which inevitably they will pack into their suitcases and take home with them, telling friends and family far and wide…and hence creating a larger, more global story from the heart of Prague. It is this sharing of our hearts, which then makes the entire hotel experience intimate, unique and very personal. What was your biggest takeaway or highlight from completing this project? The biggest and most positive takeaway from this project was the exceptionally strong emotional, visceral connection between the people of Czech Republic and the stories anchoring the design. Often when designing spaces, there is a core concept and/or story which can be just as interesting and unique but have come nowhere close to the personal connection for each and every person in Prague, and Czech Republic. For this project, we spent a lot of time at the concept stage – mesmerised by Czech Republic and Prague being so enchanting and rich in culture – that is how we came to that heritage and culture being such a focal point to be harnessed and encapsulated into the design. It truly has been amazing how something so simple could have such a large, withstanding impact. During tours and events, some people have been on the verge of tears with such an emotional connection to the design that remind them of their grandparents reading them these stories and so on. What has winning an SBID Award meant for you and your business? To achieve such recognition and an overwhelming positive response to our concept and design has been unbelievable. Such recognition from the industry and wider design community has really propelled us to strive for nothing less than ‘award-winning’ concepts and designs going forward. It has really highlighted how crucial the symbiotic relationship is between concept and design and the integration between the two. Winning an SBID award has meant greater exposure in the UK and Northern Europe from such a prestigious and well-respected body, truly catapulting our designs from the local, to global. On top of this, winning the award adds great value to the property itself, whilst nurturing our current and future relationships with our clients. This should also hopefully support us when approaching future projects as such proven success and positive track record highlights how universally, the BR approach, is an approach like no other. This recognition puts the spotlight on how being so intrinsically personal and emotional can create a strong connection with the place itself, whilst simultaneously creating an unbreakable bond with guests through the design and narrative. For this project you were asked to create an experience integral to the identity of Prague itself. What is your approach/design process for this kind of brief, especially being a design practice based abroad? As we mentioned, we spent a lot of time and concentrated efforts during the concept phase to ensure the stories and narrative could truly shine through and connect to one and all. We spent a lot of time speaking to people in Prague, gathering research, and fundamentally immersing ourselves into local cultures to support such an enriching narrative. We became in love with the idea of retelling these stories but in a more uplifting style that would translate into interior design. It’s been an unbelievably fun process to now see these stories emerge from the walls in front of you. It is important to note, we were not trying to imitate Czech culture but to create an authentic representation by translating such rich culture to a relatable and mesmerising narrative widely understood across the globe. There truly is something wonderfully innate about engaging in a story or fairy-tale, something universal that supports an immersive experience – often providing a stronger understanding of ourselves during the process. Hotel rooms too often create a feeling of coldness and unfamiliarity. How did you ensure the guests would feel at home staying in these suites? For us, it is vital to capture interest and create moments to pause and engage. Very much like the narrative within a story, it’s important to create areas to be in awe of, encouraging a moment of pause, reflection and enjoyment. And this was key for Andaz Prague, especially for such an enriching lifestyle brand. We explored touches of residential styling and sensibilities to create a ‘home from home’ experience along the way. From the smallest details that connect guests to something they may have in their home or are familiar to a home they know. It’s important to design in a way that makes you literally want to dive into and feel at home. From damask, textured wallpapers to a distinctive chaise longue and umbrella stand. With high quality craftsmanship and materials that reflect a sense of home and warmth, guests can feel like they’re in a special place; their very own luxury, their own little world. Can you tell us more about your company ethos? What role does interior design play in “making the global local”? Our ethos to ‘make the global, local’ represents a wonderful synergy and the opportunity to make such a large, fast-paced world, feel smaller, connected and intimate. There are so many things to fall in love with about each and individual culture, and this couldn’t be truer about Prague and Czech Republic. The designs for Andaz Prague create deep connections coupled with a sense of mystery and intrigue, a unique unforgettable experience for all. Guests will find reasons to return, relive and indulge through the experiences presented through the design. This rich emotional connection is formed through multiple layers of detail within a 360 design approach. Throughout the immersive journey, you are faced with hidden treasure after hidden treasure, with guests longing to pack up these experiences in their suitcases to take home with them. Making the global, local. It is important to recognise local cultures from a global perspective, creating an ambience that guests want to pocket and travel with so that these stories can be retold globally, day after day, whether verbally or visually in the ever-growing world of social media. As small as the world is, people can feel connected to Czech Republic without even having visited. View the full project Questions answered by Maria Brime & Garrett Robbins, Co-founders, Brime Robbins. Maria Brime & Garrett Robbins Visit Website Brime Robbins are a Madrid-based design studio re-inventing the fundamentals of interior design. With competition rife in the hospitality industry, guest experience is as important as ever. Brime Robbins know that to deliver successful hospitality interiors, the location must be manifested in the design itself. Corporate hotel designs are a thing of the past, with designers breaking the mould to create a sense of place and deliver both a design and experience that embodies its surroundings. A Brime Robbins approach to interior design is one with attitude. A unique, immersive experience that encourages visitors to pause, engage and indulge. If you missed last week’s Interview with the Residential Budget Up To £50,000 category winner ID4U Studio, click here to read it.