26th October 2022 | IN HOTEL DESIGN | BY SBID ShareTweetPinterestLinkedIn This week’s instalment of the Project of the Week series features a historic hotel suite design by 2022 SBID Awards Finalist, CHIL Interior Design. Known as Ottawa’s Castle, Fairmont Château Laurier’s historical presence towers over the Canadian city. CHIL Interior Design was commissioned to bring the historic Karsh Suite into the new century. The suite was named after Yousuf Karsh, famed photographer who maintained his studio and residence in the hotel for many years, we drew direct inspiration from this visionary to create a design for the suite that is as bold and unforgettable as the icon himself. Special attention was necessary to respect the original early 20th century historical details of the hotel, while delicately positioning this suite in a more forward looking aesthetic. Of the highest importance, the new interior renovation, celebrates the unique character of this local landmark while, in the same breath, accentuates the beautiful and luxurious details that portrays “Canada’s tradition of grandeur”. SBID Awards Category: Hotel Bedroom & Suites Design Practice: CHIL Interior Design Project: Karsh Suite at Fairmont Château Laurier Location: Ottawa, Canada What was the client’s brief? The client wanted the design to fit the Fairmont brand standard on aesthetic, quality, and functionality. In addition to basing the concept on the legendary icon that the suite was named after, photographer Yousuf Karsh, the client also highlighted the need to respect the wishes of Yousuf Karsh’s wife Mrs. Estrellita Karsh on the suite design. It was also important to the client to bring the suites into the 21st century while keeping a strong respect and inspiration for the early 20th century. What inspired the design of the project? Famed photographer Yousuf Karsh who maintained his residence and photography studio in that exact suite for many years: his viewpoints on art, as well as his lifestyle. What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project? Due to the hotel being a heritage building as well as respecting Mrs. Estrellita Karsh’s wishes to keep all the original framing and positions of the Karsh portraits, there were lots of restrictions to the layout. However, in order to bring modernity into the suites, we designed the layout to revolve around these challenges, such as completely redesigning the primary bathroom and expanding that footprint to cater to modern travellers’ needs. What was your team’s highlight of the project? Close collaboration with the Fairmont brand and client allowed us to achieve a desired outcome that fits well with the hotel brand aesthetic despite the pandemic starting in the process of renovation – it’s a highlight to know our emphasis on clear design and communications is especially appreciated as we work remotely. Why did you enter this project into the SBID Awards? The SBID Awards is one of the most prestigious international interior design awards. It is always an honour to be recognized by such a high calibre of industry expert panel and we look forward to submitting our entries every year. Questions answered by Karen Wong, Senior Associate, & Adèle Rankin, Principal & Global Design Lead, CHIL Interior Design. View the project We hope you feel inspired by this week’s design! If you missed the last instalment of Project of the Week, featuring a renovated vibrant hotel design by Hirsch Bender Associates, click here to read it.