This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features an elegantly timeless, yet industrially modern and edgy hotel interior design based on the narrative of two Turkish sisters – one who lived in New York City and the other in Paris. Envisioned as a portal between two worlds, the Fairmont Quasar Istanbul’s hotel lobby leaves a lasting impression to those who walk through it, beckoning passersby to explore and engage. White marble floors found at the entrance contrast against warm wood floors covering the reception area, crafting a carefully balanced procession. Guests check in at the bespoke reception desks showcasing wood, metal, and stone. Oversized, locally crafted lanterns accent the corner of the lobby and signify the entrance of the bridge connection to the business centre. Similarly, a dark and striking carved stone wall flanks the side of a “runway” that connects the lobby with the Great Room. The design team used the walkway to echo the overall project’s interior design concept of merging two different narratives into one, by blending urban culture and industrial flair with traditional features and a strong sense of place.
Company: Wilson Associates
Project: Fairmont Quasar
Project Location: Istanbul, Turkey
What was the client’s brief?
This project is developed by joint venture company, Viatrans Inc. – Meydanbey. The multi-complex encompasses a hotel, serviced apartments, and offices set on the site of Turkey’s first liquor factory that was designed by the Parisian Art Deco Master, Robert Mallet Stevens in the 1930’s. This is his sole masterpiece, the only one ever built outside of France. This is the first project by Viatrans Inc. – Meydanbey and they had a vision to create the most innovative and luxurious development in Istanbul. They also had a vision to turn the liquor factory into an epicentre for arts, fashion and culture — transcending the level of luxury in Istanbul to new heights. Rising above the slopes of The Bosphorus, Fairmont Quasar Istanbul serves as a hub for the well-travelled, fusing the sophistication of modern Istanbul with the unique lineage of its location and centuries of history. A new icon for the vibrant Mecidiyeköy district, Fairmont Quasar sits at a crossroads in Istanbul – where eclectic neighbourhood bazaars and colourful side streets meet modern shopping centres and commercial properties. This will be the first hotel for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in Turkey, and the fifth property of parent company AccorHotel’s luxury brand portfolio within Istanbul. Situated inside the Quasar Istanbul complex, Fairmont Quasar Istanbul occupies two 40-story towers that sit atop a four-story office podium comprised of fitness facilities and luxury retail. The towers include Fairmont Hotel and Residences, as well as the Quasar Residences and offices, also managed by Fairmont. Opened March 2017, Fairmont Quasar Istanbul provides 209 guestrooms including 25 suites.
What inspired the design of the project?
Robert Mallet Stevens was our inspiration for the interior design concept. The hotel is set on the site of Turkey’s first liquor factory that was designed by the Parisian Art Deco Master Architect. Built in 1930, the factory was and remains both an important political statement of the modernity of Turkey and a unique piece of Istanbul’s architectural history. Robert Mallet Steven’s design of flowing concrete and glass, the industrial feel of the distillery equipment lent to the fervour of the Bauhaus design trends of the time. The factory itself emanated feelings of progress, positivity, hope, industry, and advancement encapsulating the birth of a new nation. Form following function, yet Robert Mallet Stevens never forgot the human touches through Art Deco details, intimate scaling, and compression versus expansion. This was the very same spirit that we wanted to transport into 2017 and into Fairmont Istanbul— To bring this sophistication into the millennium. The hotel is purposely designed to echo this bygone industrial age but interpreted in a new luxurious and relevant manner. Spaces are both intimate and expansive, filled with light; the materials used tactile and even nostalgic; all composed to recapture that ‘magic’. This design strategy is further enhanced with a more human story: We created a unique tale of two Turkish sisters, one living in New York and the other in Paris, both returning to Istanbul and bringing home with them the design sensibilities of the two cities to Istanbul. This tale is a story of souls bound together through time; timeless yet modern. These sisters, having lived in such rich and vibrant cities wanted to return to Istanbul with their adopted communities of Paris and New York, adding yet another rich layer to the fabric of the city. Istanbul is the perfect synthesis between East and West as Paris-New York are the shining beacons of the old and new worlds. This sets the perfect stage for the sisters to converge and star in a performance of life, love, and expression. This was our inspiration for the Fairmont Istanbul. This is our tale of old and new souls, bound together through the ages.
What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?
The main design challenge for us was to create a sense of place without being overly colloquial; the owners wanted the hotel to be modern yet timeless with a true sense of nostalgic elegance. The imposing glass and steel architecture of the towers also presented unique challenges to crafting this look. Furthermore, the structural grid left for the interior spaces that were somewhat compartmentalised into rooms of varying sizes also posed a design challenge for us. By echoing Robert Mallet Steven’s spirit of both compressive and expansive spaces, intimate yet grand, and merging influences of Parisian chic with New York industrial flair, we created harmonious design concept that helped mitigate these challenges. The result was a very interesting design with a variety of “feelings” and moments within the hotel. The creation was a multi-layered fabric of experiences much like the fabric of the city of Istanbul.
What was your team’s highlight of the project?
Some of the team highlights for the Fairmont Quasar Istanbul project include the hotel lobby and the luxurious Presidential Suite. Inspired by local Turkish culture, the 1930’s liquor factory and The Borphorus Strait, and the tale of two sisters, the lobby includes a fireplace, angled ceiling panels, eclectic groups of seating and a custom Turkish-inspired carpet by Golden Hali. The area is imbued with timeless, modern and local design such as large windows that look out onto the lobby garden – commonly found in Turkish architecture. These windows effortlessly create a sense of light and openness, and are bordered by floor-to-ceiling black metal geometric screens. All of the interior design details merge together to create a great public space for guests to sit, relax, and even enjoy a drink if they so choose. Fairmont Quasar Istanbul’s most luxurious room is the Presidential Suite. This space is a multifaceted and dynamic design with details ranging from the custom carpets and leather-upholstered casegoods to Turkish accessories and artwork that create an elegant and modern décor. Inspired by the industrial elements of the Robert Mallet liquor factory, rooms at the Fairmont Quasar Istanbul are a mix of Turkish design with bespoke, custom-made pieces such as the desk which has been created as a multi-functional space for work, dining or relaxing. The space includes blue leather-tufted headboards, mini-bars in the style of vintage travel trunks and custom carpets by Ottoman Hali and Stepevi. The bathrooms feature showers that resemble a traditional Turkish hammam, offering a local experience. The dining room makes the suite a truly luxury place for guests to stay. The interior design elements include dark walnut millwork, patterned wooden floors and crackled accent wall covering as well as the sparkling orb chandelier and angular mirrored wall sculpture.
Why did you enter the SBID International Design Awards?
SBID is a trusted industry voice and highly regarded by the interior design community. Wilson Associates is very proud to be recognised by SBID and be able to showcase our latest projects on a global and influential platform. The projects submitted to the awards program gets better, and better every year, which encourages us to push the creativity envelope further and deliver even better work. To see the talent we’re up against and to be able to walk away as category finalists or winners is an incredible honour. And, it’s always a lovely feeling at the awards ceremony when the design community is united, there’s a real buzz!
Questions answered by the Wilson Associates, New York team; Joanne Yong, Principal Designer; Dan Kwan, SVP and Managing Director; Seiichi Mori, Design Director; David Dorfman, Project Manager; Keiko Matsumoto, Senior Project Designer; Kevin Caulfield, Senior Design Manager.
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring a new casual dining concept and London’s first dedicated Avocado bar, click here to see more.
We hope you feel inspired! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire
Wilson Associates | SBID International Design Awards 2018
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features the ultimate office design created by the workplace design and build specialists, Interaction for financial comparison company money.co.uk, transforming their unique and characterful office in The Castle, Cirencester, UK. A space where you can sneak through a secret door in a bookcase, put your feet up in a ski chalet, traipse through an ice cave, battle against suits of armour and experience a cinema in a galaxy far far away…
The work on the 10,000 sq ft project began in March 2016. There were 38 rooms to design in The Castle and for 6 of these, Interaction collaborated with designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, who provided initial concept sketches and a choice of finishes. An important part of creating the ultimate office meant focusing on the functionality of the workplace, designing a space that would allow the team to work effectively. Interaction explored the needs of the individuals and created a multitude of flexible work settings to enable people to work the way they want. This included creating spaces such as the ice cave, ski lodge, and ‘hightech’ room which can all be used to have informal meetings, socialise, or simply relax. This project is a perfect example of how by placing employee wellbeing at the centre of the brief and design you can use your workplace as a tool to incite a positive culture and enhance productivity, creativity and collaboration. The Castle is finally fit for the kings and queens of the tech world.
Project: money.co.uk – The Castle
Project Location:Cirencester, United Kingdom
Ranked as the UK’s 2nd fastest growing business in 2015 by The Sunday Times, financial comparison website money.co.uk needed their workplace to support this recent exponential growth. The Grade II listed Victorian ‘castle’ that money.co.uk occupied, having had no major alterations in years, did not illustrate their current standing and vision for the future.
The team therefore needed a workplace that reflected their success, but also one that continued to attract and retain talent in their competitive industry. Representing their success through their workplace was important, but at the heart of the decision for the refurbishment was rewarding staff with the best place to work.
Money.co.uk’s people, in combination with Grade II listed building itself, lay at the heart of the project’s design. Not only did we want to create an environment where the team could flourish, fulfil their potential and feel happy, but we wanted to juxtapose the traditional architecture of The Castle with a contemporary finish. The unique building provides a characterful and quirky setting for an office, and the interior needed to reflect the eccentricity of the exterior.
We had to be conscious and considerate to nurture the listed building. We were excited to work with (and accentuate) several original features of the building. This included the windows, archways and some original doors – all of which have become real statement features that hark back to the rich history of The Castle.
The building continuously revealed new and hidden secrets that kept us on our feet and provided us with unique design challenges. The damp was severe – by the time we were finished we had practically re-built The Castle.
Other than successfully bringing past and present together by breathing new life into the space, the moment we held up the “snag free” board was incredible for everyone involved. As a company, we always aim to deliver our fit-out works with absolutely no snags (or defects). To achieve this on such a complex refurbishment project was a great feeling!
We knew that the SBID is highly regarded internationally and that the awards promote design excellence. We entered because we thought The Castle raised the bar in terms of office design – it has been featured in numerous news articles worldwide and has become known as one of the “world’s coolest offices”.
As well as wanting to give the project team the recognition for all of the hard work that went into the 9-month project, we were also keen to prove that workplaces can be tools for change. Rather than hindering a business, they can inspire people, promote collaboration, and increase overall productivity and output – just as The Castle has done for money.co.uk.
Questions answered by Egle Kairele, Creative Lead at Interaction
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring a spectacular residence set across two buildings and garden apartment in London, click here to see more.
Interaction | SBID International Design Awards 2018
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series comprises of a spectacular penthouse set across two buildings and a charming garden apartment. The Eaton Place residence offers an unparalleled level of luxury and sophistication; with a fusion of opulent style and functional design, this period property has been thoughtfully re-designed to epitomise luxurious modern living. An iconic address in the heart of Central London, Belgravia is one of London’s most vibrant and prestigious destinations, with grand Georgian architecture surrounded by the green open spaces of both Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace Gardens. Working in close partnership with developer and interior designer, Fenton Whelan Design, Nulty Bespoke assisted with the completion and installation of several stunningly custom-made lighting pieces throughout this luxury residential apartment. The overall interior design skilfully mixes contemporary finishes with the building’s classical proportions, giving a homely yet truly inspiring sensation to each space. The sympathetic treatment of the listed building’s key rooms ensures that the historic grandeur of the property is not only retained but enhanced. Céline Gehamy, Product Designer at Nulty Bespoke comments,
‘We immensely enjoyed working on this residential project with its high spec and elegant design. From designing a creative, beautiful and practical solution for a chandelier in the tall, thin stairwell, to overseeing the colour combinations of the glass pendants within the dining room, this was just the kind of project that the Nulty Bespoke team thrives upon. Throughout the design, manufacture and installation every detail was diligently considered – from the positioning of each individual element in the design stage to the threading and fastening of every tiny crystal’.
We interviewed Celine Gehamy and Ollie Yates, Product Creation at Nulty Bespoke about their collaboration with Desariot Ademaj, the Creative Director at Fenton Whelan Design to produce bespoke lighting solutions for a project of this luxurious magnitude!
Company: Fenton Whelan Design & Nulty Bespoke
Project: Eaton Place
Project Location: London, UK
The client requested a selection of unique and individual luminaires designed for a luxury residential apartment in London. There were a number of spaces that we had to create bespoke pieces for ranging from the living room, dining room, entertainment space, stairwell and bedroom. The project was very high end and the design of the pendants had to reflect this, whilst supporting the individual style of each room.
Each space required its own identity, and this is reflected in the design of the luminaires. Such as the finishes, the shape, light source and colour temperature.
A light sculpture in the main entertaining space of the apartment, incorporates 22 mouth-blown dish-like glass shades made in London. Each shade is a combination of different hues of purple and white. The sculpture consists of two separate polished champagne-gold-coloured metal frames, which seamlessly blend together as one. Each section has two ceiling plates incorporating the same metal. The LED light source is housed in an oval-shaped detail accommodating the natural, variations of glass thickness. The underside of the glass resembles an oyster shell with a pearl nestled within.
Three large tailor-made Art Deco inspired luminaires add a stylish touch to the top floor entertaining space. The refined light fittings, each measuring 1.6m x 0.25m have been handcrafted with sandblasted reeded glass, a material reminiscent of the Art Deco era. Each luminaire exudes a diffused light, and a warm temperature of 2400k providing a soft radiant effect within the ceiling cove. The trio of elegant handmade luminaires brings a sense of perspective to the room and demonstrates that simplicity can most definitely be striking. The quality of the luminaires complements the rich materials used in the interior design, adding a classic touch to the gentleman’s club-feel of the room.
A statement cluster of 19 hand-blown glass shades made in England hang above the dining table, complementing the sense of drama in this opulent space. Dimmable filament bulbs, produce a warm colour and the shades have a variety of finishes (diamonds, ribbed, smooth) and colours (amber, grey, purple and light brown).
A handcrafted seven-metre chandelier is suspended from a precision engineered, polished nickel structure positioned directly below the elliptical skylight within the stairwell. The frame is purposely simple and open in a design to make sure the flow of natural light is not restricted. The impressive lighting installation resembles a waterfall and comprises over 100 handmade Italian glass twists and 1500 faceted crystal spheres. The glass twists have a rippled texture, an opaque centre and a pointed tip for added definition, and they complement the crystal droplets beautifully. Cascading through the centre is a spiral of 22 frosted glass lanterns housing LED lamps, which provide a soft, warm glow of light to the space, while highlighting the sculpture’s intricate glass work and sparkling crystals.
A glamorous chandelier hangs from the centre of the bedroom ceiling. Two bronze-plated rings form the base of the chandelier and over 100 triangular Italian glass prisms hang from the rings and refract the LED light within, producing a warm colour temperature. Dark brown fabric envelopes the cables leading to the bronze-plated ceiling plate. The entire piece has a drop of 400mm from the ceiling
Adapting to the construction constraints on site proved tricky at times but we managed to work closely with the client to provide quick and efficient solutions to deliver the project on time and to a high standard.
A highlight of the project for us lies within the attention to detail of each piece. Each luminaire was a labour of love from the initial design sketches to the final installation on site. To see our creations come to life and fit within each room perfectly brings a great sense of satisfaction as designers.
Questions answered by Celine Gehamy and Ollie Yates, Product Creation at Nulty Bespoke
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring an extravagant mansion in the gated ‘Karma’ compound overlooking the luxurious quarter in Cairo, click here to see more.
Nulty Bespoke | SBID International Design Awards 2018
This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features a workplace which intended to create more of a relationship between office spaces and architecture. Colour on the floor and walls was used to create separate working areas and multi-functional areas, while French windows at the culmination of the traffic flow channel the sunshine and green areas to the inside. A sample display area set at the rear gives users a place to meet and discuss. Here, concrete has been used on the surface to create a sense of vastness and space. Throughout the project, materials were selected for their ability to deliver the greatest impact with minimum quantities required. A bookcase brings the two floors harmoniously together; combing the upper and lower bookcases increased the connection between the two floors so that the boundaries between the floors are removed.
Company: Chain10 Architecture & Interior Design Institute
Project: TOPOSITION Construction Office
Project Location: Kaohsiung, Taiwan
TOPOSITION Construction, a subsidiary company, is affiliated with the well-known multinational waste treatment company, Cleanaway Company. The parent company’s business model is international and is dedicated to the disposal of low-pollution waste. The client has lofty moral and aesthetic standards, and the requirements for work is not only the control of costs, but also the spirit of entrepreneurship; to want to give back to the people of their hometown. They insist on setting the headquarters of the group in this small city of Gangshan District.
Geometry and vertical style designs create an extreme vision and atmosphere. Hopefully it is not only a working space, but also a space with resonance between people and bold architectural elements.
Originally, the plan is not related to the curved wall at the entrance on the exterior architecture; however, based on the idea of creating more co-ordination between the space and the architecture this became an important consideration. The original arrangement were all atrium type spaces, so how to use this to create that connection is what I needed to think about.
The curved wall at the entrance hall is created to connect the office’s entrance hall and headquarters’ lobby by using stone materials to extend interior space from outdoors. The glass wall to the curved stone wall reduces the external interference. The new stone wall extends the original arc of the building, and enhances the interest and coordination of the space.
The side entrance breaks the original pattern and makes the buffer for the original route in the space. As the original arrangement was all atrium spaces, we transform the office area into an atrium, so that there is only a difference of one floor, and you will first see the ground level before the second level. The space converges and then opens. After entering the room, you are drawn to the natural light which creates a path from start to finish; opening the originally closed walls and setting the French windows helped to create a comfortable environment for people to appreciate nature. Creating this connection between people, architecture and the environment was definitely a highlight of the project.
The Award recognises and rewards outstanding and distinguished workers and teams in the International design arena. Winning the SBID International Design Award is a great achievement and honour for global designers.
Questions answered by Keng-Fu Lo, Managing Director of Chain10 Architecture & Interior Design Institute.
If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring a luxurious, 1920’s style family home in South Kensington, click here to see more.
Chain10 Architecture & Interior Design Institute | SBID International Design Awards 2018
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