Skip to main content

The question that immediately arises is: how could our homes change following the emergency from Covid-19? This “change” doesn’t exclusively come from the need of adopting higher hygiene precautions, but also from the search for home wellness and from the will of maximising the functionality of our internal spaces.

“Staying at home” and “working from home” has given rise to new needs but also favoured the recovery of spaces that seemed to have gone out of fashion. The new total home project therefore starts from the need to exploit even small spaces to bring together various ways of living, starting with the re-evaluation of the entrances. These are the main areas to consider:

1. Entrance
2. Home workspace
3. Kitchen as an extension of the living area
4. Outdoor area
5. Relaxation and wellness area

An example of this shift is evident in the concept for one of my latest projects, showcasing how I was required to update an interior design scheme to suit clients changing requirements due to Covid-19. The first draft was made in January but, after the lockdown, the users needs have changed and consequently, so has the design criteria. Here were the design proposals:

Before

After

First of all, in this design it was necessary to reconsider the entrance / hallway as a filter room between the outside and the home. In the second proposal made to the client, we designed a dividing wall before entering the living area. This space now offers a place to store everything we bring in from outside (such as shoes, masks, coats, telephone, keys, etc.). The insertion of a table top serves to store hand sanitiser, with the option of a cupboard to install a Samsung AirDresser for antibacterial treatments.

The kitchen returns to offer more functional storage spaces. The 3 fundamental areas, such as the one dedicated to storage (fridge and pantry), cooking and washing/preparation have been zoned, offering each area more operating space. The client also felt the need to separate the kitchen from the rest of the house without oppressing the space.

Sliding glass doors have been inserted to maintain visual contact with the dining room and at the same time contain any kitchen odours but, if necessary, the environment becomes open plan – making it easy to control the use of space for children who may study and play in the living area.

The need to have a private home studio was a must-have request since the very beginning with exclusive access to the studio. An adjoining reception room, where to wait in complete safety, has now been provided. The separation with the rest of the environment is represented by a plasterboard wall with a glass door inserted to let the light filter from the outside, as well as enjoying the views of the garden.

A small intervention was also made in the sleeping area. More and more concerns arise regarding how long the coronavirus can survive on clothes and how to properly sanitise them. Since the clothes we travel into the city in are the same we will return home in, we have also proposed a system for sanitising and cleaning clothes and shoes in this area. By slightly reducing the square meters of the walk-in closet and the private bathroom, a niche has been created in the hallway of the sleeping area, where the Lema wardrobe with Air Cleaning System will be installed.

This post is part of a series exploring the ways that the health emergency of Covid-19 has changed the way we conceive public and private spaces. Click here to read the previous post about public spaces. 

About the Author

Elisabetta de Strobel is an internationally acclaimed Interior Designer and Art Director, originally from Rome. Her studio offers expert consultation services for interior design, product design, branding and strategic market analysis.

If you’d like to become SBID Accredited, click here to find out more. 

The COVID-19 health emergency has accelerated the design process exponentially, pushing companies to respond to new, emerging needs with intelligent and functional strategies, whilst adopting innovative ways to reconnect with the world and make a difference. Moreover, the goal and great merit of the designers lies in the ability to grasp the trends and changes of the eras they live in, and convert them into objects and ideas.

The reopening of public places is the driving force behind the latest challenge designers face – to completely rethink common places in order to recreate new spaces, where all the design elements are in harmony with each other and in which the emotional component reflects the same sense of security and “feeling at home” sensation. All of this is done by involving the consumer in a very conscious way. Enough with the banal and unaesthetic plexiglass plates, we must uncover more client-friendly alternatives!

Whilst COVID-19 is bringing increasing attention towards health and wellness related issues which affect all sectors from food, retail and furnishings to travel and beauty, social attitudes towards sustainability and environmental factors is also still gaining momentum. New products and environments will be strongly influenced by the principles of the Circular Economy, based on concepts such as sharing, reusing, repairing and recycling existing materials and products, abandoning the bad habit of disposable use.

Offices

In public places consumers want to feel protected and “safe”, for this reason working environments will have to be organised according to some guidelines.

After months of lockdown, it’s important to return to the workplace feeling at ease and be encouraged to act responsibly. A six feet office has fixed workstations, semi-isolated or limited by graphics that visually delimit the space, making the safety distances perceived. The periods of ongoing isolation at home have questioned societies habits, encouraging them to seek more and more balance between private life and work life – and will be increasingly eager to work in an environment that reflects the home environment, in colours, furnishings and perfumes.

Restaurants & Bars

They must have a partially insulated entrance that acts as a filter with respect to the rest of the room where you can carefully sanitise your hands, deposit your clothes and wear disposable shoe covers. In this regard, Samsung has created AirDresser, a sanitising cabinet that eliminates bacteria, mites and viruses through steam jets.

The menu will be contactless and digital: with the Sooneat app, every customer from their smartphone can avoid the queue at the entrance, sit at the reserved table, consult the menu, photos of the dish, order and pay with a simple click.

Speaking of tables and chairs … how will they be organised? Large-sized restaurants will have the opportunity to rearrange the tables according to the safety distances provided, but what about small restaurants? To one of my clients I proposed a shaped table top to be screwed simply to the existing table structure, optimising the space compared to combining two square modules.

It will also be very important to reorganise the outdoor spaces. It will be one of the most important missions of restaurants and bars to guarantee an experience up to the past again.

Hairdressers and Beauticians

The visit to the hairdresser and beautician will be much more psychological than one might expect, it will be a 360° wellness and beauty experience with customisable treatments and mainly green products, all bookable through an app. New restyling for waiting rooms where possible, with modular furnishing solutions that are able to maintain a minimum contact between customers but respecting the safety distance. The image represents a typical Martex furniture solution before and after Covid-19. The furnishings can be adapted according to needs and are covered with 100% antibacterial fabric.

This post is part of a series exploring the ways that the health emergency of Covid-19 has changed the way we conceive public and private spaces. Click here to read the previous post about private spaces. 

About the Author

Elisabetta de Strobel is an internationally acclaimed Interior Designer and Art Director, originally from Rome. Her studio offers expert consultation services for interior design, product design, branding and strategic market analysis.

If you’d like to become SBID Accredited, click here to find out more. 

Project of the Week

This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features the beautifully bespoke, authentic and consciously curated interiors for the re-design of Miramonti; a luxury boutique hotel in Brescia, Italy. Located just over two hours away from Milan, the hotel is surrounded by stunning natural beauty and is popular for seasonal activities including: skiing, ice climbing, hiking, fly fishing, porcini mushroom picking and wine-tasting at the vineyards nearby.

The London-based, proactive and purposeful design studio, Boxx Creative completed a timeless design for the hotel’s new minimalist contemporary interiors. Inspired by the scenic Italian mountains, the interior design provides a tranquil place where guests can experience total relaxation, reconnect with nature and re-balance.

Defining a new standard of boutique hotel design for the local area and beyond, Miramonti celebrates the achievements of conscious design, showcasing the spectacular results that can be achieved when design is fully considered from all aspects; aesthetics, functionality, innovation, social and environment impact.

Practice: Boxx Creative

Project: Miramonti 

Location: Brescia, Italy

Image credits: Mariell Lind Hansen

What was the client’s brief? 

Originally built in 1958, Miramonti is a family-owned hotel that had recently passed onto the third-generation. The hotel’s new owners had a clear vision for what they wished to achieve, great design style and taste, an appreciation for quality, timelessness and longevity, as well as a desire to support the local community and minimise the environmental impact of the project.

The hotel was to be totally transformed, with space maximised to increase bedroom numbers, flexibility of room use and defined room types created for couples and spacious suites with connecting bunk-bed rooms for families with children. The existing bedrooms provided for self-catering with kitchenettes and dining tables, which were to be removed. In the ensuites, small shower cubicles and bidets were to be replaced with walk-in showers.

The hotel was to be fully modernised, offering guests something completely different in terms of room layout, furnishings, lighting and materials. The design had to be a real game changer and ensure that Miramonti could continue its proud legacy and be enjoyed by future generations of guests and locals.

Image credits: Mariell Lind Hansen

What inspired the interior design of the project? 

Miramonti, meaning mountain view, draws its name from nature. Its holistic design was also inspired by the beauty of its surroundings and every design detail was thoughtfully considered to reflect this connection, including the colour palette, hard finishes, bespoke furniture, textiles, artwork and accessories.

The deep terracotta facade evokes the changing seasons and rich natural Italian colour palette. In the twenty-one guest bedrooms, the complementary green and blue colour schemes are both balanced and calming.

The design concept draws on the natural elements of earth, fire, air, water, wood and metal. Materials were selected for their authentic properties and link to the surrounding environment and feature in the natural stone wash basins, solid trunk coffee tables, round metal bedsides and soft natural fabrics of the sheer linen blinds and cotton bed throws.

Consideration was also given to all elements of the hotel’s design to ensure quality, longevity and minimising environmental impact. Everything was designed and built-to-last. Locally sourced, sustainable materials were used wherever possible and carpet made from recycled fibres line the corridors.

Image credits: Mariell Lind Hansen

The majority of the furnishings were made completely bespoke by the contractor and his team of talented artisans in his local Tirano-based workshop. The bedrooms feature headboard panelling and wooden beds, metal framed open cabinetry storage and sturdy desks, wooden flooring, panelled doors and shuttered windows, each thoughtfully hand-crafted.

The build contractor was chosen for his energy saving principles and employment of workers within the area. All the wood chips left-over from his workshop were burnt in a furnace to heat houses in the village.

Lighting was a key part of the project where the clients wished to make an impressive statement. Layers of lighting with iconic FLOS feature pendants and Scandi-inspired statement wall lights make strong visual impact and create focal points in the guest bedrooms and ensuites. For the light switches, electrical sockets and ironmongery, Buster+Punch’s architectural hardware was the perfect companion with its strong design edge.

Image credits: Mariell Lind Hansen

What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?

We experienced three main challenges with the project – time, distance and language barrier.

Time: The project had a quick turnaround, once the project got the go ahead, we had just over one month to do all the design work and produce all the technical drawings. The build work had to be completed within a 3-month time frame during the low season and finish on time for the start of the busy December ski season. We flew out in the final week to snag the build, install the furniture and artwork, then dress and style all the rooms for the professional photoshoot, before the hotel opened its doors to welcome guests. It was an extremely tight schedule, however the project was successfully completed and delivered on time.

Distance and Language Barrier: Unlike all our other projects where do regular site visits during the build phase, for Miramonti we worked remotely from London. Unfortunately, we can’t speak Italian and the Italian contractor couldn’t speak English, so we developed different ways of working and communicating. We setup a WhatsApp group, which was great for quick questions and sending pictures and used GoogleTranslate to translate each other’s messages. These smart phone apps were invaluable to us working together on the projects.

Image credits: Mariell Lind Hansen

What was your team’s highlight of the project?

In the guest bedrooms, one of the highlights for us is the intricate details of the wooden furniture and joinery hand-crafted from our bespoke designs by the contractor and his team of skilled local artisans. Two of our favourite design details are the elegant curves of the wooden bed frames and the rippled effect of the under-sink cabinets, which are replicated in the ensuite pocket doors with reeded glass panes. These small, thoughtfully considered and beautifully made details may easily go unnoticed, however for us these are a great delight to see and experience.

Image credits: Mariell Lind Hansen

Questions answered by Nicola Keenan, Co-Founder and Co-Director of Boxx Creative

We hope you feel inspired by this week’s Hotel design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire

If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring a memorable hotel public space with playful and immersive design, click here to see more.

Image credits: Mariell Lind Hansen

Project of the Week: SBID Awards Finalists 2019

This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features a vibrant, cinematic inspired design for a memorable hotel experience in Dubai. Unleashing an unprecedented dimension to Studio City in Dubai, the aptly named Studio One Hotel sits perfectly within its demographic as its entire narrative plays tribute to nostalgic touches and cinematic expressions. Bishop Design crafted a dynamic interior scheme, boasting an intoxicating arrival experience where guests are greeted with playful features such as an old-school vintage TV installation and unique lighting solutions in the form of figurines carrying umbrellas. Along with an eclectic mélange of loose and fixed furniture and vivid artworks, the hotel lobby and public space reinvents people’s expectations of how a hotel should feel, look, and function, while complying with local standards; casual, comfortable, ultimately stylish, somewhat provocative, memorable to all and a hybrid between art and function through its visually striking interior and subliminal messaging.

SBID Awards: Hotel Public Space finalist sponsored by Viva Lagoon

Practice: Bishop Design

Project: Studio One Hotel

Location: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Image credits: Alex Jeffries

What was the client’s brief? 

The Studio One Hotel as prescribed in the Client Brief was to create and establish a new language and philosophical approach to a modern, current, 4-star hotel environment. The hotel was to feature 5 different room types, which would include a selection of extended stay studios and apartments. Creating a comfortable and homely environment was at the heart of the projects conception with careful consideration dedicated to self-service pantries on each floor, in-house launderette and a grab & go counter. Space allocation was paramount to best utilise the area available still adhering to DTCM standards and guidelines, however, playful, cheeky and diverse in its application and design styling. The clients desired to create a fresh hotel offering unique to the region and to the star offering in spirit yet establishing an individual identity as a home-grown brand that would set the precedent of subsequent future outlets to follow. The approach taken was to create something fresh, original, multi-faceted in its function allowing the guest to stay either on a short-term or long-term basis. We were also commissioned to design two F&B units within the hotel.

Image credits: Alex Jeffries

What inspired the interior design of the project? 

Encompassing guests in its strong narrative, Studio One has become a real home-from-home environment through its immersive cinematic character, naturally enforcing an authentic connection to every guest. The narrative has resulted in a cozy space that everyone can relate to and feel comfortable within. Nostalgic senses exude from the entity’s cinematic expressions right from the old school TV feature that greets guests from the onset of their experience through to the playful “on air” lighting features that illuminate whenever a room is occupied. This thematic continuity enhances an effortlessly loveable charm between guests and the hotel, and is what sets the guest experience far beyond other hotels in the region.

Image credits: Alex Jeffries

Image credits: Alex Jeffries

What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?

The desired design direction was to be ultimately cost-effective, considering materials which were unique, recycled with a strong use of graphic and visual connectivity throughout, thoughtfully provocative however synonymous with its demographic yet also possessing the versatility to be rolled out within different regions on a global level.

Image credits: Alex Jeffries

What was your team’s highlight of the project?

Studio One was designed to unleash an unprecedented dimension to the city’s DNA which would eagerly entice residents and tourists alike, from surrounding residential areas and Dubai as a whole. Now fully established, Studio One compliments yet stands out from its surroundings through its cinematic context and striking personality, instantly becoming a desirable hotel and F&B hotspot in Studio City, which was somewhat previously absent from many alluring traits. It is an honour to have introduced something so unique and vibrant to the region that brings the community together.

Image credits: Alex Jeffries

Why did you enter the SBID Awards?

Showcasing projects of the highest calibre all over the world, the SBID Awards stand as a desirable platform for every designer to share their work. It truly is a privilege to be able to submit a selection of our projects, as we become inspired year on year with the unprecedented talent and expertise that that the awards influence.

Image credits: Alex Jeffries

Questions answered by Pail Bishop, owner & founder, Bishop Design by Paul Bishop

We hope you feel inspired by this week’s Hotel design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire

If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring decorative details and oriental architecture for an innovative Chinese classical style, click here to see more.

SBID Awards 2019 | Hotel Public Space finalist sponsored by Viva Lagoon

Image credits: Alex Jeffries

Project of the Week: SBID Awards Finalists 2019

This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features a striking yet stylish boutique hotel design in Germany’s fifth largest city; Moxy Frankfurt City Center emulates the exciting nightlife and eclectic scene of downtown Frankfurt with neon play area, modern guest lounge, urban aesthetic, vibrant wall murals and cool, artistic flair.

JOI-Design created Moxy’s new European guestroom brand standards and implemented them into this new-build project. This rethink led JOI-Design to also develop Moxy’s next generation of public areas featuring clean-lined, industrial architecture with a more “grown-up” vibe than previous locales. Multi-functional public areas fuse the urban with the urbane, picking up on the street culture and warehouse aesthetic prevalent downtown. Visible ceiling pipes and exposed concrete walls create “industrial chic” with a coordinated mix of stylish furniture, loud beats, humorous touches and textured details discovered upon second glance. Typeset artwork along with bear and bull references allude to the nearby stock exchange and the site’s former life as newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau‘s headquarters.

SBID Awards: Hotel Public Space Design finalist sponsored by Viva Lagoon

Practice: JOI-Design

Project: Moxy Frankfurt City Centre

Location: Hessen, Germany

Moxy Frankfurt City Centre, Germany. Image credits: SV Hotel

What was the client’s brief? 

Our brief was to fully understand the Moxy spirit and create a world that would allow it to flourish. We were initially commissioned to develop new guestroom brand standards for Moxy hotels in Europe, and then also to bring these to life through the Frankfurt property. It was important that our design would let guests soak up local culture.

Image credits: Courtesy of Christian Kretschmar for JOI-Design

Hotel public space design by JOI Design for Moxy Frankfurt City Centre hotel

Image credits: Courtesy of Christian Kretschmar for JOI-Design

What inspired the interior design of the project? 

Many things! Moxy’s target market is moving towards a digital nomadic lifestyle. The flexibility of mobile working has led to a greater mix between work with play, with short stays lasting one or two nights. These are travellers who fit everything into carry-on luggage and make the most of travel adventures with party nights out. At the same time, they also remain conscious of their health and wellbeing. As a result, the guestrooms are a relaxing retreat for sociable guests, places where they can rebalance with calm and organized interiors designed for maximum efficiency and minimal wastage. Closets aren’t needed, since travelling light means minimal storage is required, so we designed the latticed “functionality wall”.

In the public areas, influences from the site’s former life as newspaper Frankfurter Rundschaut’s headquarters appear through allusions to typography and journals. The nearby stock exchange also comes into play with bull and bear motifs referencing the rise and fall of market shares. A geometric bull sculpture hangs on a bare concrete wall, while a gigantic teddy bear welcomes guests with a wink. Located at the hotel entrance to attract the attention of passersby is a graffiti mural by Herakut, an internationally acclaimed artist duo with roots in Frankfurt.

Moxy Frankfurt City Centre, Germany. Image credits: SV Hotel

What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?

Marriott initially asked us to design guestrooms in line with the existing brand standards. As the project progressed, they asked us to develop the new Moxy identity, which of course we were very happy to do. The challenge came when they asked us to apply it to the new-build Frankfurt hotel at a very late stage in the project. The building was already under construction with the layout, power points, etc… for our first design, so we needed to work around these restrictions and make the guestrooms function as best possible with the new guidelines.

Also, the public areas floor area is not actually very large, but we needed to accommodate four zones as specified in Moxy’s standards: the library/work space; the welcome section; the F&B facilities; and the lounge. We created a layout with a natural, open feel that flows well from one space to the next.

Feature wall painted for hotel design by JOI Design for Moxy Frankfurt City Centre

Image credits: Courtesy of Christian Kretschmar for JOI-Design

Image credits: Courtesy of Christian Kretschmar for JOI-Design

Moxy Frankfurt City Centre, Germany. Image credits: SV Hotel

What was your team’s highlight of the project?

Creating a new destination in a style that is different for Frankfurt hotels, and within the exciting building designed by the respected Hamburg-based architect Hadi Teherani, was inspiring.

Herakut’s graffiti mural is one of our team’ favourite parts of the interiors. We specified the art should relate to the bull and bear theme and the stock exchange, while also instilling an impression of the locale. The result is a street art-styled mural that shows two children playing in bear and bull costumes – a young-spirited approach that hints at German fairytales and helps establish the lively, light-hearted atmosphere that attracts not only guests, but also locals wishing to work, relax or meet others.

Hotel public space design by JOI Design for Moxy Frankfurt City Centre hotel

Image credits: Courtesy of Christian Kretschmar for JOI-Design

Why did you enter the SBID Awards?

The SBID International Design Awards celebrate imagination, talent and commitment to interior design excellence across many types of projects around the world. It’s an honour to have our creativity and passion recognised by a highly respected professional organisation, the impressive award judges and our colleagues in the global design community.

Moxy Frankfurt City Centre, Germany. Image credits: SV Hotel

Questions answered by Corinna Kretschmar-Joehnk and Peter Joehnk, Co-managing Directors of JOI-Design

We hope you feel inspired by this week’s Hotel design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire

If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring fluid architectural curves with the V Line Cosmetic Center in Hong Kong, click here to see more.

SBID Awards 2019 | Hotel Public Space Design finalist sponsored by Viva Lagoon

Image credits: Courtesy of Christian Kretschmar for JOI-Design

Image credits: Courtesy of Christian Kretschmar for JOI-Design

Hotel public space design by JOI Design for Moxy Frankfurt City Centre hotel

Image credits: Courtesy of Christian Kretschmar for JOI-Design

Project of the Week: SBID Awards Finalists 2019

This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features the fluidity of architectural curves with the V Line Cosmetic Center located at the Miramar Tower in Hong Kong. For this project, GWP Architects explored symbols that represented women and the female form; translating the soft, curved posture of female dancers into the curvature of the structures and spaces; using the ‘dancing ribbon’ as the core design theme. The whole space uses these curvaceous forms to express the dynamic changes of life with graceful shapes, exuding an elegant temperament throughout. Sensibility or rationality, a space that seems to breathe is created in the light and shadow between dynamic and static.

SBID Awards: Healthcare & Wellness Design finalist sponsored by The Stone Federation

Practice: GWP Architects

Project: V Line Cosmetic Center

Location: Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Healthcare design by GWP Architects with V Line Cosmetic Centre in Hong Kong

What was the client’s brief? 

The project is 5000 sq ft in size located in Miramar Tower in Hong Kong. The client wanted to build the most elegant cosmetic space in the city. The design therefore focused on capturing and expressing the brand name of V Line Concept, and the style of the space needed to balance professionalism whilst remaining warm, elegant and welcoming for its costumers. And last, they wanted the project be fully completed within just two months!

Healthcare design by GWP Architects with treatment room of the V Line Cosmetic Centre in Hong Kong

What inspired the interior design of the project? 

The concept of the ‘dancing ribbon’ became the main theme behind the design scheme, with visions of a charming scene of dancers creating fluid and captivating movement with long strands of ribbon. With this in mind, we explored different symbols and shapes that represent women and the female form; translating the soft, curved posture of female dancers into the curvature of the internal structures. The entire space incorporates these curved forms to express the dynamic changes of life and create a sense of flow, gracefully guiding visitors through the cosmetic centre and exuding an heir of elegance in each zone. Sensibility or rationality, a space that seems to breathe is created in the light and shadow between dynamic and static.

What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?

The toughest hurdle I would say was the collaboration between our design team and the construction team within such a very short time frame. The client was in Canada during the whole process, so he wanted us to control all aspects of the project and finish it within 2 months. To make this happen, I brought my team to work on the site and we collaborated with construction team, fire equipment team, water system team, the air conditioner team, the dentist manager, and so on. In this way, when we make any changes or confirm any detail of the drawings, we could ensure each of the different teams are updated and on the same page to keep the work progress as efficient as possible. Effective communication helped us complete the project on a tight schedule.

Healthcare design by GWP Architects with treatment room of the V Line Cosmetic Centre in Hong Kong

What was your team’s highlight of the project?

There are many highlight points of the project. The choice of material, the smooth curved wall and ceiling design, but the most interesting part is the detail of craftsmanship where the corners meet the two different materials touch seamlessly. If you look at the images closely, you will find the round corners aligning very well, and between the walls and floors there is this a linear panel to express the space change.

Why did you enter the SBID Awards?

First of all, the SBID Awards is a well-known interior design award with a wide brand influence which deserves attention. After the completion of the V Line Cosmetic Center, we received positive reviews and some awards in China and Hong Kong. Our team believes that good design should be tested and recognised by international awards, and that good design in China can be seen by more people around the world. Finally, we would like to establish our brand image through international media.

Healthcare design by GWP Architects with treatment room of the V Line Cosmetic Centre in Hong Kong

Questions answered by Guowei (John) Zhang, Founder and Chief Architect of GWP Architects

We hope you feel inspired by this week’s Healthcare & Wellness design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire

If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring hotel public spaces with Omani influences, cultural inspirations and a modern design scheme, click here to see more.

SBID Awards 2019 | Healthcare & Wellness Design finalist sponsored by The Stone Federation

Healthcare design by GWP Architects with consultation room of the V Line Cosmetic Centre in Hong Kong

Project of the Week: SBID Awards Finalists 2019

This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features a timeless hotel design that has been created through quality details and distinctive furniture. Designed around a contemporary interpretation of Arabic patterns, calligraphy and Omani culture, the Mysk Al Mouj is an internationally branded hotel operated by Shaza Hotels Group. Godwin Austen Johnson designed the hotel public spaces with a sense of location as the main theme. By distilling the essence of the surroundings, the aim was to create a contemporary four-star hotel with a sense of belonging. The sights, sounds, light and materials of the marina together with the Muscat coastline were studied and referenced throughout the interior design. 

SBID Awards: Hotel Public Space Design finalist sponsored by Viva Lagoon

Practice: Godwin Austen Johnson

Project: Mysk Al Mouj

Location: Muscat, Oman

Hotel design by Godwin Austen Johnson featuring hotel lobby interior

What was the client’s brief? 

The operator’s development objective was to help in the activation of the Central Plaza District of Al Mouj in Muscat and our approach was to create a highly attractive destination point in the heart of this contemporary mixed-use development. Mysk Al Mouj is the flagship hotel for the Mysk by Shaza hotel group and the brief was clear – to design a contemporary hotel that would appeal to both business travellers and leisure guests.

What inspired the interior design of the project? 

The local Omani culture was the main inspiration for this hotel design and we drew on the country’s rich traditions and tastes; ornate jewellery, elaborate embroidery and traditional dress to guide the design. These enduring traditions have been thoughtfully translated into a number of elements throughout the hotel, from authentic floor coverings inspired by the patterns of local dress, to artwork on the walls featuring imposing forts and woven textiles. We have taken these inspirations and implemented them into the design narrative in a contemporary approach to create unique and appealing public spaces.

What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?

During the design development the challenges we faced were largely positive and constructive creating opportunities for design improvement. Trying to source materials and furniture locally was testing but the outcome was successful with the acquisition of a number of pieces and a selection of materials to complete the design intent.  Most of the furniture pieces had been manufactured locally and many of the fabrics, where possible, were selected from a local mill to help reduce the carbon footprint.

Hotel design by Godwin Austen Johnson featuring restaurant interior

What was your team’s highlight of the project?

The feature chandeliers located in the hotel lobby atrium were designed as a unique, custom made and timeless design featyre inspired by Omani jewellery. The aim was to celebrate local artefacts in a contemporary way where humble materials such as brass, opal and rare stones were chosen and displayed in the magnificent double height atrium. The effects of the lighting fixtures reflecting on the vertical atrium panels were expressed in a perforated geometrical pattern.

Hotel design by Godwin Austen Johnson featuring atrium public spaces

Why did you enter the SBID Awards?

This was the first year we entered the SBID Awards and we chose to do so because we believe this is an important opportunity to not only highlight our projects but also, celebrate our team’s talent and accomplishments.

The SBID Awards are highly respected within the design industry because they set a standard for design excellence internationally – inspiring design professionals to continue to raise the bar. Thus the finalists are recognised as the very best in the world of interior design.

Questions answered by Rochelle Mojica-Beligon, Associate at Godwin Austen Johnson

If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring a luxurious, open-plan entertainment space, click here to see more.

We hope you feel inspired by this week’s Hotel design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire

SBID Awards 2019 | Hotel Public Space Design finalist sponsored by Viva Lagoon

As January draws to a close, we look to the year ahead with great anticipation for the design industry at large. With the benchmark getting higher every year, we’re gearing up to celebrate another year of global design excellence with the 2020 edition of the SBID International Design Awards launching soon.

In line with our mission to recognise, reward and celebrate design, each month we’ll be throwing it back and featuring some of our favourite Finalist projects from SBID Awards 2019! This month, we’re taking a closer look at public spaces…

Public Space Design

Sergey Makhno Architects – Academy DTEK

SBID Awards 2019 Sergey Makhno Architects
SBID Awards 2019 Sergey Makhno Architects

Academy DTEK is a business platform that specialises in corporate education and training of state sector employees. The interior design of the project was realised by Sergey Makhno Architects studio. It is eco-friendly and durable as more than 200,000 students visit the Academy throughout the year. All the learning spaces are mobile, versatile and can adapt to various tasks and audiences. The whole academy is designed to make the learning process a thrilling experience!

Elkus Manfredi Architects – Cathedral of the Holy Cross

SBID Awards 2019 - Elkus Manfredi Architects
SBID Awards 2019 - Elkus Manfredi Architects
SBID Awards 2019 - Elkus Manfredi Architects

Elkus Manfredi Architects designed a comprehensive renovation to bring new life and light to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the largest Catholic church in New England and a landmark in the South End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. Relying on a 3D digital model created from laser scans, renovations included reconfiguring the sanctuary platforms to project the altar closer to congregants, restoring/lightening interior finishes, and integrating modern infrastructural and ADA improvements.  Historical photos of the 144-year-old church helped inform careful replications of decorative wall patterns, while new liturgical appointments complement the original reredos. Discrete, all-new LED lighting brightened stained glass windows from within and illuminated formerly dark ceilings that were enhanced with gold paint on the edge bead of the elaborately carved wooden trusses. Dramatic and resplendent, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross once again stands as a beacon to the community, both day and night.

Diamond Schmitt Architects – Campus1 MTL

SBID Awards 2019 - Diamond Schmitt Architects
SBID Awards 2019 - Diamond Schmitt Architects

A 19-storey former hotel on the McGill University campus in Montreal has been converted to a student residence. The design challenge went beyond the bricks and mortar architecture; the space had to promote a sense of community and social engagement. The design integrates programmed and unprogrammed space, which allows students to make the space their own. A seating niche is located opposite the main security desk and is highlighted with a bold graphic that is now in the residence’s branding. The ground floor is pulled together by a multi-tiered mountain inspired by the city’s Mount Royal, which creates a hangout space that is highlighted by a cloud of curved linear Sketch light pendants.

Suzanne Barnes Design Partnership – Garth House

SBID Awards 2019 - Suzanne Barnes
SBID Awards 2019 - Suzanne Barnes

Garth House is an intimate Grade II-Listed building with meeting rooms and part of the University of Birmingham’s hotel and conference facility. It was built in 1901 and designed by William Bidlake who was an English Architect and a leading figure in Birmingham in the Arts & Crafts movement. It is distinct from Bidlake’s other houses in the simplicity of its design and is of international significance as it was singled out in Hermann Muthesius’ Das Englische Haus, which influenced the development of the Modernist movement. Before its restoration in 2018 it was used by the university in the same capacity as it is today, but now the interiors have been transformed from a standard educational environment to a stylish individual space with a sense of domestic scale and structure to celebrate a space befitting of its historical past and create pride for its future.

A.RK Interior Design – The Park Sales Gallery

SBID Awards 2019 - A.RK Interior Design
SBID Awards 2019 - A.RK Interior Design

The Park is a 1,000m² sales gallery that celebrates the past success and history of Rui Hong Xin Cheng in Shanghai, and also showcases their latest mixed-use development. Being in and around nature plays a large part in the concept of this project. Staying true to the naturalist concept of the entire development, this project strives to find the symbiotic balance of nature indoor and outdoor. 

Project of the Week: SBID Awards Finalists 2019

This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features the timeless explorer’s lodge which beats with the pulse of wild Africa. Lying on the edge of Botswana’s mysterious Savute Channel and within Chobe National Park – where the big five roam, the skies are large and the land is washed with the muted colours of the Savute – the Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge has undergone a full redesign and has since become a tented retreat infused with the romance of a bush camp. This is the result of a robust collaboration among Belmond (owner/operator), Luxury Frontiers (project manager and architectural, infrastructure and back of house design), and Inge Moore of Muza Lab (interior design). Together, the team designed entirely new public areas including an arrival lobby, dining room, lounge and bar, library, pool, spa and game-viewing hide – while also refurbishing the guest accommodation suites. The resulting design is a contemporary tribute to the golden age of exploration. And while the design rightfully evokes a sense of adventure and discovery, guests are also drawn to connect with the natural world and slow down to the rhythm of the land that surrounds them.

SBID Awards: Hotel Public Space finalist sponsored by Viva Lagoon

Practice: Luxury Frontiers

Project: Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge

Location: Chobe, Botswana

Sustainable hotel design by Muza Lab and Luxury Frontiers featuring outdoor dining and seating

What was the client’s brief? 

The Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge has long enjoyed a beautiful location within Chobe National Park, Botswana’s most biologically diverse park with one of Africa’s largest concentrations of game. However, the lodge had become tired, it was not engaged with its location as an experience and it did not reflect Belmond’s commitment to sustainable development and practices.

In addition to design responsibilities, as Lead Consultant and Project Manager for the project, Luxury Frontiers was responsible for the full coordination and contracting of the professional team, bringing on board the local expertise of general contractor Lodge Builders of Botswana and the hotel interiors talent of international designer Inge Moore. With the lodge’s state of affairs, Muza Lab and Luxury Frontiers were tasked with reinvigorating the resort not only to reflect Belmond’s principles, but to also engage guests through curated spaces and to showcase the natural beauty of the locale.

Sustainable hotel design by Muza Lab and Luxury Frontiers featuring living room

What inspired the interior design of the project? 

The goal was to create spaces which both reflect the greatest sense of place and are where people can embrace their surroundings, all while paying the highest respect to the environment through sustainable design. Materials are simple and natural, including limed and white painted saligna wood floors, rattan furniture and fabrics combining bright geometric prints with earthy tones. The tented public areas which include an arrival lobby, dining room, lounge and bar, and library are a collection of tented rooms which flow outdoors onto large terraces with magnificent views. The public areas have been designed to lend a comfortable, lived-in feeling with layers of collected artefacts, yet bring in plenty of local context with clusters of carved poles recalling the sticks used by the indigenous people, traditional decorative screening details and locally crafted lights inspired by the region’s clay pots.

Befitting to Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge’s location within an unadulterated wilderness area, all structures were designed to celebrate the great African bush, frame spectacular views and have a truly experiential function. Take for instance the game-viewing hide which allows guests to inconspicuously watch the area’s beloved herds of elephants and other exotic animals which gather around the lodge’s watering hole. Added to that are the hide’s beautifully simple design and its composite bamboo walls, which cast striking, spindly shadows throughout the space.

What was your team’s highlight of the project?

A real point of pride for the team was the fact that the project was devoted to minimising environmental impact to the lodge’s stunning site and to supporting local businesses and organisations. All of the lodge’s structures were constructed on suspended, timber-based platforms and made of composite boarding and canvas. The previous lodge’s timber was recycled and reused, and the lodge’s decks were rebuilt using composite bamboo – one of today’s highest green timber alternative products. In the guestrooms, local thatching grass purchased from communities in Northern Botswana was chosen to cover the roofs. In fact, all the furniture, fixings and equipment at the lodge was sourced locally in Southern Africa, including gorgeously crafted pieces produced by The Blind Society of South Africa.

What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?

A design challenge – but one which was embraced – was the team’s commitment to making the lodge completely self-sufficient. As a specialist in infrastructure and back of house design in off-the-grid locales, Luxury Frontiers was excited to think outside the box and come up with efficient, cutting-edge solutions. Previously, the whole lodge was run on generators, which could consume up to 300 liters of diesel daily. This was replaced with a state-of-the-art solar farm of 665 panels and a Tesla battery system (one of the first in Botswana), and this has cut fossil fuel consumption by approximately 90%. Luxury Frontiers had installed a new anaerobic Sewage Treatment Plant, replaced the gas-fired hot water heaters with power-efficient thermodynamic geysers for each of the guestrooms, and put in an automated biodigester (the first of its kind in Botswana). The machine processes five tons of kitchen food waste monthly and turns this into compost, which is then bagged and used in local community-based farming initiatives.

Why did you enter the SBID Awards?

The Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge project team was excited to enter the SBID Awards to give credit to the complexity of the project, which was further heightened by the sensitivity of the project’s site (an unadulterated wilderness site within a national park). As projects are judged by SBID on both aesthetic creativity and technical merit, we knew the work done at Belmond Savute Elephant Lodge needed to be highlighted and heralded in the design community as world-class interior design was thoughtfully married to the utmost sustainable design considerations. Through our work here, we hope the design community (and the hospitality world) witness and strive to further the push the boundaries in sustainable design.

Questions answered by Graeme Labe, Principal & Managing Director at Luxury Frontiers with support from Inge Moore, Principal at Muza Lab

If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring Art Déco inspired interiors for a luxury residence, click here to see more.

We hope you feel inspired by this week’s sustainable Hotel design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire

SBID Awards 2019 | Hotel Public Space finalist sponsored by Viva Lagoon

Sustainable hotel design by Muza Lab and Luxury Frontiers featuring outdoor dining and seating

Project of the Week: SBID Awards Finalists 2019

This week’s instalment of the #SBIDinspire interior design series features luxurious, golden age glamour for the Hilton’s Imperial Hotel design in Dubrovnik. The Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik was originally built in the 1890’s, situated just above the UNESCO World Heritage site of Dubrovnik’s old town. Originally named ‘The Grand Hotel Imperial’, it was an immediate hit with a French Riviera feel and the glamorous cachet of an international clientele. The hotel was shelled during the Yugoslav war and subsequently brought back to life in 2005, when it was rebuilt in its original style. However, costly building works meant that the interiors weren’t the main priority at that time and were primed for a completely new treatment this time round.

When Goddard Littlefair was first commissioned, the hotel was already very well established and incredibly popular, with a wonderful location overlooking the old fort and the Adriatic. Drawing inspiration from the romance of the hotel’s former glories, the new design scheme sought to re-inject golden age glamour into one of Europe’s most historic hotels.

SBID Awards: Hotel Public Space / Bedrooms & Suites finalist sponsored by Viva LagoonYves Delorme 

Company: Goddard Littlefair 

Project: Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik

Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia 

Hotel design by Goddard Littlefair featuring hotel lobby area interior

What was the client’s brief? 

The brief was to unlock the true potential of the four-storey hotel’s spectacular location, architecture, reputation and history, in order to appeal to today’s sophisticated and cosmopolitan traveller. Goddard Littlefair was initially commissioned towards the end of 2016 for a phased set of redesign works, with the first two now completed and including the reception and lobby, The Lobby Lounge, The Imperial Bar, The Executive Lounge, all connecting and guest-room corridors and all of the hotel’s 149 standard and executive rooms and 9 suites. A refurbishment of the hotel’s existing restaurant, Porat, on the lower-ground floor, will follow in late 2019.

Hotel design by Goddard Littlefair featuring hotel bedroom interior

What inspired the interior design of the project? 

Inspiration for the new interiors was drawn from the hotel’s incredible history, in both alluding to and recreating its glamorous heritage, whilst also ensuring it had a thoroughly contemporary sophistication. This was achieved by honouring the hotel’s existing architecture and romance throughout, layering glamour into each individual space via a Riviera palette, soft detailing and a 1920’s yachting influence, whilst at the same time balancing this with clean and contemporary lines.

What was the toughest hurdle your team overcame during the project?

The toughest hurdle was dealing with the missing architectural quality of the existing interiors that didn’t do justice to the charming exterior. The former Lobby Lounge and Bar were connected as one continuous and vast space that lacked warmth and intimacy. By breaking up the space with the use of a bespoke see-through brass shelving unit we have created a cosier transition between the two spaces. The double-height and long Reception was also addressed with regards to the lack of a solid architectural language by breaking up the height and length of the space with painted mouldings and timber panellings.

What was your team’s highlight of the project?

It felt like everyone was proud to be working on such a prestigious and well known historic building. From the local contractors to the joinery manufacturers, everyone involved on the project was very communicative and responsive whenever the deadlines were pressing. The quality of materials and skills involved were very high throughout the process.

Why did you enter the SBID Awards?

As well as respecting the industry standing of the SBID and the reputation of the SBID International Design Awards, it’s also a real pleasure to have our designs recognised and admired by peers!

Hotel design by Goddard Littlefair featuring hotel bar area

Questions answered by Jo Littlefair, Director of Goddard Littlefair.

If you missed last week’s Project of the Week featuring a sleek, clean-lined kitchen design, click here to see more.

We hope you feel inspired by this week’s Hotel design! Let us know what inspired you #SBIDinspire

SBID Awards 2019 | Hotel Public Space / Bedrooms & Suites finalist sponsored by Viva Lagoon and Yves Delorme

Hotel design by Goddard Littlefair featuring hotel reception area interior

Join SBID

Find out more about our flexible membership structure.

Apply Online