Innovative & Alluring Hotel: ESPA Edition Istanbul
Turkey- Istanbul | Sep 12 2012 | (23:19:12 - EDT)
As the winner of the Interior Design of the Year award for Spa, Health and Leisure Facilities at the European Hotel Design Awards 2011, HBA London's design of the ESPA at the Edition Istanbul is the first of a new brand of hotel that provides unique experiences and has allowed the brand to play with design and create a very cutting-edge, contemporary, and memorable space at the spa.A sophisticated client wanted to create a spa that could be both social and personal. Set in Istanbul, the ESPA was an opportunity for HBA London to design for the new drawing inspiration from the old.
HBA London's inspiration for this spa was drawn from recessed skylight at the ceiling of a traditional hammam in Istanbul. The cut out star shape of folded planes created a subtle yet intriguing play with depth of plane and light. The healing powers of a crystal, which are most beautiful in their natural state, reinforce this inspiration with their faceted edges.
With this inspiration and the vision to create a dramatic spa that is comfortable, pampering, and glamorous for each individual experience, HBA London took their journey in a more architectural fashion and created alluring, mysterious spaces.
A Look into Innovative Creator Nathan Hutchins
Nathan Hutchins gained his Masters in Architecture from the University of Washington, shortly after which he joined one of the world’s leading hospitality interior design specialists, HBA, in its Los Angeles headquarters. Subsequently, he moved to the practice’s Hong Kong studio, where he was responsible for high-profile projects such as the one billion-plus USD Wynn Resort Macau, and the masterplanning of the Galaxy Resort Macau.
Since coming to London in 2006, Nathan has headed-up the design teams for some of HBA London’s most prestigious projects located throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India. Projects ranging from Grand Hyatts in Moscow and Tripoli, to the Mena House Oberoi in Cairo and the Al Athaiba Resort in Oman have shaped his expertise in working in diverse regions. One of his current projects is the Alpina Gstaad, an exclusive ski resort in the Swiss Alps. Its interior design draws inspiration from the Saanenland region’s legends, culture and natural world, and following the Swiss tradition of impeccably meticulous detailing, interprets these to suit the lifestyles of the guests who will stay there.
Nathan is also currently responsible for the design of the initial phases of the residential interiors at the Worli Centre, an exclusive grouping of three towers in one of Mumbai’s most prestigious neighbourhoods. Opening this summer, this apartment showcases a refined level of design created to appeal to the quickly growing number of upwardly mobile professionals in this centre of Indian commerce.
He has also recently completed the ESPA at the Istanbul EDITION, for which HBA London has won multiple international awards for its dramatically atmospheric interpretation of a Turkish hammam. The spa’s design was inspired by the mysterious shadows cast by sunlight as it filters through the faceted cut-outs found in traditional hammam domes. Through details such as interestingly angled interior walls, oblique cabinetry facades and lights twinkling behind pierced bronze shades, this concept has been layered into the spa’s sophisticated style.
Nathan’s approach to design embraces the use of light, texture, materials, context and location to enhance sensory experiences and shape spaces in ways that, thanks to technological innovations, have not been possible in the past. Applying these principles to projects such as the ESPA Istanbul has given him the opportunity to create highly imaginative and captivating interiors.
About HBA London's Inge Moore
Inge Moore is the Principal of international interior design practice, HBA London. She began her career in South Africa working in museum design where she collaborated with Museum Africa to build the country’s first post-apartheid museum before going on to lead the interior design department of an architectural practice in the creation of six prestigious super-casinos over six years.
Since joining HBA London in 2001, Inge has been key in establishing the studio as one of the hospitality industry’s most innovative and trendsetting interior design practices. Following her promotion to Managing Associate in 2006, and then to Principal in 2008, she moved the team’s offices into an historic former theatre, a design environment that reflects and nurtures her team’s creative inspiration.
Inge believes that hotel interiors should have a narrative – a framework for the concept and a source for the design details which together excite an emotional reaction that makes guests feel cared for while inviting a journey of discovery which is engaging and fun. She has recently formed The Gallery, an HBA Company, which focuses exclusively on high-concept, bespoke projects throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East for clients seeking to achieve a unique guest experience.
Current and recent projects include Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville and Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastian, Spain; Westin Dublin; Worli Centre, Mumbai; InterContinental Park Lane London; Waldorf Astoria Al Hamra, Ras al-Khaimah, UAE; Alpina Gstaad, Switzerland; Hilton Heathrow; Mena House Oberoi in Cairo; La Stejarii, Bucharest, Romania; Raffles Istanbul Zorlu Center; Kempinski Minsk; Sea Hotel, Bat Yam, Israel; Westin Florence; ESPA at the Istanbul EDITION and the Ritz-Carlton ESPA, Hong Kong; and the Ritz-Carlton Tunis, Tunisia.
An Interview with Inge Moore and Nathan Hutchins of HBA London
As a child, what did you want to become (profession-wise)?
I started out wanting to design spaceships; I would spend hours building them and then trying to make them fly - but they all crashed. I also loved creating room sets for my dolls; my bedroom had one of those modular white plastic wall-to-wall bookshelf systems, so each shelf became “a room” for me to design. This hobby was much more successful, so I opted for interiors from a very early age! I was also constantly redoing my mom’s house. She was a great sport - in the bathroom, she let me lay vinyl flooring that I’d cut into black and white shapes, and she let me refinish the entry hall with a fake marble-effect wallcovering.
From a young age I was intrigued by the idea of becoming an architect. My father is a builder specialising in historic restorations, so I grew-up visiting construction sites replete with 17th century Danish colonial architectural features. I enjoyed seeing the classic design details and the old ways of doing things, however I always felt like restoration was looking backwards and I wanted to be moving forwards.
In which town did you grow up?
Inge: Johannesburg, South Africa
Nathan: St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Do you think your background has influenced your current design style? If so, what specific element in your background is most pervasive in influencing your current design style?
Yes, I think how we live and what surrounds us has a huge influence upon our mindsets. I grew-up in South Africa when the apartheid system was still in place, so due to all the boycotts, no imported goods were available. If you wanted something, you made it yourself. I also had a wonderful grandfather who could design and build anything – he created a waterwheel so that our family’s farm could be powered by hydroelectricity. We were always inventing and crafting things. On top of that, we had lots of space and light and were surrounded by wonderful African crafts and textures. I am so blessed to have been exposed to all these things that have formed how I think and my “can-do” attitude towards everything.
While the historic interior and architectural styles I learnt about as a child inspired my profession, my motivation in design is not the “preservation” of the past. I like creating new ideas. In the warm Caribbean climate of St. Croix, spending lots of time outside is a part of life and buildings are constructed to allow for transitional indoor / outdoor spaces. So having spent a childhood in these structures, my appreciation for blending interior and exterior spaces has definitely informed my approach to hotel design.
What inspires you in the job of being an interior designer?
Everything I see is an inspiration, whether it’s in nature, cities, magazines, books, people or art.
I am intrigued by elements that bring a sensory experience to a space – the light, texture, materials, context and location which make a place unique. For example, the tactile feelings that come from touching plush, rough, or cool surfaces; the way sounds reverberates in a room; or the reflective or absorptive qualities of a finish; it’s the way influences such as these react to their environment and the ability to create interesting combinations that inspires me.
In which way do you consider yourself an innovative creator?
My drive to be innovative means I never take “no” for an answer. I believe we can always come-up with something fresh and imaginative by researching the provenance of our project. Using this insight, we can transform or re-create design elements to delight those who use the space.
Shaping spaces to enhance sensory experiences, as described above, is my way of being innovative. While certainly there is something to be learned from classic design and its adherence to orthogonal lines and principles of proportion, the world has now moved on. More modern building techniques, materials, lighting and textures are being used to create shapes and colour palettes that simply were not possible in the past. More than ever before, designers can use these innovations to create spaces which evoke emotional responses.
View more of the interview in the upcoming edition 15 of EYES IN Magazine, to be available on the iPad, iPhone, Kindle and Nook.
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