Room 18 | My team’s proposal

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I may present you my team’s submission for the international architectural competition Room18 that took place last month! We spent so much work and thinking in it, a lot of stress in the end to meet with the deadline but we enjoyed it a lot and I’m really proud of the result, so I share it with you!

The competition was aiming at rethink the usual living in a city hotel’s room, reinvent the conditions and make a pioneer proposal for the contemporary traveler. The place of the hotel was supposed to be somewhere in Greece, in a city.

So, we spent hours and hours of thinking and reading about what a traveler seeks nowadays, what we would like in our visits at hotels and what could be unconventional enough but not very crazy and risk our submission (this was a mistake apparently if u look at the winners!) Our pursuit was the stay to be integral part of the whole traveling experience. And we wanted the user to be able to personalize his stay in many levels, the space itself and the facilities through advanced technology. To be able to interfere with the staying conditions according to his personality and needs.

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Eventually, the concept was born slowly and I must say that only when we finished it we knew what it was! Our main idea was the room to be like an outdoor space, like a square or a house’s yard. With the natural light, sitting points on the ground or mantels, a touch of greenery, the open bathroom like you’re at your country house’s backyard and all these in an irregular layout.
However, we wanted to offer a luxury experience in this outdoor feeling so we used sophisticated materials and design. We used some traditional city house’s materials such as the wooden floor, the wooden panels to filter the light in fish bone motif, terrazzo in reference of the mosaic floors of Greek houses in the past, the skylight element in the bathroom with the climbing ivy, glass instead of wall partitions for transparency and clean feeling at the bathroom area and bronze for a shinny touch!

Key design element was the diagonal that runs the room, separates and organizes it and creates spaces, acute/obtuse corners and nooks. The diagonal alignments are very common in Greek traditional architecture, mostly in yards, terraces and open spaces.
Also, it contains all the facilities (wardrobe, suitcase place, seating bench, bedside tables, hugging the bed, desk) and has different levels. It’s like this diagonal takes the half of the room and swivels it so that the living area separates from the entrance and washing area while they still are in the same space. This light separation is highlighted by the different materials and the lower level of the living area and the obtuse angle where the bed prevails is like a hug that makes this space looks larger.

This diagonal intention is already seen at the corridor at every door, creating a small hall/corner in the same materials to slowly introduce you to the room’s idea.

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Corner hall out of the room’s door – Corridor’s view

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Room’s layout

Some other details are: The façade’s perforated wooden panels, in fish bone motif, that let the natural light enter the room but through a filter. So that you can have all the view while being protected. In combination with the mantel seating nook besides you can have all the outdoors’s feeling in an interior safety and privacy. It’s what we call the “inside out” but in the opposite direction!

The wardrobe with the built-in mini bar make a sophisticated structure like posh large stones, in a monumental mood but with a light and airy touch of the suspended hanger. There you hang your clothes in the open so that you have your “back home” touch etc. Every user’s clothes will change the image of the room every time.

Technology. We used technology only in our minds because nothing can be seen in the room’s desing but it was a big issue for us, even in idea level. We’ve though that a vertical panel that integrates the TV will lead the user’s stay. This interactive glass touch screen will display various applications related to the room facilities, the communication with the hotel and the city guide-visit organizer.

Regarding the room facilities you will be able -except of interfering with the heat/air conditioning- load lighting programs, music programs, depending on the mood. Also, you can make appointments with the cleaning services of the hotel, set alarms and other facilities of room service, order a meal or whatever!

Regarding the city guide/trip organizer you will be able to organize your visit, sightseeing, shopping, hot spots of the town, the best bars/restaurants etc. through a set up guide by the hotel or another company like timeout or others or even by other users that saved some proposals by their visit. It would be great if you could choose what you’d like to do/visit and an app will create tours for you and proposes themed walks. Of course, you should be able to connect with your smartphone so that you can have the guide with you all day. It will be like an info portal expanded in wall dimensions that could make your trip super easy and fun!

I’m very interested in your opinions and very thrilled for comments! Feel free to share what you think!

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Sections 1 and 2

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Sections 3 and 4

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Our submission board, in Greek

 

 

 

Mandarin Hotel, Barcelona

Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_BlancWhat have I told you? Patricia Urquiola is a goddess of design! The moment I was writing this post I saw this hotel. “Hmm..that’s interesting” I thought, then I saw more “hmmmm…that’s very beautiful…” and then I read that Patricia Urquiola designed it! Bang!!Of course…
So, this is the interior design of Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Barcelona that Urquiola designed it with the collaboration of architects Carlos Ferrater and Juan Trias de Bes. Featuring custom designs and Urquiola’s Axor collection throughout, the hotel was named the best hotel project of 2010 by Interior Design magazine. I know it’s an old project but I saw it just now and it’s never too late, right?
Located on Barcelona’s prestigious Passeig de Gracia, the exquisite hotel fits right in with the rich history of architecture and avant-garde design of the city. The project reflects the open, cosmopolitan character of the great Mediterranean city and the linear simplicity of the building, that used to be the headquarters of a bank, is used successfully by the clean, elegant and balanced interior design of Urquiola.

Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_atrium3 Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_UrquiolaMandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_terrace1 Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_penthouse terraceThe layout and furniture design, the ceiling decorations and the beautiful hand-woven carpets, reminiscent of the charm and distinction of great classical hotels, have all been carefully chosen by Urquiola. From the Scandinavian style armchairs, the lobby sofa which has been adapted from a traditional Chesterfield, the tartan carpet reminiscent of the Gentleman’s Clubs which adorns the Banker’s Bar floor, to the fully restored early 20th century French ironing table which serves as a centerpiece to Blanc restaurant and lounge.

Upon arrival you walk through a black ramp that introduces you to the impressive world of the hotel through this atrium with punched frameless glazed openings. This ramp guides you to the welcome area. The lobby area is designed as a living space with the reception cleverly hidden behind a marvelous patterned see through panel.

Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_atrium Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_atrium2Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_lobbyMy favorite area of the hotel, and the reason for making this post is the “Blanc” restaurant. Located on the lower floor is the heart of the building. It’s a space that almost makes you happy with all this natural light that is distributed through a metallic, sculptural weaved frame, in white color suspended over the restaurant tables. Above this structure there is a “hanging garden” effect that completes the relaxing atmosphere. It’s like you are in a heaven’s restaurant..Definitely it leaves you breathless! (first photo also)

Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_Blanc2Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_room9 The hotel has 98 rooms that also have an elegance and hospitality as everywhere. You can see the Mediterranean atmosphere stylishly mixing with some Asian elements. Through a warm pallet of cream and white with avant-garde furniture and details all the rooms have a relaxing and sophisticated environment.

Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_room10 Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_room8 Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_room6 Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_room3 Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_room2 Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_room1 Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_suiteOne other impressive area is the Mimosa Garden. It’s like a hidden treasure, an inner courtyard of 660 square meters that was made by landscape architect Beth Figueras and Patricia Urquiola. This garden terrace is covered by colorful mimosas and custom designed rope furniture that create a delightful atmosphere! Also the rooftop terrace is beautiful and the view from there is spectacular!

Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_mimosa Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_mimosa2 Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_terrace3Mandarin_Oriental_Barcelona_terrace2Last but not least the Spa. Dark wood details, metallic curtains, black ceiling and sacramental lightened green walls, wet stones that give a natural look create a minimalist aesthetic that relaxes everyone. I relax only by seeing it, imagine be treated there..!

I hope you enjoyed this project as much as I did!

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Hotel in Rio

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Now with the world cup Brazil is in our minds all the time. Except football though and all this fuzz, Brazil has a lot of things to show us, regarding the design field. This time, I’ll show you a very artistic and bohemian little hotel in Rio! It’s situated in a vibrant Rio’s hilltop among bars and restaurants. Maria Santa Teresa is a very friendly hotel with an easy-going attitude that you can see it even from the photos.

It is a renovated, old mid-century villa and has only six guest-rooms. Exlusive but relaxed. Every room as also the amazing pool terrace also offers a stunning view across Rio, through vintage 1930’s telescopes positioned on terraces, so you can zoom in wherever you want! Personally, I loved the pool terrace of course, the simple but stylish decoration and the tropical and alternative atmosphere that exists everywhere. Also, the hotel’s special design includes one-of-a-kind design pieces. Such as antique nautical optics, local art, colourful furniture and a world-class photography collection.Their website worth a look as well! Style everywhere.

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Photo courtesy of Santa Maria Teresa.

Sweet like sugar!

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After Jakarta, next tropical stop is Mexico! It’s not my fault, I’m trying to work and these places just come up! And then, naturally, I imagine myself lying in a hammock like above, reading a book, going to the beach and enjoying summer vacations in general!
This time I have Azucar hotel! This amazing resort is in Tecolutla, on the central east coast of Veracruz – at the northern tip of Mexico’s glorious Emerald Coast. It is a combination of joyful and quintessentially Mexican juxtapositions of colour and texture, the romance of the coastline landscape combined with simple and unpretentious luxury.
According to hotelier Carlos Couturier: “I see my hotel as an ecological, organic project. It is a design hotel yet it is somehow anti-design. I wanted to recuperate a lifestyle gone by – that of my grandparents – and give guests the pleasures of simple things.”

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The hotel consists of 20 separate bungalows, each complete with private terrace with breath-taking view of the Gulf of Mexico. Traditional thatched palapa roofs, sugar white walls which reflect the bright sunlight are the main materials. The interiors are calm, intimate and have a quite zen atmosphere. Built-in nooks for candles and bedside reading, as well as locally-made hammocks create a comfortable cave for solitude and relaxation. Clearly inspired by mid-century Mexican modern, the bare white walls are contrasted by found drift-wood lintels and ornamentation, vibrant aquamarine, teal and dusty pink features, and timber doors and fenestration.

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Public spaces are mainly open-air and echo the pared-back style of the bungalows. An outdoor library, a chapel and mediation area, bar and restaurant share the language of strong white curved walls, built-in furniture and vernacular thatched roof made from local timber and foliage. A dedicated chapel and meditation space maintain calm inside a wall of river stones and a large tree canopy. And of course, a figure-eight shaped swimming pool lies at the heart of the resort!

biblioteca2_0 9_4 1_84I don’t know about you, but I would die to spent some days there!!!