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Design Hotels: Star designers & up and comers


From craftsmen and architects to musicians and visual artists, Design Hotels™ celebrates the innovators behind a new wave of conceptual hospitality design.

Some refuse to conform to the restraints of traditional architecture and design; visionaries such as contemporary craftsman Piet Boon, multi-disciplinary master Suyong Joh, and the doyen of risk-taking Fady Hachem. Others entirely defy definition as is the case of creative collective Apparatjik’s remarkable artistic journey.

GLAD Hotel Yeouido, Seoul, South Korea – JOH & Company
Creative director of award-winning studio JOH & Company and founder of critically acclaimed Magazine B,Suyong Joh is the multidisciplinary designer whose unflinching style and bold spirit is driving South Korea’s creative class. Part of the new wave of visionaries redefining the concept of hospitality, Joh maintains that the look, message and meaning are all integral components to creating something timeless. A sense of coming home penetrates JOH and Company’s hotel design, as demonstrated at GLAD Hotel Yeouido, where brick-clad corridors encourage guests to believe that they are walking to their room through the streets, much as they would to journey home. With a simple aesthetic and an innate sense of openness, each of the 319 guestrooms has also been designed with the house guest ethos in mind.

Piet Boon Bonaire, Kralendijk, Bonaire – Piet Boon
From a contractor with scant regard for convention to founder of the eponymous design powerhouse Boon, Piet Boon is the very definition of the modern craftsman. Boon’s holistic approach to design, alongside his quintessential Dutch style, has won his firm international acclaim for its pure, timeless forms in architecture, interior design and product innovation. Piet Boon Bonaire is the ultimate expression of Boon’s ubiquitous style, with each of the nine villas defined by light-flooded open spaces, lofty ceilings and dark stone floors. Boon’s trademark tactile, crafts-heavy design is evident in the elegant furnishings throughout the property, which reflect the cool tranquility of the beachside setting.

Apparatjik Suite, THE THIEF, Oslo, Norway – Apparatjik
Band, visual artists, and anarchists: Apparatjik is a creative tribe that defies classification and which revels in surrealism, chaos, and play. Founded in 2008 and comprising Coldplay’s bass player Guy Berryman, a-ha member Magne Furuholmen, Mew singer/guitarist Jonas Bjerre, and Grammy winning music-producer Martin Terefe, Apparatjik’s unorthodox creative process has cumulated in conceptual design at THE THIEF hotel in Oslo. Eclectic and innovative with a world-class collection of art, THE THIEF and its 118 rooms and suites is the perfect setting for Apparatjik’s first design project: a suite as uncompromising and provocative as the quartet themselves – complete with holographic bedfellows on demand.

Adelphi Hotel, Melbourne, Australia – Fady Hachem
There’s a fine line between genius and precociousness, as was the case when a newly-graduated Fady Hachem convinced a Melbourne landlord that he could not only develop interior concepts and a bold brand identity, but also manage the entire $2m overhaul for a new bar. That site became neighborhood hotspot Bond, an unmitigated success for Hachem who went on to form the eponymous design and architectural studio. It is exactly Hachem’s reputation as a risk-taker and innovator which made him the perfect candidate for the rejuvenation of Melbourne’s iconic 34-room Adelphi Hotel. Thanks to Hachem’s witty and whimsical vision, the Adelphi Hotel has been transformed into the world’s first ‘dessert hotel’, with chocolate-toned furnishings, cake patterned carpets, and “licorice allsorts” stools.

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