Stay Europe14 July 2011
Three consultancies took up our challenge to design the foyer – with an emphasis on the flooring used – for a fictitious new self-service hotel opening up in three European cities
Flooring for a new chain of independent budget hotels with design aspirations called Stay. You will come up with a scheme for the unmanned lobby areas that will be replicated in sites around the UK and the rest of Europe. Each lobby will be about 15 sq m. There will be the entrance from the road and a security door leading to the rooms. There will also be a machine at which guests can check in and get the card keys for the security door and their room. The target audience is young (25-35) urban professionals on city breaks. The identity has a Fifties futurist feel and the client would like the identity, which also features the name of each city, to be incorporated into the flooring. The colours of the identity (except the word ‘Stay’) are intended to change to reflect each location, while staying within an unspecified ‘Fifties palette’. You choose the colours for the identity and floor depending on which location you are designing for. Also provide two colour options for the walls, which will be painted for ease of maintenance and refreshing. The flooring material must be easy to maintain and have longevity.
SHH / Stay Madrid
The red and white colourway for Stay Madrid is inspired by the city’s own flag (red with white stars), while the Spanish tradition for using mosaic (including Gaudi’s work) influenced the design treatment, especially for the flooring. The most important starting point for our design language, however, came from the dynamism and space-age futurism of cars from Fifties’ USA, brought to mind by the logo, and in particular the use of chrome – a material that remains iconic – as a datum line or edging for key elements of the scheme.
Hotel lobbies should provide an instant hit of high impact and this lobby certainly does that. An evolved ‘Stay’ logo announces the hotel at the main entrance, while the word ‘Madrid’ is inlaid into the floor within a mosaic version of a welcome mat. The visitor’s eye is drawn straight to the back of the space, where an interactive wall with touch-screen technology for checking in, along with hotel and local information, is housed in a chrome installation referencing Fifties’ car grilles.
The ceiling and upper section of the walls are in white, while the flooring features a mosaic chrome circular tile set into black grout for a strong contemporary look, which is also robust.
The flooring treatment continues up the walls, mirroring Fifties cars’ two-tone datum line. The full Stay Madrid logo also appears on the back wall, while a wall display of clocks, styled to match dashboard instruments, shows the times at other hotels in the group and alerting customers to the brand’s presence in other European cities. Lighting and lobby chairs are in clean white spherical shapes, with both a retro and a space-age feel.
Pricing for flooring: in the region of £110 per sq m, supplied and fitted.
BDGworkfutures (Hanneke van der Heijden)
An unmanned lobby presents two main challenges – how do we ensure that it is comfortable, welcoming and efficient for hotel guests, and yet not a place that the general public would want to linger. The design solution needs to be durable and create ‘sense of place’ and continuity, depending on which city the guest is in.
BDGworkfutures has specified Graphic Concrete, which allows the imprinting of patterns and images on to the surface. The result is a contemporary, hardwearing finish with imprints of tulips, clogs and canal houses, a clear reminder that you are in Amsterdam.
The lighting solution is by Flos Soft Architecture and seamlessly integrates with the ceiling. Each light is circular, creating a vertical connection with the imprints on the floor to highlight this feature. In addition, an LED lighting system is low maintenance and cost effective over a period of time.
In keeping with the Fifties’ futuristic ‘space-like’ feel, the walls are painted in soft pastel hues of cool blue, which provide a neutral backdrop to allow the logo to stand out.
The overall ambience of the space is attractive and efficient for the visitor to pass through to their room without tempting them to spend any length of time in the space.
The floor of the lobby is a fine, smooth in-situ concrete floor.
The Stay logo has been made as a stamp in varying sizes, which once pushed into the wet concrete floor will leave an imprint.
The Stay logo is directional, leading the guest towards the self-check-in doorway and beyond to the bedrooms.
To make the flooring very city specific the person doing the imprints of the logo will have shoes that are site specific – for example in London the person will be wearing Dr. Martens. In Madrid they’d be Camper shoe imprints, in Barcelona, bare feet, and so on!
They would walk through the doorway making imprints, then have to wait there till the concrete dries as the logo leads IN only. The concrete floor will be finished off with a sealant.
For the walls a Fifties’ pattern has been printed on to vinyl at an enlarged scale and papered to the wall – Onward Display at 84 Berwick Street, London W1F 8TT can print from artwork and hang it.
Certain colours from that print have been selected for the other walls – in this instance two colourways of Farrow and Ball’s Hay 37 and Dead Salmon 28 have been used.
The black-clad check-in doorway has been angled towards the space, It is constructed from plywood laminated in Black Gloss Polyrey, and has backwash lighting illuminating the edge and soffited ceiling.
The Stay logo points to the entrance where the visitor just swipes their credit card for access and a room number.
Informal seating in the lobby is provided by the Harry Bertoia chair model number 420C, proposed to be hung from the ceiling rods, minus the base as a playful twist.