Interview with The Ampersand Hotel’s Design Team
Our latest post catches up with Dexter Moren Associates’ Interior Design Team with an extract of their Design et al interview below.
What direction do you feel hospitality design is moving towards in general terms?
Hospitality is generally moving towards a more customised approach. Hoteliers are savvier than ever and attuned to their clients heightened expectations. There is an elevated sense of how hotels perform as a ‘product’ and how this functions as part of people’s lifestyles. There is a clear sense of other ‘modes’ of living making presence into the hotel realm, we are seeing more residential and retail aspects making an appearance. This cross-pollination with a traditional sense of hospitality makes for a new wave of refreshing projects.
Technology is also becoming an important feature and is being embraced by hotels as a means of better communication with their guests. It is important however, not to remove the personal touch completely; human contact and service cannot be replaced by a smart tablet.
What projects are you currently working on?
Current projects include the Shangri La Hotel at The Shard, Westminster Intercontinental, Hilton Bankside and Tobacco Dock Hotel & Apartments. We’re also working on some lovely resorts in Cape Verde, and a hotel at the Rosa Khutor ski resort where the next Winter Olympics will be held.
A designer’s work is so diverse – how do you manage to hold down a career and a life?
The two inherently blend. In many ways, it’s impossible to separate them. A designers mind is never switched off from sourcing new material or inspiration. We mentally carry our projects everywhere we go. Anything we see or do (particularly while we are in the key design process) informs research and decision making.
Name the key essentials for 2012 and beyond?
As an unspoken rule at Dexter Moren Associates we try not follow trends as such, we make a point of making each of our projects unique by embracing the site context or history. This adds longevity to what we create and also ensures an affinity between the location and its user.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Understanding the end user and having a clear knowledge of how they will utilize and interact with your design is essential. That and also having an awareness and strong relationship with your client as this bond will ensure that the final result is successful.