Design from Spain is still winning over its Italian neighbours. Now, Vibia, one of the most innovative Spanish lighting companies, has enhanced a refined Genoese palace recently converted into a...
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This year, Figueras, a firm specialising in high-end seating for public spaces, equipped the renovated Hall I of UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris with MiniSpace (model 5067) theatre seats. The architecture studio Jacques Duflos + CALQ led the renovation project.To furnish the room, the Spanish firm entered a public tender and was selected as the only seating manufacturer that met all the requirements. The project entailed equipping the room’s amphitheatre with 526 seats. The company’s main challenge lie in providing seats of maximum comfort for a hall with very tight measurements and narrow gaps between rows. Moreover, each seat required the inclusion of a translation terminal, necessitating a high level of expertise and precision during installation.Based on its knowledge and experience in this type of work, Figueras chose the compact MiniSpace seat (model 5067) with built-in lectern, which—occupying only 15 cm when folded—was the only suitable option for the project. In addition, the seats needed to be arranged at shallow angles that varied according to their position. Proper distribution, coupled with backrests arranged at angles of 10 and 15 degrees to fit into rows measuring 736 cm and 763 cm in width, respectively, enabled the company to position the 526 seats required, all of which are upholstered with a special Kvadrat fabric and include a communications terminal for simultaneous translations. Experienced fitters and excellent planning on the part of the Figueras team allowed the project to be completed within the scheduled timeframe.Over the years, Figueras has executed several projects around the world. It has installed over 10 million seats and is present in 130 countries. Among the projects carried out this year is the Corporate Room for the multinational Unilever in Jakarta (Indonesia), which features the 5069-model Micro theatre seat. And last year’s installations include the provision of 300 6036-model Flex seats for the auditorium of the new World War II Museum, the latest architectural landmark in the coastal city of Gdansk (Poland), where the conflict officially began.
Enea is based in Legorreta, Guipúzcoa in the Spanish Basque, but you’ll find its decorative proposals both near and far. Look no further than its recent projects in France and New Zealand, the first a stone’s throw from its factory, the second at the opposite end of the earth. In France, the Lottus chair collection has been chosen for the refurbished 4-star Grand Hôtel du Midi, in Place de la Comédie, Montpellier. Recently renovated by Julie Gauthron, the architect chose Lottus chairs and stools to equip the hotel’s “Les Loges” restaurant and bar. Red and anthracite Lottus stools have the design and versatility to give “Les Loges” bar that typical French charm, while fitting perfectly with the new decor of a space that mixes baroque and contemporary styles. For the restaurant, Enea has supplied Lottus chairs in white, black and lime-green polypropylene for a splash of colour. The elegant Lottus collection, inspired by nature, successfully preserves the spirit of this historical hotel, injecting a cutting-edge touch.In New Zealand, Enea has equipped the head offices of transport company Maersk Line in Auckland. After ten years in the CPO Building, Maersk Line was looking for more flexible, contemporary premises and called on Stack interior design studio to provide the spacious flexi-work surroundings and relaxation areas needed to generate communication and co-working opportunities. The Lottus collection designed by Lievore Altherr Molina for Enea was chosen for the task. Formal meeting rooms and rest-work spaces are now equipped with Lottus Conference chairs, while rooms for more casual meetings are furnished with Lottus High Office.This is not the first time Enea has been involved in interior design projects in these two countries. In France, Lottus chairs are used in the Paris Sant-Germain stadium and Eina chairs, designed by Josep Lluscà, in Strasbourg’s Palais des Congrès. Exxon Mobil’s offices in New Zealand’s capital have Lottus and OH chairs, created by Gabriel Teixidó, while OH chairs are also used to furnish the Auckland University of Technology. In 2107 Enea has also furnished Europcar and Safran Analytics offices in France.
Italy has always conjured up associations of luxury and design, with a Mediterranean spirit that combines its monumental past with state-of-the-art creations. And it makes the perfect soulmate for Spanish brand Kettal, whose outdoor furniture is totally in step with that Mare Nostrum flow.It comes as no surprise that Kettal furniture should have been picked for two unique, but vastly different projects: Il Sereno Hotel on Lake Como, in the Alpine foothills, and the Dimora delle Balze estate on the island of Sicily.Il Sereno Lago di Como is the first newly-built hotel on the shores of idyllic Lake Como. The spectacular premises are the work of Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola, whose 30-suite gem features a spectacular vertical garden that rises up the façade, and stylish interior design that pairs luxury with serenity and elegance. The furniture chosen for this peerless space comes from several Kettal collections: the ‘Net’ family of outdoor chairs and armchairs, ‘Mesh’ teak loungers and ‘Cottage’ daybeds, all created by Urquiola, as well as other decorative items from the ‘Objects’ collection. The project is already bringing in global accolades including the first to be awarded by industry-leading publication Interior Design in New York, in its “Projects” section, which recognises Patricia Urquiola’s masterful interior in the “Hospitality-Hotel Resort” category. A stark contrast is the 19th-century Dimora delle Balze estate in southeast Sicily, where time seems to have stood still. Mediterranean aromas waft from its walls and the great courtyard which leads into an interior that houses not only the many bedrooms but also original Renaissance frescoes, so that guests can enjoy the splendour of the estate’s past glory while relaxing on seating from two Kettal collections: ‘Bitta’, designed by Rodolfo Bordoni, and ‘Landscape’. Kettal is one of Spain’s biggest globetrotters with projects all over the world. On a stay at luxury hotels like JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa Mexico, the Sheraton Grand Hotel Dubai or the Ritz-Carlton Moscow, you can take the weight off your feet on its comfortable, evocative outdoor furniture collections.
Spanish company Soher’s luxury furniture graces new hotel Westin Dubai Al Habtoor City. This exclusive hotel, which opened in October, 2016, has 1,004 suites catering to the most exacting guests and the highest number of hotel rooms in Dubai — 100,000.To create this fascinating project, its interior design team chose Soher’s exquisite furniture which graces the lobby, restaurants and other rooms. The lobby has been elegantly furnished with products that perfectly balance good design with functionality. The restaurants were decorated in accordance with the different atmosphere characterising each space — from urban and modern motifs, such as those in the bar in the Cook Hall, to the gold motifs, velvet finishes and glamorous ceiling lights of the Blinque cocktail lounge, which immerse the clientele in the magic and fantasy of ancient Asia, not to mention the stately, sober Il Capo restaurant, with its luxurious, refined ambience evoking the 1920s. Finally, there’s the Al Joud sitting room, used for weddings and events — a light-filled room as stunning as any found in the world’s most elegant royal palaces.Soher was founded by Vicente Simó Iborra in 1942. Since then, it’s designed and manufactured beautiful, stylish bronze pieces and furniture to the highest quality. Top-quality woods, such as ebony, elaborate marquetry, handmade relief patterns, gold-leaf and silver finishes, magnificent mother-of-pearl and top-quality leather to render each piece of furniture luxurious and noble are used to make its pieces. Soher now has a strong presence in this part of Asia, in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, where it has undertaken projects in luxurious private residences, such as the Government Palace of HRH Prince Khalid Al Faisal, Governor of the cities of Jeddah and Mecca in Saudi Arabia
Interiors from Spain suggests that you grab your rucksack and pack your suitcases and head to two of the world’s most attractive cities — Sydney and Amsterdam… Once there, you’ll need to find some cool hotels to hang out in, furnished, of course, with contemporary, original, colourful design. And where better to do so than the hotels Ovolo Woolloomooloo in Sydney and Generator in Amsterdam, where the presence of Spanish firm Sancal’s designs will make you feel you’re in a truly special place.Ovolo Woolloomooloo is part of a chain of hotels and serviced apartments that has recently opened one of Sydney’s most iconic hotels. Despite being new, it’s fast become a cool reference point in the city, located as it is in a former warehouse in Woollomooloo near Sydney Harbour. Prestigious Australian desigh studio Hassell has transformed what was an old building into a venue that’s the height of chic. Perfectly fusing old-fashioned style with modernity, Hassell has created an eclectic interior with boldly contrasting colours and cosy nooks that will appeal to all types of customer and meet every requirement. It’s a perfect spot for enjoying Sancal’s designs. Here, its REW sofas and Nido armchairs, designed by Rafa García, grace the central hall, their colours contrasting with the building’s greyish design, while Sancal’s Talo armchairs by Sebastian Herkner furnish the bedrooms. Meanwhile, Generator is based in one of Amsterdam’s coolest, most arty areas — Oosterpark. It’s housed in the former zoology department of the University of Amsterdam and, although it still has an academic vibe, even after its conversion, it’s been radically transformed into a brilliant, avant-garde hotel, created by the studio Design Agency in collaboration with local architects IDEA. What’s more, the hotel has collaborated in a unique way with local artists whose sculptures and graphic artworks adorn its spaces. Sancal’s Nido armchairs, where people can sip tea and chat, can be found between the desks in the spectacular bar-cum-hall. And Sancal’s small Nudo tables, created by Juan Ibañez, grace the lobby, welcoming guests as they enter this highly unusual establishment.Sancal designs and manufactures multifunctional, timeless furniture that gives its users a feeling of wellbeing, while its calm asethetic is popular with consultants who often choose it for this reason. Indeed, more and more consultants and designers are selecting it for their projects all over the world. Good examples of these include the café Torte i To in Zagreb, Croatia; the hotel Villa Hiidenmäki in Jämsä, Finland; the offices of Fom in Moscow; the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, and Sony’s HQ in Madrid.
The world keeps getting smaller, especially for young people who use the latest technology to explore it. Most of them prefer to stay in hostels as they are accessible and inexpensive. Hostelworld is a leading hostel-booking platform, with 33,000 properties in 170 countries on its books. And, to furnish its Dublin office, the company chose Spanish firm designs.Located in Dublin’s buzzy Docklands area, Hostelworld’s HQ was designed by Henry J Lyons Architects. Hostelworld has furnished it with Viccarbe’s vibrant, dynamic, colourful and functional pieces. The project comprises an open-plan office where workstations, break-out spaces and a well-equipped kitchen combine to create an office that is both efficient and relaxed. It’s a workspace where Viccarbe’s funky furniture sets the tone.Gracing the relaxation areas is Vincent Van Duysen’s Step sofa, whose flexibility and hand-sewn look reflect the production standards of a collection in which robust design meets exquisite details. In the dining room are Viccarbe’s upholstered Maarten chairs, whose colourful design blurs the boundary between work and relaxation areas, and the versatile Maarten table, designed for working on a laptop, informal meetings or coffee breaks. The last two pieces were designed by Victor Carrasco. Finally, in a reading area are Viccarbe’s Aspa tables, created by Francesc Rifé.Viccarbe makes contemporary furniture created by prestigious, international designers. The firm has a presence in over 70 countries and its multifunctional furniture can be found in many public spaces all over the world, including the Tokyo University of Science, the TesoroBlu Hotel & Spa in Greece, Grand Hyatt hotel in New York as well as in the offices of well-known multinationals, such as Microsoft in Finland, Google in Mexico, Coca-Cola in Ontario and GlaxoSmithKline in Lithuania.