Char­ac­ter Driven


Azure - - SPOTLIGHT - WORDS _Ken­dra Jack­son PHO­TO­GRAPH _Bran­don Barré stu­

In the home, bath­rooms can be tai­lored to a user’s life­style or per­sonal tastes. But how does the de­signer of a ho­tel ac­com­mo­date the di­verse peo­ple, per­son­al­i­ties and com­fort lev­els at play in a widely used space? That’s what Alessan­dro Munge, founder and prin­ci­pal of Toronto-based Stu­dio Munge, con­tended with while con­tem­plat­ing the in­te­ri­ors for Bisha Ho­tel & Res­i­dences, a lux­ury de­vel­op­ment that opened last Septem­ber in his home city’s down­town core. “Guests have very high ex­pec­ta­tions for the bath­room; it should al­ways be an up­grade from their own home,” he notes. A res­i­den­tial bath­room, in other words, is very much con­nected to daily rou­tine and should be highly func­tional. But with a bath­room for an up­scale ho­tel, says Munge, “I can be much more con­cep­tual and ex­pres­sive with ma­te­ri­al­ity. Al­though the room must stand the test of time, from a trends and op­er­a­tions per­spec­tive I can push bound­aries and be more play­ful.” But be­fore that creative lib­erty is ex­plored, a char­ac­ter must be de­vel­oped. Divin­ing who the guest will be is a skill Stu­dio Munge has honed through 17 com­pleted and cur­rent ho­tel projects for such brands as Rose­wood, Shangri-la and Nobu. For Bisha, a de­vel­op­ment where ev­ery square inch oozes rock-star glam­our, Munge evolved a fo­cused guest pro­file: “a well-trav­elled cul­ture-seeker with ef­fort­less style and quiet con­fi­dence.” Some­one who Munge dubbed “The Dis­cern­ing Van­guard.” The idea of this globe-trot­ting so­phis­ti­cate is ex­pressed through­out the ho­tel; the suite bath­room, for ex­am­ple, draws on a lav­ish pal­ette of brushed nickel, pol­ished black chrome and Nero Mar­quina mar­ble, a black stone with “bril­liant and ex­pres­sive” white vein­ing. Cus­tom van­i­ties with fluted wood fronts in a high-gloss mid­night blue com­ple­ment the gleam­ing metal and stone. The end re­sult has all the al­lure guests ex­pect from a lux­ury ho­tel. Even Toronto’s own dis­cern­ing van­guard is check­ing in.

The bath­rooms at Bisha Ho­tel are de­fined by re­flec­tive and ex­pres­sive ma­te­ri­als. Cus­tom sconces are by Pre­ciosa Light­ing; faucets by Aquabrass. Art by Maxime Bocken.

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