A HOTEL’S LOBBY SETS THE TONE FOR THE ENTIRE STAY. HERE ARE THREE RECEPTION AREAS THAT TAKE INVITING TO A NEW LEVEL
A Star is Born
A palette heavy on raw materials – warm copper, terrazzo tiles, exposed brickwork – creates a light and harmonious first impression at Paramount House Hotel (opposite) in Surry Hills, Australia. Occupying a renovated 80-year-old warehouse that once served as headquarters for Paramount Picture Studios, the hotel, by Breathe Architecture, nods to its roots through considered touches, such as the copper-chevron-fronted doors that echo the neighbourhood’s art deco influences (the feature also reflects the building’s stunning facade). Chunky concrete benches with upholstered cushions offer guests a comfortable place to land, while integrated garden beds and massive skylights bring natural elements inside.
Deliberately free of superfluous ornamentation, the reception lobby maintains a subtle film-set-like atmosphere and reflects, as the firm puts it, “the spirit and excitement of the golden era of film.” breathe.com.au, paramounthousehotel.com
Part of an overall renovation of a traditional village house in China’s Jiangsu province, the reception room of the Silver Linings Boutique Hotel by One Take Architects (above) is open to the adjacent restaurant, forming a free-flowing space for visitors to gather in.
The design team, led by founding architect Li Hao, used an abundance of organic elements – stone, wood, bamboo – throughout the hotel. The aim was to create a retreat that is both “stimulating and comfortable” and that connects guests to nature, making them feel “at ease, pleasant and relaxed.”
An attention to inviting detail plays out through the application of locally sourced bamboo screens, stone-look ceramic floor tiles and suspended ceiling beams made of petrified wood found on the site. A large, inverted arch under the main desk is a sleight-of-hand solution that camouflages a pair of immovable columns by incorporating them into the new reception counter. The result: two redundant objects transformed into a stunning centrepiece. onetakearchitects.com
In New Orleans, a city steeped in history and converging cultures, the Eliza Jane (below) masterfully blends eras and influences, which is evident immediately upon entering. The hotel is composed of seven buildings, all dating to the early- to mid-1800s; they also stretch across an entire block of Magazine Street, which required design firm Stonehill Taylor to cohesively tie them together. Creating a formal sense of arrival was integral to the agenda, notes design lead and principal Michael Suomi.
“We wanted,” he says, “to give a moment of pause.”
To that end – and working within restrictions dictated by historic preservation – Suomi and his team brought existing elements back to their former glory and added new ones that felt both from the past and of the moment: original plaster walls were painted midnight blue, brick walls were restored, authenticlooking encaustic cement tiles were installed and, behind the reception desks, a concealed fireplace was revealed and resurrected as an artwork. stonehilltaylor.com, theelizajane.hyatt.com
OPPOSITE: Thoughtful gestures – such as a copper faucet that serves local beer, on arrival – give guests of Australia’s Paramount House Hotel the star treatment.ABOVE: “Cookie cutter” windows were opened up to bring natural light to the lobby and restaurant of the Silver Linings Boutique Hotel in China.
LEFT: New front desks mimic antique millwork at the Eliza Jane in New Orleans. The fireplace could not be reactivated, so it was treated artistically and filled with cord wood.