From theatrical maximalism in a Doha hotspot to pared-down calm in a Sri Lankan resort, going to extremes is all in a day’s work.
Marcel Wanders. Photo: Courtesy of Marcel Wanders
Elements ranging from sculptural white trees in the lobby and giant columns with golden eggs to a signature black spiral staircase to pixelated images that occupy entire walls and falcon video art invite just that kind of unhurried examination.
The same care goes into the inspiration process, both with the client and in his own studio, says Wanders. He keeps things on track not only by drawing out ideas for other people, but by utilizing every possible tool, such as fabric and plaster samples, maquettes, paper models and renderings to test out each piece of the concept—thus not only minimizing redos, but cutting back on cost overruns. Delivering out-of-this-world styling within real world constraints is part of Wanders’ magic.
The elevator doors provide a break in the visual action of swirling floor designs and saturated colors in the lift lobby. Photo: Courtesy of Mondrian Doha, SBE
“People look at a hotel like Andaz Prinsengracht Amsterdam [which Wanders’ firm designed and that opened in 2012] and think they could never afford something like that. But we brought the whole project in under budget,” he says.
Onsite R&D is great, but for projects like this, thinking ahead beats thinking on your feet.
Werapitiya, Sri Lanka
Health isn’t just wealth. It’s the 21st century traveler’s new favorite indulgence. Well-being might just be the hottest buzzword in resorts today—after all, unplugging and refocusing on what feels good is just about the only thing über-connected jet setters can’t buy on a daily basis.
Minimal decor and a subtle palette enhance a calming vibe. Unusually placed illumination creates focal points. Photo: Mahesh Mendis and Sandy Abeywardena
Fitness centers, spas and serenity earned their place alongside the more typical five-star standbys, such as crystals, decadent fabrics and gilded accents, as must-have elements to convey top-of-the market status.
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