Of Material and Memory

Creating a cohesive, memorable hospitality experience

Hospitality design today is governed by the aspirations of the new-age traveller--seeking an authentic experience of the place they're travelling to, and an escape from their everyday routines. <rt-red>Timeless hospitality environments/spaces/designs should thus be akin to stories, enabling visitors to immerse themselves into the local culture through subtle, tactile design gestures; leaving a lasting impression on their memory<rt-red>. Moreover, in the wake of the pandemic, with newer categories of travellers like the bleisure tourist, hospitality design must cater to a diverse sets of needs.

The most pertinent question we ask ourselves at Studio Lotus is—”Why do people travel to where they travel to?”. This guides our design process, from identifying vantage points on site to engaging with the local crafts and materials, to understanding what a particular brand offers—all of which allow us to create an experience that is larger than the <rt-red>physical footprint of the property, in a sense engaging with the story of the region. <rt-red>

Design provides a tool for combining these aspects to create a cohesive and memorable hospitality experience. Every aspect of the design—the furniture, textures and materiality of a space, even the signage and uniforms—is treated with the same meticulous attention to detail,<rt-red> reflecting the brand's narrative, invariably tied to the guests' expectations of a property.<rt-red>

Our project for RAAS Chhatrasagar was a collaboration between us and our long-standing clients, the boutique hotel company RAAS. The project involved the redevelopment of an existing tourist camp on the Chhatrasagar Lake,<rt-red> turning it from a seasonal to perennial property, resilient to the harsh summers and cold winters of the region.<rt-red>

The underlying design principle for the RAAS Chhatrasagar camp was to frame <rt-red>the outdoor experiences along both edges of the tented pods, augmenting the guests' connection to the views of the lake and the serenity of the forest belt<rt-red>. Adding to this layer is the interior design of the fabric-lined pods. Their vibrant canvas lining celebrates the diversity of plant and animal forms from the region—manifesting as an extension to the sightings observed in the environs. Native Babul and Neem trees, and indigenous bird and animal life find expression through woodblock, screen, and digital prints as well as intricate hand embroidered fabrics, executed by printmaker Dhvani Behl's studio Flora For Fauna.<rt-red>The overall design expression conjures up images of the surrounding landscape while injecting the space with a series of tactile gestures, the craft adding an evocative dimension to the overall space.<rt-red>

On the other hand, our project for Upstage Club at the Roseate was envisioned as a nexus for work, business and leisure in the capital's Aerocity district. <rt-red>The design responds to the formal context of its setting and the ethos of the Bird Hospitality group to re-examine the role of clubs as shared work and leisure destinations<rt-red> that can create new opportunities for business and growth.

The design seamlessly transforms from a co-working space during the day to a bar and lounge in the evenings, with the use of movable partitions and lightweight furniture. It caters to the particular needs of business travellers, looking for a formal space to work in during the day, and a space to unwind in the evenings. Tying in the brand's signature aesthetic,<rt-red> furnishings such as the upholstery, door handles and carpets imbue the space with an understated luxury while brass-accented decor elements bring in an element of playfulness.<rt-red>

Attached Projects