Hospitality lessons

a sense of well-being is interconnected with our surroundings and intuitive interiors are a crucial part of the hospitality experience be it in an airport or a cinema design is a critical ingredient for a warm welcome facing a fight to attract audiences blessed with numerous streaming and rental options movie theaters need to be experientially different if they're to survive interior designer Aphrodite Creusot was tasked with breathing new life into the UK's iconic hers in cinemas starting with their flagship London venue in Victoria creating an incentive to stay before after or even in you of the film is central to the Curzon's relationship with today's cinema goer by removing the box office krauser converted the uninviting entrance into an open and democratic multi-use space we wanted to really communicate that this easy cinema it's not another bar it's not another coffee shop and get also to use the communal spaces to do a lot more than just being spaces where people kill to buy tickets because traditionally cinema communal spaces were designed to be very transitional type of places where you would spend very very little time they were designed with the most an inviting type of furniture so people get processed very quickly so when we design that we very much took that approach that it should be a cultural hub it should be a space that can be used 24/7 not just at night time because of the cinemas iconic heritage remain with red curtains Art Deco styling and thoughtful lighting and layering also contribute to a richer experience as you go deeper and deeper into the building the light levels slowly drop the reason you know we did that is this for me there's nothing worse than coming out of this very very dark screening room you've been in cometh a cocoon in the womb for two hours and then you come out and suddenly your face was extremely bright lights and adverts and you know loud bars and popcorn and all of that and and to me this is like the worst experience you can have so it was the intention right from the beginning to make that transition as smooth as possible so people literally come stage by stage into the real world from this very very beautiful world of movies with the second commission in Canterbury krauser played with the cinematic language in a different way responding to the design kids of the 1890s were house conversion we knew from the beginning when we started working with Curzon that no Curzon cinema would be the same as another cursory cinema and we thought rather than trying to create this very classic very elegant type of experience we should look at the building itself and because it's quite cozy and small to try to replicate almost like a home cinema idea so the place feels very home-like it's using a lot of very natural materials almost the way you would design a home rather than a public space it's using a lot of very traditional materials with some local to Canterbury's will use this very beautiful brick floors and walls which are local the herringbone pattern we use the same herringbone pattern for oak floors as well we've got this massive library feature we've got little different pockets of areas where people can congregate that feel almost like your lounge or your kitchen table really celebrating the communal part of the cinema rather than try to minimize it it goes back to this place being a cultural hub but at the same time everything revolves around that idea of being a to signify and freely enjoying watching and moving the best possible environment rather than it becoming something else and something you know which is not pure anymore airports are profoundly in hospitable places but in the hands of London design firm studio Ilsa the lounge Foreman has been moved out of airport land limbo into a comfortable place that offers travelers a proper respite from life on the road Ilsa Crawford's reputation has been forged on her ability to create enveloping spaces that people fall in love with prompting Cathay Pacific to Commission her design studio to reimagine their lounges premiering with Haneda Airport in Tokyo home I think is a state of mind and actually I think in the digital age we need to feel at home in public space and the separation of those two places into one feeling rather institutional and one being the place where you carry is I think very fashioned to make feel people feel welcome in whatever domain you're in I think is critical today to provide warmth and a sense of humanity that frequent fliers are clearly crave Crawford wanted the space to feel like a properly furnished room with real materials that aged beautifully and pieces that will last you always have the need for it to be robust I mean it's alone it's not an artwork so that obviously has to be paramount but that doesn't mean that just because it has to be functional it has to look functionally so we went for limestone it's a lovely thing but it has tactility it's not highly shined we don't go for polish you feel that matte tactile you know perfect imperfect if you like surfaces are just more healing then on top of that the layers of tactility the contrasts of cotton and cold rough and smooth awake the senses so we've got in in real wood we've got cherry wood panelling we have mohair velvet which is a robust fabric with longevity and and warmth leather green tile in the noodle bar brass on the bar so materials that speak to you because materials are you know they do carry hidden messages we studied people in the lounges a lot and how they sat how long they sat for where they sat and there was some interesting conclusions one is that the sofa today is pretty much a pointless piece of furniture these days everybody's in their digital bubble so giving people this sort of physical space that allows them to sort of operate but yet within a human comfortable context we're very interested in light and materiality because those two things probably affects our mental well-being more than any other it can give you a great pleasure it can create intimacy it can shape space or it can be positively hostile and so we really focused on how to make sure that the light was there to light the people not the space as more people travel more it's more and more important to understand what makes people feel safe feel like they belong feel grounded if you like for that last moment that you are on the ground and what makes them feel special in that context

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