Hospitality Design

Designing with Intention: Exploring the Impact of Materiality in Hospitality Spaces

Crafting a design with a purpose demands a meticulous examination of every facet, from the earliest stages of conception until the final brushstroke. In the world of hospitality, this practice strives to produce visually stunning, utilitarian, and emotionally evocative settings. A crucial element in designing with intention involves selecting materials with careful consideration. A designer must factor in the space’s structure and function, as well as how various materials can elevate the intended effect. Drawing from years of expertise gained from working on diverse hospitality projects across various contexts, Architect Khozema Chitalwala delves into the nuances of material usage in the realm of hospitality design.

Be wise with your material choices: It is important to be wise with material choices as each material possesses distinct properties that can significantly impact the ambience of the space. When selecting materials, it is essential to carefully deliberate and opt for elements that correspond with the design idea and effectively communicate the intended atmosphere or sentiment. Another technique that can be used to create visual interest and intrigue is to mix and match materials. Do not hesitate to combine different materials such as wood, stone, sophisticated metals, or glass to generate diversity and unique texture. The fusion of organic features with more refined elements can produce a remarkable visual effect that elevates the design to a whole new level.

Incorporate regional or culturally significant materials: The integration of locally-sourced materials or those of cultural significance confers an exceptional authenticity and profundity to the design. The application of this concept can be evidenced in Designers Group’s celebrated project, Devi Ratn. For instance, miniature versions of indigenous wooden vehicles, such as rickshaws and trucks, were adroitly incorporated into the design, reflecting the magnificence of Indian art and culture, amplifying the splendour of the ambience. The reception pods were designed with a resplendent Haveli Darwaza as the background, adorned with exquisite mirror embroidery that vividly exemplifies the majesty of Rajasthani culture. These pods were exquisitely crafted from Indian stones, tastefully augmented with minimalist design details.

Consider texture and pattern: The texture and pattern of materials are integral components that instill a nuanced and multifaceted character in a given space. By deftly manipulating diverse textures and patterns, one can create a visually arresting and tactically engaging environment for visitors. In one of Designers Group’s design ventures, the Fairfield by Marriott hotel in Mumbai, the inherent essence of the city provided ample opportunity to experiment with an array of textures and patterns throughout the establishment. The monotonal flooring patterns in the lift lobby were seamlessly juxtaposed with the sleek marble walls and plush seating fabric in the lobby, thus engendering a sophisticated yet dynamic ambience. Similarly, the bar area was expertly fashioned as a melange of materials, each boasting distinct finishes and textures, further enhancing the sensory experience of patrons.

Prioritise durability and practicality: Whilst aesthetics bear significance, it is of utmost importance to take into account durability and practicality. Select materials that have the capacity to withstand frequent use and heavy traffic, whilst being facile to maintain and sanitize. For hospitality projects, employ materials that possess a measure of texture, such as terrazzo, concrete, and stone, to aid in mitigating the spread of germs and infections. This becomes especially paramount in the prevailing climate of escalated hygiene requisites.

Opt for cost-effective materials

In hospitality designs, it is imperative to consider the financial parameters and resources at hand while making material selections. Contingent upon these factors, it may be judicious to opt for economical alternatives such as laminate or vinyl flooring to achieve a visually appealing outcome that is commensurate with the allocated budget. A prudent strategy is to procure materials that are sturdy and long-lasting, as this shall curtail the maintenance expenses over an extended term, obviating the need for frequent upkeep.

The materiality of an environment exerts a potent influence on human physiology, significantly shaping both our physical and emotional responses. Certain materials, such as natural woods and fabrics, possess an inherently calming quality that is capable of lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Conversely, hard and cold materials, such as concrete and steel, can induce a sense of tension and stress. In addition, the careful selection of colours and textures can similarly affect human physiology, with the application of warm hues and soft textures promoting a state of comfort and relaxation. Mindful material selection within the hospitality industry, therefore, is essential in crafting an environment that is both inviting and welcoming to guests. Additionally, by aligning material choices with a brand’s messaging and image, hospitality spaces can enhance their appeal to target audiences and bolster their overall identity.

“At Designers Group, every project undergoes a scrupulous evaluation to ensure that the chosen resources elicit the desired atmosphere and persona. Our unwavering commitment to excellence mandates that the materials utilised are both aesthetically pleasing and imbued with the distinctive vision of the client.” says, Khozema. “It is incumbent upon us to strike a balance between quality and cost-effectiveness. To this end, we source locally and stay attuned to hospitality design trends, while simultaneously remaining cognizant of the ever-evolving tastes of our discerning clientele.” he concludes.