The Pullman Hotel

Posted 25th October 2012

Refreshing a space with minimal disruption

TIMEFRAME: Mid June – End of August

PROJECT SCALE: Restaurant, bar, lobby lounge, snug area and connectivity room

Situated right in the city centre, the Pullman is a 5 star hotel that aims to emit a welcoming and intimate atmosphere which appeals to the executive business market. Recently acquired by the Accor Group – our brief was to undertake the Pullman’s newest transformation, pulling the design into modern chic and maintaining its status as one of Auckland’s leading hotels.

Opulent, eclectic, welcoming and plush. With its vast open spaces and large exposed pillars the Pullman certainly gives off a sense of grandeur. The challenge for this brief was to bring the Pullman into the modern- providing a cost effective scheme that looked a million dollars and provided minimal disruption to the space. Space Studio was asked by the Pullman Hotel to give the area a lift, transforming the hotel lobby, bar, restaurant and suites. We had a very tight budget along with a very tight timeframe. From conception to completion the redesign was 2.5 months.

How do you make the transition between a hotel lobby somewhere that people want to linger? The challenge was to design a space where people could enjoy a relaxed drink- without feeling like they were still in their hotel. Traditionally a lobby is considered a singular space however housed inside that space is a reception, lounge/ waiting area and bar. Our mission was to define and test these boundaries whilst ensuring that the line of sight between these spaces was still visible. We wanted to create an environment that invited people in, encouraging guests to make the most of the hotel lobby by presenting them with a welcoming space, drawing them out of the confinements of their suite.

With a new red sofa and an orange logo to work from – we decided on a concept that was lush, welcoming and inviting, embodying all of the traditional hotel amenities of a hotel with a contemporary twist. We wanted something that was a little bit different. 

Enjoying an after work drink in the bar today, it’s hard to believe that this is the same space. The reception and bar area are a combination of chairs and fabrics of varied bold yellows, oranges & reds. We chose chairs and fabrics that had character, style and comfort – and were also fit for purpose in the high traffic area.  From the bar & lounge a patterned screen separates the space, partially shielding the viewer from the entrance and creating an intimate feel. The screen pattern is emphasized and more complicated in this area in order to reflect the intimateness of the space. The restaurant and bar decor is slightly toned down, providing glimpses of colour in keeping with the theme. The screen is followed through to the restaurant on a larger scale- creating a dynamic and open space. 

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