The rise of the Millennial traveller is feeding a growing demand for hotel stays that feel local, personal and bespoke. LIGHT plays a key role in injecting just the right level of intimacy and dynamism into these environments which work around the clock.
For Sydney’s new Ovolo Woolloomooloo hotel, architecture studio Hassell has designed a series of common and private spaces that feel social and connective. Medland Engineering was brought on board also as a project lighting consultant, to transform the common areas into dynamic, permeable spaces that would attract both visitors and locals.
Ovolo Hotels is renowned for their dynamic approach to city-centric accommodation. With locations in Hong Kong and Australia, the boutique hotel chain offers guests a locally-flavoured experience tailored to each hotel and its locale. Their latest Sydney edition, Ovolo Woolloomooloo, takes the concept of boutique hotel living one step further. It taps into the emerging Millennial traveller trend which calls for stimulating and entertaining common areas to supplement simple, comfortable, contemporary room stays.
The brief was to administer cosmetic renovations to the guest rooms, with a strong focus on designing an energised and inviting public area environment, set at the promenade level of the hotel. Light Project was brought in by Medland Engineering who responded to a simple yet complex lighting brief. “The aim of the lighting was to create an element of connection between different areas,” says Raffaele De Vita, specialist lighting architect with Medland Engineering.
The lighting design response
The public area took main focus, with architecture and lighting designed to create a dynamic experience for guests around the clock. This was layered with a sense of permeability to attract casual visitors and locals from in and around the area.
“The lighting needed to create a sense of surprise without overdoing it,” says De Vita. “It also needed to maintain a connection between the different areas of private and public – but on a different scale. Corridors, for example are connection elements between private and public. Here the lighting has to lower, and bring a feeling of calm.
“The public space, by contrast, needed to be dynamic, not static, to create a different mood and feeling for different times of day, evening and night.”
The response was to divide the ground level public area – originally a cavernous and ‘windy’ space – into a series of cosy zones. The lighting would operate to create an element of connection between these zones.
The architectural lighting solution
Working with Light Project, De Vita designed a series of custom fittings that would continue a consistent theme and tone throughout the spaces. In the entrance/lobby a large cylindrical pendant leads the way, with smaller custom fittings throughout the space echoing its form in an adaptive and changing manner.
Light fittings also support the unique vintage aesthetic of the fit-out, Light Project producing each in customised finishes of black and brass.
Beyond the main common area, the light fittings continue the cylindrical theme from entrance, through to lounge and into the corridors. The corridors act as a connecting element between the more private guest rooms and public area. Here in the corridors the lighting is designed to be lower and accentuate a sense of calm.
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Photography: Nicole England