The hotel sector has been shaken up by several successive “revolutions” –digital, behavioral, architectural... – that have forced it to re-examine itself while perpetuating its spirit. Basing itself on the timeless values of hospitality in the larger sense, EquipHotel invites its visitors to dive into the programmed reality of the hotels of tomorrow. Hoteliers and restaurateurs must adapt to new lifestyles and seduce clients by offering them an experience in keeping with their expectations. This is the goal of Studio 16, a real, ephemeral property on 3 floors, and its capsules that offer concrete answers to current problems.
Under the leadership of Thierry Virvaire and at the request of Corinne Ménégaux, exhibition director, twenty or so experts, ranging from Serge Trigano (Mama Shelter) to Philippe Vaurs (Elegancia), from Thierry Marx (Mandarin Oriental) to Denis Courtiade (Plaza Athénée), from JeanPhilippe Nuel to Elizabeth Leriche, stylist, from Thierry Tessier (Maison des Rêves) to Alice Tourbier (Sources de Caudalie), have “influenced” the project Studio 16 with their experiences and their vision.
On 3,000 m² spread over three floors in Hall 7, Studio 16 constitutes the model for a property that deciphers new codes and customs, levers for revenues and changes in the hotelrestaurant industry. “It is not just a formal exercise for a showcase, but a true source of inspiration and answers to the salon’s visitors’ questions,” explains Thierry Virvaire.
THE TERRACE OR GREEN OASIS
At the lobby of Studio16, Christophe Gautrand and Benjamin Deshoulières, landscape architects, invite professional visitors back to nature where the terrace takes the shape of a garden with a thousand lives and experiences. Nature there is wild and elaborated, inviting one to travel and experience… through a meandering from one space to the next across distinct universes.
Codes are now overturned and outside spaces win over the construction and enter the lobby, restaurants and rooms … Nature invites itself in, transforming usage and how the hotel is lived. Indoor and outdoor intermingle, bringing down boundaries and walls. Customers seek this new experience from outside the hotel without using it for its primary function of sleeping.
The garden is no longer just a decorative element offering hotel clients an outdoor space. It has become the “heart of the Hotel”, a green lung that evolves throughout the seasons. A veritable ID card or the DNA for the hotel, the garden offers new possibilities in terms of the hotel industry and restauration, making it a signature space that changes throughout the seasons and may be personalized and constantly renewed. An adaptable and adjustable space for serving guests and that may also act as the theater for ephemeral events.
In this “inspirational” green path an outdoor bar rises up at the edge of a thicket, while a lounge area is revealed behind a wooded screen and under a heating cloud. A private space is nestled in amongst a group of trees and bushes. Christophe Gautrand and Benjamin Deshoulières combine a rigorous and functional approach with an extreme sense of detail and a constant quest to innovate and sublime a space. “Our vision of the garden is one of a very personal space, designed as our own garden. There is a combination of plants, species brought back from trips, treasured furniture mixed in with souvenirs, decorative objects from near and far. This garden thus evokes a kind of “Garden of Eden” where life is made simpler and where there are all kinds of natural benefits and products. The garden thus opens the door to a new, delicate and intimate universe that becomes the sensitive heart of a hotel or a restaurant. For us the garden is a form of meditation, a moment of calm during the day. It is now a real experience.”
THE LOBBY: A WINDOW TO THE WORLD
Today, it has become necessary to re-occupy the lobby. A heretofore unsuspected business lever, the idea is to give it meaning, in terms of both identity and occupation of the spaces. The versatility of the lobby, that becomes an open space, is a gauge of profitability. Set up as a living space, the hotel is built to the beat of a new consumer lifestyle for clients staying at the hotel or elsewhere.
The lobby thus becomes a space where city and hotel fuse. A space that is busy at any time of day or night. With this arrangement, the bar becomes a central element of the lobby. It constitutes the key vector of the social connection; it is also the link between exterior and interior while acting as a magnet. Thanks to the dematerialization of check-in/check-out, reception offers increased proximity with the customer, thus stressing the value of human interactions. The architect Jean-Philippe Nuel insists on his “Wow!” effect that transfixes a person who enters the space, setting the atmosphere and giving the hotel its DNA. An emblematic reception area, it signs the image and directs the property’s identity to exude ambience and conviviality, without limiting it.
Hotel lobbies will certainly evolve. With the advent of digital, the reception desk is no longer an obligation and may thus be smaller and even disappear altogether. The digital revolution is underway. It is possible to imagine scenarios where clients have checked in and received their room key in the form of flash code via their smartphone. They will also receive a “Welcome” tablet that may be used as a key as well as a remote control for the room, etc. the same is true for check out: the bill will be paid directly via Internet. At palaces, communication will be through concierge service. The idea is to offer a better quality of service, with personnel focused on services with a higher added value, rather than points with specific functions. A structuring element of the lobby, reception will free up space so the bar becomes an emblematic part of reception, in addition to being a space for living and conviviality.
LET’S WORK, CO-WORKING AND SEMINAR SPACES
With an increasingly mobile and freer lifestyle, workspaces outside one’s company offer openness and freedom. More and more people work in cafés that offer calm and pleasant, convivial spaces. Comfort and lighting are determining elements of the appeal of these spaces. The workspace is evolving and must adapt to new needs and habits that oppose formalism. New values at work encourage greater autonomy and personal enrichment.
The hotel becomes a new work place, bringing functionality, flexibility, comfort and service in a single space. Moreover, work spaces are no longer considered separable from quick dining options. Corporate seminars offer real leverage for hotel and restaurant revenues. While decoration and the spirit of the property are the leading criteria for choice, the direction it takes in terms of restauration is absolutely key to creating an ambience that is indispensable for a successful meeting.
“We studied the needs of this new category of consumer. They are more open to different ways of working together and to finding dynamic solutions: they eat standing up, network in small groups, are more spontaneous, and enjoy meeting in a more relaxed atmosphere,” explains Julie Gauthron, artist-decorator who designed Let’s Work. “They like meeting at different times of the day - breakfast meetings, lunch committees, aperitifs, dinner gatherings, etc., all making for different dynamics.”
Let’s Work embodies a multifunction space in the meeting room that may be transformed into meeting rooms, a lounge or restaurant depending on which type of space is adapted to the different functions and themes... This demonstration will lead to the center of a library, a workspace par excellence for inspiration and thinking material.
The association of work and restauration is provided by Eat Happiness Attitude, which is entrusted to Gilles Choukroun (Michelin-starred chef), Jérôme Crepatte (Domaine de la Corniche) and Rémy Lucas (Food psychologist & Director Cate Marketing). Together, they offer prospective visions for deciphering the new codes and new way of elaborating tomorrow’s gourmet breaks during a seminar: The business breakfast is experienced as a simple meal that is relaxed and shared, where all participants are made to feel comfortable, where breads and brioche are waiting to be cut into, with pots of jam, slabs of butter and pitchers of fruit juice and an egg bar.
When it comes to breaks not all needs are the same! Beverages and energizing food are offered at an open buffet throughout the morning: coffee, tea, water, sweet and savory cakes, mini pastries, energy bars, dried fruit… juice bar. The lunch break is designed to allow exchanges, to meet new people, and get to know others better in a simple and friendly setting. Gone are the days of sit down lunches! Standing, sitting, walking around, there are no restrictions… one eats at his or her own rhythm from a selection of food that is simple but real. Finger food on the menu: burger, wrap, bagel, sushi… or a buffet with sliced meat, cheese platters and fruit baskets, as well as a plancha.
For the afternoon break, there is the “chef’s surprise” or something special from the property hosting the event… this is a generous way to receive employees and enliven the group and also to single out and impress guests: homemade warm madeleines, cake to share with the name of the company, assortments of candy… and feeaturing a Waffle Bar. At the end of a productive day that expends a great deal of energy, it is time to relax, lighten up. It is time to meet at the bar, have a pleasant moment in a fun cocktail setting. A way to be rewarded for the day’s efforts and strengthen team spirit. Cocktails (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) at an open bar, canapés, mini brochettes, accras, popcorn… and even an oyster bar. These 5 breaks will be marked with pragmatic signage offering tips and subjects tied to these different moments, to these new consumer expectations with special attention to products offered.
IN THE ROOM, CONSIDERATION OF FUNCTIONS, A MAGICAL INTERLUDE
A place for transport, the hotel room is also a formidable territory subject to scrutiny, analysis and rethinking with respect to crucial needs: sleep, relaxation, wellbeing, etc. In the Room is a four-stage journey offering as many opportunities to outline the contours of a hotel room that is not idealized, but is –more than ever– in keeping with our lifestyles. To lay the foundations for consideration, Elizabeth Leriche’s style agency, together with interior designers Guillaume Terver and Christophe Delcourt, has created four spaces each of which illustrates a key parameter of the hotel room: the bed, storage, the bathroom and flexibility. Each “cell” was stylized in order to affirm its prospective character. The floor plan is classic by definition… to make it more flexible.
The bed, the space where dreams are made: if we were to reduce the room to its essence, the bed is all that would be left. The cornerstone and leading comfort factor, it is the only piece of furniture that reaches into intimacy and wellness while embodying the interactive and ergonomic contemporary cocoon. Taller, bigger, more comfortable than ever, it becomes a space within the space. More attentive to our expectations, our desires and our needs, it multiplies attention to detail to become one with the sleeper: the softness of the pillow, the density of the mattress, the thickness of the mattress topper, the lightness of the comforter, the softness of the quilt. And since comfort also comes from the services offered, the bed becomes a veritable dashboard from which the user may control most of the available functions: sound, light, connectivity, etc.
À la carte walk-in wardrobe: a transitory haven, the hotel room does not pretend to reproduce life at home. It assumes a very different role to become a full-fledged experience. It becomes a territory, or even a theater that one likes to leave feeling pleasantly surprised. It is thus out of the question for the room to imperceptibly impose its rules. The room must bend to fit our rules, anticipate them, magnify them. No time or desire to unpack? The room offers a variety of solutions so luggage may become a veritable dressing room. Nomadism thus loses all its folklore, and is organized and controlled. And if one wishes to take the time to fully inhabit every last bit of storage available? The latter thus reveals another face and becomes a laboratory of ideas, a hybrid of dressing room, display and balcony in a theater. Even weekend shopping naturally finds its space.
Bath scenes: The hotel industry sketched out the bathroom long ago. A morning of references to the world of care, the bathroom is both a natural extension of the room and a space for wellbeing in and of its own. Increased porosity of sleeping and bath spaces (glazed walls, sliding doors, trellises… even total removal of partitions), meant it just needed to be dematerialized in order to truly become the room’s centerpiece. It is no longer a question of bathroom, but bath scenes befitting each of the truly distinct activities. The shower lies at the core, literally in the heart of the space. Its micro-architecture can close it in or open out onto the room depending on the desired intimacy. Not far off, a second islet hosts basins, mirrors and storage. It branches off into other activities, depending on needs to host a massage table, a barber’s chair, a make-up counter, etc.
From polyvalence to ambivalence: professional travel, a couple’s weekend or family vacation: there are a thousand and one ways to live and take over a hotel room…
The room becomes a space for scenography, and the activity itself (be it professional or personal) is what reveals the functions offered. The screens may be lightened or disappear altogether, allowing the furniture to compose and recompose activities and life scenes: TV lounge, play area, extra sleeping space, impromptu meeting or gym... Each piece of furniture has the possibility of filling different roles even simultaneously. The room preserves its volume and its integrity, offering freedom to live and move. The user senses a space that is perfectly adapted to his or her needs and lifestyle.
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