In the Sleep Hotel Design Awards in London, we were introduced to the award wining restaurant ‘Blanc’ in the new Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona. Instantly we were drawn to it and craved to present it to our Yatzer readers even as the slides of the interiors were still projecting on the wall. Then the whole project took a life of its own. We looked into the New Build hotel and were mesmerized by the whole project itself which was no surprise when we found out that the designer responsible is none other then (one of our truly favorites) Mrs. Patricia Urquiola.
This unique designer has worked along major design firms which clearly have made a mark. Prior to setting up her own design studio in Milan, she managed De Padova firm’s new product development office, in collaboration with the designer and architect Vico Magistretti, she later headed Piero Lissoni’s design team for five years. An impressive journey leading up to this impressive project.
This exquisite hotel for the elite is housed in the re-development and elegant mid-20th Century building located on Passeig de Gràcia, at the very center of Barcelona’s commercial and entertainment district. It consist of 98 rooms, a 1,000sqm spa, choices among high quality restaurants, a roof top terrace pool with panoramic views and an exclusive 236sqm suite occupying the entire 8th floor. However talk does not impress us but interiors do. Interiors such as this. This hotel is the epitome of contemporary design. Upon arrival you walk inside a world that presents exclusivity and uniqueness. With an atrium passage consisting of punched frameless glazed openings the atmosphere is fluid and clear.
There is clear circulation guidance through the patterned dark floor guiding you to the welcome area. An area designed as a living space with the reception cleverly concealed behind the patterned see through panel. Through this approach as a guest you are immediately welcomed and invited to relax as opposed to facing a large check in desk reminding you that you are about to handle paperwork and waiting time. Throughout the public areas this notion of comfort, elegance and hospitality is present everywhere in the hotel. The most sought after seating area is the grand internal Mimosa garden which covers a 660sqm area for al fresco dining. There is however a different language present throughout the interiors according to the space’s function. This is cleverly achieved without dominating and secluding each area with a completely different design language.
For example the bar retains this inviting comfort and exclusive ambience but at the same time it has been designed with a completely different essence giving a more atmospheric sharp and sexy approach to it. The concealed gold effect lighting surrounding the bar is what invites you to the space with its luminosity and subtle richness. Our most favourable area and the reason to what brought us to this project is of course the ‘blanc’ restaurant. An interior with a sculptural weaved surrounding frame which through the use of lighting reflects to the outside perimetric walls. A truly exclusive restaurant of its kind, which leaves you breathless. It offers everything that a guest is looking for in an interior. Neutral warm palette, element of surprise, inviting furniture / layout arrangement and ample of day light. It is safe to say that we are in love with this space.
All of the above also apply to the bedrooms were we see a successful continuation of ideas in the design. A continuation that if we were to see random photos of the bedrooms and for example the bar we would know that these two interiors are part of the same project. Overall the interiors are kept clean cut, with the use of pure white as the general palette creating a relaxing, hygienic and inviting bedroom. There is however one element that brings in modernity and richness. This is the subtle yellow/gold glazed partitions leading to the bathroom. Once inside we have the presence somewhere on the walls of the grey palette, which with the combination of the glazing tones we feel acquainted with the interior as the overall idea is not foreign to us. The materials completely different but the design approach is consistent. The bedrooms overall have a clarity to them which even though the palette is mainly white through the furnishings and details they portray comfort and relaxation successfully, without giving an essence of coldness and modernity.
The unique feature in this hotel is of course the 236sqm apartment like suite. Here Patricia Urquiola has combined sumptuous fabrics of leather, velvet and exquisite silks along with elegant woods and a rich palette of green, black and gold to create a sophisticated and vibrant living space. In the suite from the beautiful Tai Ping silk and wool rugs to the Bassano ceramics and statement pieces of furniture, these all have been designed exclusively for the hotel by Patricia Urquiola working with renowned brands such as B&B, Moroso and Molteni. The result is a stylish blend of simplicity and sophistication effortlessly mixing Mediterranean influences with a subtle Asian touch that can be perceived in the ordered layout of the rooms and in the large cotton screens that have become a symbol of Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona. As well as exquisite interior design, the Penthouse Suite provides its guests with the most exclusive services including a 24-hour dedicated butler service and private lift with direct access from the lobby to the suite’s large reception hall, guaranteeing the minimum of fuss and maximum discretion.
This project is one of the successful endings to this year. It reminds us that design has no barriers and that all can be successfully created, by knowing how to retain that subtle balance which if achieved you reach near perfection. It is a project that reminds us of nothing of its kind and inspires us. It is a project that is simply ‘Yatzer’. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.