design et al are delighted to announce that Blue Sky Hospitality have won Lobby/ Public Areas Award in The International Hotel and Property Awards 2017.
The classic hotel lobby has been re-imagined as a modern luxury vision of Central Asian hospitality, the ground floor lobby is conceived as a large art gallery, comprising 10 locally inspired tableaux that nod to Baku and the Absheron peninsula—names that respectively translate to “wind-pounded city” and “place of salty waters” in Persian.The design concept includes a vertical oversized carpet made of walnut timber with abstract 3D elements in scalable patterns that reference geometric Shebeke, a local style of stained glass. A ceiling installation also reinterprets these geometric elements with botanical-mineral patterns made of walnut veneer and polished stainless steel edges. Along with crystal-inspired seating, a series of geode-like E-Booths in walnut and polished stainless steel punctuate the space and function as individual business centres.The first floor tea lounge space is articulated around a central four-sided tea studio, from which radiate clusters of loose seating and eclectic furniture to evoke a virtual caravansarai (traditional Central Asian traveller’s inn or camp). The camp is anchored by the central tea altar and studio, where boiling water on tap technology enables a dramatic tea-making protocol, producing rising steam as the boiling water is poured from the tap to the solid surface and caught by beams of special spotlights. The project brings together several large scale art and cultural concepts wrapped around the customer experience while making a large functional space still intimate and personal, telling the story of a place in time past and present through a multitude of detail. This is a hotel lobby that welcomes and bids farewell to each guest in a unique, distinctive, memorable and immersive experiential environment with an unmistakable sense of place.Born from the idea of a “Caravansai” for modern nomads it delivers all possible services that a traveller might need: concierge, reception, business centre, breakfast, light lunch and afternoon teas, then evening drinks and late night snacks for individual, couples and groups of friends. It has become a very popular meeting place with the upwardly mobile locals. Tea ceremony and sharing tea is an essential part of local social life in Asia. Tea houses of central Asia (chaikhana), Turkey and Russia have been the base for researching how to express this deep social connection place into a modern meeting place for the nomads of the 21st century. The challenge was to transform a traditional activity into a modern lifestyle experience without losing touch with the soul of travel.