W Hotels Worldwide will continue to showcase what’s new and next in design with the opening of six new W Hotels around the world in 2011. Design has been at the forefront of W Hotels since the opening of the David Rockwell-designed W New York – the first ever W Hotel – more than 12 years ago and has evolved with more recent hotel openings by designers such as Patricia Urquiola (W Vieques), United Design (W Doha), and Ricardo Bofill (W Barcelona), among others. As a way to further fuel innovation in design, W Hotels has also forged unique design partnerships such as its “W Hotels Designers of the Future” award with Design Miami/Basel.
“Design has always been an integral part of the W brand,” said Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader of W Hotels Worldwide and Le Méridien. “As W continues to transform into a global powerhouse, we have evolved our design approach to include contextual insights that lead to locally relevant designs bound together by W’s DNA.”
On track to reach more than 50 hotels by the end of 2012, W Hotels will, this year, open:
W Taipei (February 14, 2011) – GA Design International has created a “nature electrified” design concept that fuses the rural surroundings of Taipei with the vibrant, high voltage core of the city. W Hotels Designer of the Future winner Zigelbaum + Coelho has also been commissioned to create an interactive chandelier for the hotel.
W London - Leicester Square (February 14, 2011) – Debuting as the 40th W Hotel globally, W London has been designed by renowned London architects Jestico + Whiles and Dutch interior design agency, Concrete. Veiled in translucent glass that will change color according to the time of day or happenings in the city or hotel, the 10-story hotel is sure to become the epicenter of entertainment. Interiors are based on the “dual personality” of the Englishman – buttoned-up by day and uninhibited and free-spirited by night.
W St. Petersburg (March 2011) – With architecture by Grigoriev + Partners and interior design by Milan-based Antonio Citterio and Partners, W St. Petersburg will be located in a historic building near the lavish Winter Palace, a new place to experience the white of night. Inspired by the jewel-tones and layers of a Fabergé Egg, the “hidden gem” design of the hotel will reveal surprises throughout the guest experience.
W Retreat & Spa Bali - Seminyak (March 2011)
– For its latest Retreat experience, W Hotels has partnered with SCDA Design International and AB Concepts Hong Kong. An island marked by worship and celebration, the design of W Bali was inspired by the more than 20,000 temples that populate the Island – each with private inner courtyards and public outer courtyards that constantly “conceal and reveal,” introducing a new scene unseen.
W Paris - Opéra (December 2011) – Located steps from the world-famous Opéra Garnier, W Paris – Opéra has been designed by Rockwell Group Europe (“RGe”) and inspired by both the energy of New York City – W’s birthplace – and Paris as the “City of Light.” Sure to light up the refined district, W Paris will melt the somber traditions of the 1870s Haussman-era building in which it will be housed with a “spark” of modern radiance.
W Guangzhou (December 2011) – With architecture by Hong Kong-based Rocco Design and interiors by renowned Yabu Pushelberg, the design of W Guangzhou, located in the city’s buzzing Zhujiang district, has been inspired by the region’s ancient Kesi Tapestries. Throughout the hotel, guests will find themes around unraveling, mesh work and emerging patterns.
Inspired by these unique design personalities of W Hotels around the world, W has recently launched the Global Glam collection of exclusive designer fashion and accessories. An intrinsic expression of design, W Hotels is using Fashion to communicate its global growth. This week, during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, W will launch the fourth season of the Global Glam collection, reflecting the designs of W Taipei (opening February 14, 2011), W Austin (opened December 2010) and W Mexico City (undergoing renovation).
In 2010, W Hotels had an exciting presence at key international design weeks, kicking the year off by announcing a partnership with Design Miami/Basel, the most prominent and substantive forum for international design. The new alliance began at Salone del Mobile in Milan in April, when Design Miami/ Basel announced the “W Hotels Designers of the Future Award” recipients. The four winners of the first ever W-sponsored prize – Beta Tank, Graham Hudson, rAndom International and Zigelbaum + Coelho – debuted exclusive concepts for W Hotels at Art Basel Switzerland in June and then presented these works at various W Hotels across Europe throughout the year. The designers’ projects are also being integrated into soon to open W Hotels around the world. In September 2010, W was an official sponsor of Istanbul Design Week, hosting a Young Designer Competition and also displaying the innovative “W Hotels Designers of the Future” works within W Istanbul. Closing out 2010, W Hong Kong hosted a variety of special events, dinners and presentations during Hong Kong’s annual Business of Design Week in December