Mandviwala Qutub Associates give luxury an offbeat touch in their design for St Laurn hotel in Ahmedabad.
Tyres on red textured walls, an English striped wall with framed black and white pictures, a passage with porthole windows – a host of quirky elements vie for attention as soon as you enter the double height lobby of St Laurn, a boutique hotel in Ahmedabad. Designed by Mandviwala Qutub and Associates, this 136-room hotel has an ambience that is simultaneously luxurious, simple and quixotic.
"It's a boutique hotel, so its treatment is different from regular hotels. We have tried to lend a more casual atmosphere to the space, with spaces that flow into each other. There are no borders, whether it is in the public spaces or in the rooms," explains Mandviwala Qutub, Principal Architect, Mandviwala Qutub Associates.
The 25 ft high lobby of the hotel, which is the most striking feature of the design, makes extensive use of stone. Three square blocks of onyx replace the conventional long table and function as the reception desk. A stone sculpture becomes the centrepiece of the room, with seating tucked away in the corners of the lobby. Artificial palm trees accentuate the height of the space. Shades of crème make up the colour pallete of this elegantly understated area.
In sharp contrast to the muted colours of the lobby, the coffee shop is bathed in red. There is no wall separating the lobby and the coffee shop christened Café 15A, but variation in flooring creates a visual segregation. The café sports a casual vibe, thanks to its wall treatment and furnishing.
After the vibrant café, the Chinese zen-like atmosphere of the speciality restaurant, Oriental Wave, offers a soothing change of scene. The restaurant appears to have an underwater look, especially from the outside. It has round windows and door cutouts suggestive of a submarine, and the wave-like passage that leads to it has a very anxiety-evoking feel. Adding drama is louver style wall panelling and silver leafing. Round mesh dividers and windows throughout the seating areas accentuate the oriental feel. In the banquet area, it is the cutouts on the walls, made more dramatic through clever lighting, that bring in some more creativity.
While the public areas are dramatic and flow into each other, true transparency in design is seen in the hotel's rooms. Every floor in the hotel is colour coded. There are no walls in the compact rooms – a clear glass segregates the bathing and sleeping area; even the closet, made in clear glass, offers a full view through the room and to the outside. "The rooms were small and we wanted a design that lent them spaciousness, so we opted for a complete open concept. Only the shower cubicle and WC are concealed in frosted glass," explains Mandviwala.
Targeting a well traveled business clientele, St Laurn offers its guests a cutting edge design that easily matches the best international standards!
Total area: 1,10,000 sq ft
- Firm name and when was it founded: Mandviwala Qutub and Associates, founded in 1991
- Firm specialisation: Residential, commercial and institutional projects
- Design philosophy: Innovative design that stands the test of time.
Photo Courtesy: Mandviwala Qutub & Associates
Contact: Mandviwala Qutub Associates 9&10, Turf Estate, Shakti Mills Compound Opposite E Moses Road, Mahalaxmi (West) Mumbai 11, Tel: 24933552/535