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Question Time: How do the evolving needs of the hospitality industry and its patrons affect the architecture industry?

WATG Blog (Design)·17 May 2018
Our industry experts provide a compelling insight into the topical issues of the day. Nic Jacobs, WATG – One of the most important changes we’ve seen in the last few years is the increased appetite for localization. Hotels have always strived to be contextual within their design


WATG Blog (Design)·16 May 2018
London's architects may win competitions around the world, but this one really takes the biscuit.

Viceroy at Ombria Resort unveils first design phase

WATG Blog (Design)·15 May 2018
Ombria Resort has unveiled the design ethos behind its first phase with WATG’s Wimberly Interiors at the design helm… With an initial investment of €100 million, Ombria Resort’s first development phase in the Algarve will welcome the arrival of a new five-star Viceroy hotel. The overall design aesthetic has been developed in partnership with WATG who are responsible for the landscape architecture, WATG’s interior design firm Wimberly Interiors, and Portuguese architects Promontorio. ‘Carved by Nature’ vision draws inspiration from the features, forms, material and themes of the authentic Barrocal sub-region of the Algarve.

The World's Most Glamorous New Hotel Suites Are . . . on a Train

WATG Blog (Design)·27 April 2018
AD gets a first look at the the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express’s jaw-dropping, just-debuted accommodations. If there’s any mode of transportation capable of bringing back the golden age of travel, it’s the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Long before TSA Precheck, train travel was the most efficient mode of transportation in Europe, and the Orient Express ferried affluent passengers on routes connecting Istanbul, London, and cities in between starting in 1883. And though it’s certainly not the fastest way to get around today, it’s by far the best way to take in the scenery.

Trendspotting in Milan

WATG Blog (Design)·27 April 2018
From a design perspective, the annual Salone del Mobile (Milan Design Week) is the Oscars of interior design, it celebrates innovation, creativity and sets the scene for emerging trends. This year’s event focussed on the latest innovations in sustainability, from micro-living, vegan furniture, ‘guiltless plastic’, to revitalising traditional design techniques.

A robot can build this $300,000 home in four months

WATG Blog (Design)·18 April 2018
Constructing a home by hand can be both expensive and time-consuming, especially when the home features a custom design. Some homebuilders have chosen to automate part of the construction process instead. A new architectural startup called Branch Technology uses 3D-printing robots that can construct parts for homes.

Magnificent beachfront tropical resort at The Ritz-Carlton, Bali

WATG Blog (Design)·13 April 2018
Your one-stop vacation on redefining luxury living; architects and design firm WATG has incorporated The Ritz-Carlton Bali hotel with an island inspiration and cutting edge style to create the ultimate beach resort experience for you. Set over 12.7 hectares on Bali’s south east coast, the acclaimed luxury beachfront resort sweeps dramatically from a towering limestone cliff down to the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean. The thoughtful, highly integrated design with respect for the environment and local Balinese culture makes its a memorable tropical resort experience for all.

4 train journeys that are smarter than a 5-star hotel

WATG Blog (Design)·10 April 2018
The golden age of riding the rails is back The Orient Express has just unveiled three grand suites on the classic journey from London to Venice. The train’s first ever ensuite cabins (no more loo-sharing with Poirot) are named after its most famous destinations. Rachel Johnson (no, not that one), of Wimberly Interiors, is the brains behind the designs, and she has attributed a style to each one – elegance for Paris, grandeur for Venice and opulence for Istanbul. All three will be resplendent with the train’s art-deco signature style, as well as original polished-brass hardware, pedigree Lalique and Murano glass all over the place. Sell a kidney now for a reservation.

On the road with Muriel Muirden

WATG Blog (Design)· 3 April 2018
Muriel Muirden travels worldwide in her role as Executive VP and Chairwoman of design firm WATG. Hong Kong, the unspoilt beauty of the Scottish Highlands, the wildlife in the Serengeti… I’ve had a fabulous career and am privileged to have travelled to amazing places and spent time with inspiring people.

Curvaceous 3D-Printed House Advances Toward Construction

WATG Blog (Design)·22 March 2018
The urban studio of architecture firm WATG and 3D-fabrication company Branch Technology have completed structural testing for what they say will be the world’s first “freeform” printed house. Completion of this validation process, performed in accordance with ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards, moves the 1,000-square foot demonstration project one step closer to reality. The design and fabrication team, which includes structural consultants Thornton Tomasetti and mechanical engineers Integral, expects to complete construction on a site at Chattanooga State Community College in Tennessee by early 2019.

Behind the Scenes

WATG Blog (Design)·12 March 2018
Christine McGinnis talks technology, change and east meets west. Christine McGinnis is a force to be reckoned with. Heading up the WATG Asia Pacific design studio, she has worked on a plethora of projects throughout the region. She spoke us ahead of the Asia ceremony to discuss blurred lines, frontrunners in the industry and the hidden must-stay hotel in Siem Reap.

Case Study innovation finds modern echo in 3D-printed house

WATG Blog (Design)·27 February 2018
A geometrically complex, factory fabricated home is planned for a site in Tennessee A hybrid 3D-printed house inspired by a kit of parts approach to construction pioneered in 1940s Los Angeles is due to break ground in Tennessee this spring. Curve Appeal is a geometrically complex, open plan family home, designed by US-based architect WATG. The studio won a competition to design the first home to be built using the ‘Freeform’ printing process developed by large scale 3D printing specialist Branch Technology.

Country Spotlight: Going Off Piste in South Korea

WATG Blog (Design)·13 February 2018
From staggeringly beautiful islands to the vibrant culture, bustling cities, and ‘Korean Wave’ phenomenon, South Korea is a destination on the rise. South Korea attracts travellers from across the globe, domestic travel represented 70% of total tourists in 2017, and international tourist arrivals have doubled in the past decade. China currently dominates the international market, accounting for 36% of visitors in 2017, due, in large part to China’s unstoppable enthusiasm and love for Korean culture.

The World's First Freeform 3D-Printed House Enters Development Phase

WATG Blog (Design)·31 January 2018
WATG Urban’s first prize design for The Freeform Home Design Challenge in 2016 is now moving one step closer to becoming a reality. Since winning the competition, WATG‘s Chicago office has been developing the winning design, dubbed Curve Appeal, alongside Branch Technology. Curve Appeal is now undergoing the “wall section testing, research and development phase” with an anticipated goal of breaking ground later this year. This revolutionary project could change the way we construct complex, freeform structures.

A house with curve appeal

WATG Blog (Design)·24 January 2018
The wall section testing, research and development phase of WATG’s 3D printed house is currently underway. In 2016, the WATG Urban design team were awarded first prize in The Freeform Home Design Challenge; a competition commissioned by Branch Technology to design the world’s first freeform 3D printed house, which explores how 3D printing technology can improve our built environment and lives today.

Bellagio and the Bund: A Little Bit of Vegas Opens in Shanghai

WATG Blog (Design)·10 January 2018
Bellagio’s first ever hotel outside of North America officially opened at the start of the year, bringing a little bit of that garish Vegas chic to the historic Bund in China’s most dynamic city. Bellagio Shanghai – part of The Leading Hotels of the World family – finally opened their highly-anticipated hotel at the start of the month to create a sister hotel to their famous Bellagio Towers in Las Vegas.

The best new luxury hotels of 2017

WATG Blog (Design)·18 December 2017
The hottest luxury hotel openings of 2017. Be the first to explore my selection of the best new luxury hotels, 60 in total, that opened their doors in 2017. Some of these hotel are managed by world’s most exclusive hotel brands. Amongst the list are four WATG projects:

Bellagio's first ever hotel outside North America reveals spectacular design

WATG Blog (Design)·18 December 2017
Bellagio Shanghai is the sibling hotel to the renowned Bellagio Towers in Las Vegas and Bellagio’s first ever hotel outside North America. WATG, one of the world’s leading hospitality design firm, and Wimberly Interiors, the interior design studio of WATG, worked alongside the Bellagio brand to raise the bar of hotel design in Shanghai, China’s most vibrant city, known as ‘The Paris of the East,’ and ‘the New York of the West’.

The Top 18 New Hotels in 2018

WATG Blog (Design)·12 December 2017
AD circled the globe to bring you the most travel-worthy properties debuting now and throughout next year The phrase “luxury hotel” has a wide array of connotations. But a general consensus among well-traveled guests is that properties with a true sense of place, and those that are an extension of the area’s history, are exemplars of true luxurious style. The hotels that are new and exciting for 2018 are those that are not only well-designed but that go far above and beyond brand recognition.

Melting Spot

WATG Blog (Design)· 6 December 2017
In this era of hyperlocal inspiration and ever-changing city maps, “authentic” doesn’t just mean what’s right outside the hotel’s front door. To feel real, local means understanding what’s ingrained in the mentality of the people who live or work in the neighborhood—not just the architecture or the landmark reference points. Getting into their heads and learning all the cultural cues and lifestyle hacks that shape the unique character of the locale is the minimum daily requirement for distilling non-Instagram moments into wow design.

Art: Blank Canvas

WATG Blog (Design)· 6 December 2017
Along with capturing the bustling streets of New York’s Chinatown, artist Mr. EwokOne wanted to infuse his mural, all done with aerosol spray paint, with overwhelming color, forcing guests to “slowly digest everything on the walls around,” he says.

Create a Stylish Festive Interior This Holiday Season with Key Tips from Our Designers

WATG Blog (Design)· 1 December 2017
Brighten up the winter evenings with accents of rich green, red and millennial pink. “Millennial Pink’s popularity knows no bounds and is set to add a touch of luxe to your festive palette. Add soft blush pink flowers into festive floral arrangements of lush green and berries this year for a contemporary twist.” Sophie Deeley, Project Designer, London.

It's not blue, it's not green - it's teal

WATG Blog (Design)·17 November 2017
The hue we associate most with the Eighties and Nineties is back in. The new BBC adaptation of EM Forster’s Howards End has been a hot topic this week, but for those with a keen eye for interiors it is the luscious teal walls of the Schlegel house that have been the talking point. Designers say that this jewel tone is enjoying a renaissance, in part because of the so-called “neo-nostalgia” movement sweeping through the interiors world: a host of retro colours, products and prints, particularly from the Eighties and Nineties, are back in vogue. “Until recently, whenever the word ‘teal’ was mentioned it evoked memories of shoulder pads, Windows 95 and The Golden Girls, but the generation-defining hue is back and has reached a new level of popularity,” says Rachel Johnson, the studio director of Wimberly Interiors.

Glamour and Intrigue Aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient Express

WATG Blog (Design)· 3 November 2017
On Thursday, the 2nd of November, the 2017 film version of “Murder on the Orient Express” received its world premiere at London’s Royal Albert Hall. A galaxy of stars populated the 1974 original screen version, and forty-three years later a prestigious stellar cast will add a new lustre to the gripping intrigue of Agatha Christie’s 1934 classic fictional novel. Naturally the film is set to regenerate interest amongst aficionados of authentic luxury rail experiences, who will be inspired to board one of the most luxurious trains in the world, the mere mention of this film and your thoughts and mental imagery immediately transport you into a world of glamour and luxury that evokes the golden age of travel.

Greenspace Takes Over London with WATG's 'Green Block' Proposal

WATG Blog (Design)·25 October 2017
London Mayor Sadiq Khan proposed the challenge — how does London become a designated National Park City– and WATG, London-based landscape team, headed by Demet Karaoglu, accepted the challenge. In addressing the Mayor’s challenge, the team worked with Daniel Raven-Ellison, Guerrilla Geographer and Creative Explorer leading London’s campaign to become the world’s first National Park City.

4 train journeys that are posher than a 5-star hotel

WATG Blog (Design)·25 October 2017
Someone is going to pop their clogs on the Orient Express. Well, that’s Agatha Christie for you – and how better to celebrate next month’s Hollywood remake of Murder on the Orient Express than with a jaunt on the actual Orient Express? Book for next March, when they will be unveiling three grand suites on the classic journey from London to Venice. The train’s first ever ensuite cabins (no more loo-sharing with Poirot) are named after its most famous destinations. Rachel Johnson (no, not that one), of Wimberly Interiors, is the brains behind the designs, and she has attributed a style to each one – elegance for Paris, grandeur for Venice and opulence for Istanbul. All three will be resplendent with the train’s art-deco signature style, as well as original polished-brass hardware, pedigree Lalique and Murano glass all over the place. Sell a kidney now for a reservation.


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