Project Name: Mövenpick Hotel Colombo
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Date Completed: January 2017
Interior Designer: DiLeonardo International
Architect: MICD Associates
Hotel Group: Movenpick Hotels & Resorts (operator) & SoftLogic Holdings (owner)

Taking cues from the architectural design of the structure and complimenting the brand’s “Natural Enjoyment” mind-set, the design exudes clean and contemporary architecture and highlights powerful colours and contrasting finishes. The designers conducted a full study of the brand, the history and culture of the geographic location of the project, and then created a design narrative that is taken throughout the project. A new build project with a clean slate to work, coupled with the open mindedness of the owners allowed for greater opportunity and creativity for the design concept to become a reality.

To create an undeniably bold statement of design and function, the designers incorporated modern classic furniture in rich and dynamic materials. Materials respond to the careful selection and tones of wood species. Dark woods offset the light, bright stone and natural daylighting in the spaces and custom woven large-scale light fixture in the lobby. Tying in the cultural influences with Portuguese and Sri Lankan history and incorporating nods to local craftsmanship in detail– inspired the design direction. Rich colours, textures and patterns directly taken from the area and works of a prominent local artist are featured throughout, enhancing the interior design language. Inlaid mosaic tile patterns based on traditional Sri Lank motifs, custom woven large-scale light fixtures in the lobby, and intense bold colour combinations with strong graphic elements at the building core serve as the foundation for guest rooms’ colour palate.

Interior architecture plays with pushing and pulling of functions in the public space and juxtaposing the architecture with strategically positioned organic reliefs in an unexpected, artistic way including flooring patterns, balustrades, carpets, and textiles; all helping to create visual interest in the circulation spaces of the hotel. To articulate interior volumes, a sweeping grand staircase in the lobby is the focal point of the guest’s arrival and beneath it is a dramatic and eccentric entrance where moments of surprises are layered in every step and experience leading into the Mansion (VIP lounge).

The design is a modern interpretation of the region’s history and cultural influences; creating depth and excitement. From the lobby to the roof top bar, every detail provides a definite sense of place. Dramatic and surprising inspirations from one space to the next create interest from the grand lobby staircase, bold colors throughout and room layouts driven by amazing views allowing for unexpected and spacious guest rooms are just a few reasons why these spaces and design work so well. The combined elements of the extraordinary location of this hotel, working with the progressive and informed ownership team and the cutting edge Movenpick brand provided us with the components to create exciting Interior design solutions.

From the eccentric Mansion bar to the retreat of the guestroom, DiLeonardo tried to instil a sense of location, provide modern amenities, and apply materials, colours and textures throughout that reflected the location to appeal to both overseas business, leisure travellers and locals alike. The late Ueli Prager, founder of Movenpick was fond of saying, “We are simply successful because we are doing quite normal things in an extraordinary manner.” These deeply meaningful words are the foundation of what it takes to drive a Movenpick design. Normal things coupled with the aesthetic of the brand and the location of the project coming together in an artfully executed, branded product, with a definite sense of place.