SANTA MONICA, CA— Three HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates projects in Southeast Asia are opening in the next two months. Nuo Beijing opens this week in China, while Raffles Jakarta in Indonesia is set to open next month, as is Indigo in Bangkok, Thailand.
HBA has created the signature look for the first ever Nuo hotel owned by Nuo, China’s first international luxury brand. The 28-story Nuo Beijing, which takes its cues from the Ming dynasty, is set for a soft opening and will offer a five-star modern luxury experience while paying homage to China’s celebrated era of scholarly pursuits, according to the design firm.
HBA designers were tasked with creating a luxury international hotel brand that is a distinct reflection of Chinese heritage and culture, being modern yet rooted in tradition with a heavy focus on contemporary Chinese art. The HBA team spent six years immersing themselves in the Ming dynasty’s history and cultural significance, and each facet of the design takes Nuo’s four pillars into account: uniquely Chinese, uniquely luxurious, uniquely contemporary and uniquely green.
Nuo Beijing marks one of HBA’s first designs to bring several divisions of the firm into one project—Canvas Art Consultants, Illuminate Lighting Design and HBA Graphics. Among the standout features of the property is the grand entrance, which is filled with 7-ft. tall blue and white Ming vases intricately hand painted, flanking a large sculpture centerpiece by contemporary artist Zheng Fanzhi.
The first Indigo hotel in Southeast Asia, Indigo Bangkok, is a 192-room property on Bangkok’s Wireless Rd. HBA designers drew inspiration from the neighborhood’s rich history in the radio industry, Thai silk trade and its proximity to Lumpini Park.
The concierge features a DJ station adjacent to a lounge area with bright furniture and colorful rugs that evoke the hues of Thai silk. Just past an industrial steel staircase that wraps around a black metal mesh structure is a large artwork installation of old radios and music-themed memorabilia dating back to the beginning of radio in Bangkok. HBA’s Illuminate Lighting Consultancy created a custom light wall installation simulating radio waves.
The guestrooms feature white ceilings and light wallcoverings. A white brick wall behind the bed features a large black-and-white photo of Bangkok’s street scenes in the 1950s. They also feature timber flooring and doors in distinct wood patterns, while bold color is used in custom rugs and furniture pieces. The bathroom walls are finished in locally produced glazed ceramic tiles. Art walls are featured behind the vanity with motifs of Thai gardens and pagodas.
The open-air 23rd floor features an infinity-edge pool. Later this year, the hotel will open CHAR, its new signature restaurant
The five-star, art-driven Raffles Jakarta is described by HBA designers as an “ode to artist Hendra Gunawan.” As the first Raffles property in Indonesia, the hotel features 173 rooms and combines the colorful spirit of the beloved Indonesian artist, with the richness and nostalgic elegance of classic design, according to HBA.
Raffles Jakarta’ lobby features golden-toned marble is contrasted with onyx from floor to ceiling, and is a reoccurring detail throughout the hotel. It also includes a 13-foot chaise longue and a collection of hand-blown glass. Adjacent to the lobby is the Writer’s Bar, with a ceiling that is sculpted with showering crystals, while fish swim through the custom-made carpet below. The guestrooms represent the artist’s retreat, where the bedroom is kept separate from the lounge. Touches of Raffles’ romantic and classical architectural details are felt throughout the hotel and are especially evident in the lobby, ballroom, meeting room, and guestrooms.