Y—6 3 Sofitel Auckland

Hospitality 2021 Credits
  • Creative Directors
    Suzanne Lear, Rezharco Doria
  • Design Director
    Suzanne Lear
  • Team Members
    Kate Fraser, David Coetzee, Colleen Klein, Josh Ye
  • Client
    C.P Group Ltd

Our studio is not one to balk at a challenge, albeit sometimes a challenge that is near impossible. That being said, Sofitel Auckland's Public spaces redesign was a project that pushed our creativity and knowledge to new heights.

A full redesign in 3 months, 16 spaces, 1 consent - impossible right.

We made it in 4.5 months and if the second lockdown hadn’t hit, the spa scope hadn’t tripled in size and the client hadn’t added a Speakeasy we would have made it. We turned our process upside down. We pulled the entire studio together, we worked late nights and weekends and we rose to the challenge.

We worked with fantastic local suppliers, who custom made furniture, joinery + artwork in record time. We pulled in craftsment, lost craftsmen, had 1000 ceramic petals hand made by a North Shore artist, had 1000 more made, wrapped, painted, re-carpeted, re-tiled, wallpapered and reinvented all of the public spaces. We refurbished the entire BOH offices and created a fully functioning exec lounge.

Above all though, we had a great story. Every item, every finish in the space has a reason to be there.

Our layers of concept started with a fictional man called Artorius who was a global traveller, visiting Auckland for the first time. He meets a french woman called Amelie in the pool and their love story begins. Its romantic, its whimsical and it set us up with a great basis for our design story. Layered on top of this are the individual spaces - each with their own very French inspired characteristics.

From the Cognac salon we coined as Angouleme with deep materials, rich leathers and a bio hazard cognac display, to Salon Avize inspired by a small town in the Champagne region, the custom carpet (which we did have to airfreight into NZ) and the suspended petal artwork derived from stories of champagne tastings through flower lined streets in the summer. Past the piano down to the pavement dining style breakfast area overlooking the water, named Salon 75 after a very famous french cocktail. Rich chartreuse tones over a black and white palette offer a place to sit, drink champagne or a cocktail and watch the world go by.

To the pool and the gym. The custom, reflective starfield ceiling was fabricated locally by another joiner and offers guests the best backstroke in town. We had a custom made mosaic of Amelie fabricated for the end of the pool and I think we purchased all of the white tiles in the country to retile the pool itself. It did take around 6 weeks to complete.

We reupholstered and added stone, tiles, lighting, timber to everything that didn’t move. We upcycled, we painted and reglazed.

We are very proud of the Sofitel, a truly collaborative conceptual project and almost all locally sourced and fabricated.