WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT: INGE MOORE & THE GALLERY HBA



 
Last week in his post about the Sleep event and the European Hotel Design Awards ceremony, A-Gent of Style revealed he had been invited to interview two eminent guest speakers at Europe’s leading hotel design and development fair. Both interviewees turned out to be equally fascinating and charming, and so today, as promised, A-Gent would like to share with you one of these interviews and hopes you find it as inspirational as he did.



Founded in Los Angeles in 1964, Hirsch Bedner Associates has been leading the hotel design industry as an interior design firm with an international presence, depth of experience and detailed industry knowledge. With over 1,200 designers around the globe in 16 offices and a recent expansion in several locations in Asia, HBA has been creating the signature looks of todays luxury brands, independent contemporary boutiques, urban resort spas, world-class residences, restaurants, casinos, and cruise ships from one continent to another.



Top Ban, Israel

The Sea Hotel, Bay Yam, Israel


“The Gallery” is HBA’s London satellite office based in Notting Hill which was established in 2011 under the umbrella of HBA’s London studios and geared toward projects with a high degree of individualization and conceptual, bespoke interiors.






Inge Moore came to the UK in 2001 from her native South Africa
(she designed the country’s first post-apartheid museum in a collaboration with Museum Africa, as well as numerous, innovative hotel and casino projects for South African hotel group Sun International) to join the London team.




After becoming in 2008 the head and creative director of The Gallery, Mrs Moore was appointed early this year as President, Europe of HBA International.
Two weeks ago, she was awarded at a ceremony in New York the famed accolade Gold Key Designer of the Year, the premier award for hotel designers around the world judged by key people in hotel development, celebrating success across the range of hospitality, from luxury guest rooms, to eco and socially conscious hotels and budget focused services.


The_St_Regis_Rome_Ambassador_Couture_Suite_Living_Room (1)


One of the reasons for this success is her being at the helm of some of the most luxurious hotels in the world as some of her latest projects can attest: the Royal Suite in the InterContinental Park Lane, Mena House and the Fairmont Nile City in Cairo, Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville, the Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastian, the St. Regis in Rome and the Ritz Carlton in Mauritius.

Alfonso XIII, Seville, Spain

Alfonso XIII, Seville, Spain


As you may remember, A-Gent of Style attended
the glitzy European Hotel Design Awards ceremony last Tuesday evening
(you can see all the results here) where, amongst other competing design companies, The Gallery was nominated for three awards (the most nominations any firm received this year).

That night, The Gallery HBA won each of the three gongs for the same project,
The Alpina Gstaad in Gstaad, Switzerland: the best Lobby, Lounge & Public Areas award, the best Bedrooms & Bathrooms award and the acclaimed
European Hotel Design of the Year award. To say that The Gallery and Inge Moore have been riding a wave lately and that 2013 was a glorious year for them would be an understatement. Rather impressive.


The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

 

The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

 

The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

 

The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

 

The following day, A-Gent of Style was covering parts of the Sleep event and managed to catch up briefly with Inge Moore between a seminar,
Destination Luxury, where she was a guest speaker and an interview she was giving with none other than Ian Schrager, Sleep 2013’s headline speaker (The Gallery HBA designed the ESPA spa at the Istanbul EDITION hotel, an Ian Schrager and Marriott Hotels partnership).






You won the Gold Key Designer of the Year award in New York and your project The Alpina Gstaad in Gstaad, Switzerland took away the best Lobby, Lounge & Public Areas award, the best Bedrooms & Bathrooms award and the acclaimed European Hotel Design of the Year award. Congratulations are in order. What are your feelings or impressions?

It is amazing that we won! But we have to carry on and do more, new, fabulous properties. We have to keep it up; the pressure is on. ‘What do we do next’ is the question. But it is a nice tap on the shoulder because there are so few awards. Generally, you get yield at by the operators or the owners, or you’re told you’re spending too much money, that you never get things done fast enough. But it’s also great for the whole team, it’s a great validation for The Gallery.




What does Sleep represent to you?

It’s at the heart of the UK hotel design industry; it all comes together once a year and it’s always exciting to be back. I was delighted to be invited to a seminar.

The Alpiina, Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland



What is the position of London on the design scene?

London has really moved forward; in the design world, it’s at the centre. The good agencies are in London and it’s nice to work from London.


Park Lane InterContinental, London

Park Lane InterContinental, London

 

Park Lane InterContinental, London

Park Lane InterContinental, London



Are you aware of leaving a legacy behind you?

It’s flattering to see our projects being used as inspirational ideas. It’s hard work being a designer. But the great thing is you always have an end result, there’s something you’ve built, something tangible as opposed for example to an accountant and having financial statements.
Ultimately, I want people to enjoy our projects.


ESPA at The Europe, Killarney, Ireland

ESPA at The Europe, Killarney, Ireland



Would you agree that simplicity is key to successful design?

Absolutely. Life is so complicated. Real luxury is real simplicity, having not too much stuff. The art of design is editing, knowing what not to put in.

The EDITION ESPA, Istanbul

The ESPA, Istanbul EDITION, Turkey

What inspires you most? Where do you draw your inspirations?

Everything, a blog late at night, looking at beautiful pictures, a walk in the park, when I see a beautiful colour on an autumn leaf, everything’s that around me.
And the retail world is aspiring: fabulous fashion shoot and shows for instance.
You must get the ethos of the time.

The Avenue, Oman

The Avenue, Oman



Are you conscious of creating a narrative for your projects?

Totally. It’s a strong concept. I believe you need to spend a lot of time upfront and it makes things easier otherwise it becomes a muddle.


Cairo Marriott, Saraya Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

Cairo Marriott, Saraya Gallery, Cairo, Egypt



What length do you go to to achieve perfection?

To all lengths, to the end of the world because it needs to be right.

The EDITION ESPA, Istanbul

The ESPA, Istanbul EDITION



How much do you specify what you do? O
n average, what percentage is bespoke or custom-tailored?

I’d say 70% is custom-made items. I think it’s very boring to re-use pieces that people just recognise everywhere. It’s great for the suppliers and well done to them but when you walk into a hotel, you want to see something unique and special. And that’s what’s great about the hotel industry, we can customise.


The EDITION ESPA, Istanbul

The ESPA, Istanbul EDITION



Who are your design icons?

Ian Schrager! And Coco Chanel.







HBA will be 50 in 2015. Where do you see HBA in 50 years’ time?

I think HBA needs to break up and become more of a conglomerate of independent studios; we are all independent at the moment and we do our own things but we need to be further looked after and developed; it mustn’t be a corporate but rather a collaborative of different, little, interesting, really special things.


Cairo Marriott, Saraya Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

Cairo Marriott, Saraya Gallery, Cairo, Egypt



If there is such a thing, what is a typical day for you?

It’s always manic and there’s always more to do but I wouldn’t change it.




Is there a common denominator to your projects?

I think they are very tactile; they all have beautiful materials, it’s never flat, there’s always something you can touch and feel. A project by The Gallery is always a narrative-based tactile project.



The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland

The Alpina Gstaad, Gstaad, Switzerland



The Alpina, Gstaad already looks like an iconic, timeless project. What are your thoughts on the time limit of a project?

I think every project should be timeless. Even it is a 1960s project for instance. It mustn’t be finished in two years. People like builders, investors and owners spend a lot of money. It needs to last, to have a patina as it ages rather than become old and be thrown away.


Alfonso XIII, Seville, Spain

Alfonso XIII, Seville, Spain. Art deco and teal!!! Heaven.



When do you know a project is finished?

Only when it’s finished built and I hand over the keys to the owner then it becomes theirs to look after and I can move on to the next project.


Hilton, Heathrow

Hilton, Heathrow



What is your own definition of luxury?

A day I can spend with my family, in the sunshine, and there’s no stress that day, spending the day cooking, pottering around.

 

Alfonso XIII, Seville, Spain

Alfonso XIII, Seville, Spain

 

St Regis, Rome

St Regis, Rome

 

 – All photos of HBA projects, The Gallery studio and Inge Moore
by Hirsch Bedner Associates –



 

One comment


  • Love all of the designs, the interiors are really smart, the colors and textures meld together so well.
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    February 26, 2014

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