Landini Associates re-captures the high-end spirit of the Hilton brand in their renovation of the hotel’s Adelaide offering. Leanne Amodeo speaks with Mark Landini and reports on the new fit-out.
April 26th, 2016
If you’ve visited Hilton Adelaide within the past few years you would have noticed its last refurbishment was circa 1970-something. While there was a certain nostalgic charm to the hotel’s ground floor lobby, bar and restaurant, these public spaces were definitely looking a little tired and consequently off-brand for a luxurious international hotel and leisure offering.
Landini Associates’ recent renovation is a welcome facelift that not only reactivates and refreshes these areas, but also better connects them with the hotel’s prime CBD location. “Our intention was to design something that can also be used by the community,” says the Sydney-based practice’s co-founder and Creative Director Mark Landini. “So it becomes a destination in and of itself.”
His resulting scheme features a stylish mix of sophisticated finishes and details, highlighting a material palette that is robust, yet at the same time elegant and fine. It’s utilised to great effect in the 490sqm Coal Cellar + Grill restaurant, where the bold grey and white plaid patterned carpet complements the black steelwork and tan leather banquettes and caramel toned timber tabletops and chairs.
While the overall aesthetic is appropriately high-end, the fit-out does challenge preconceptions about the Hilton brand. Landini’s use of concrete injects an industrial element into the scheme and the exposed ceiling is an unexpected feature. “It’s not what you get in a hotel normally; certainly not what you get in a 5-star hotel. But the intention was to make it feel more human and friendly,” he says.
This makes the dining experience all the more comfortable and inviting. However, it’s the restaurant’s ambient lighting that presents as the most compelling design expression. Landini understands how powerful and persuasive a tool it is in creating environments that allow people to slow down and relax. By embracing the Renaissance painting technique of chiaroscuro (the use of strong contrast between light and dark) he places equal importance on shadow, lending the space a sense of calm and intimacy.
Lighting also plays a significant role in the lobby, where Landini has acknowledged the hotel’s history with a modern re-imaging of the original reflective ceiling and extravagant 1970s chandelier. “People either loved it or hated it, but we thought it was a very important signature of the hotel,” he explains. “And that’s why we wanted to install something that was a nod to that.” The new bespoke fitting by Ambience Lighting is a visual treat that justifiably draws the eye up.
Landini has successfully imbued the refurbishment with personality, while still making it egalitarian, no small feat for any hotel interior. Striving for a classic aesthetic and simple plan has worked in the design’s favour, transforming the public spaces into highly functional zones that will stand the test of time.
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