More than a transitional space, Qantas’ new generation airport lounge invites its guests to linger a little longer…
May 28th, 2013
The Qantas airport lounge in Singapore has recently undergone a major transformation. A collaborative project involving Sumu Design, PDM International and Caon Studio, the new lounge is not only able to accommodate an increased passenger count, but also incorporates a variety of local design influences in a comfortable, sophisticated environment.
The first of its kind anywhere in the world for Qantas, the new lounge – originally the Qantas / BA business lounge – now combines all the different customer tiers in one space.
It has a reception area, a bar, TV lounge areas, retreat areas, a show cooking area, a communal dining space and a buffet, and all the different zones, says Felice Carlino, Director of Sumu Design, can be accessed via paved streets.
“The reception, bar and dining areas are what you would call the main street, the heart of the lounge, [filled with] vibrancy, action, movement and interaction between customers and staff,” says Carlino.
“From there you would move down the paved side streets to quieter areas where people who want a bit of down time can relax with a quiet drink or eat.”
Local design elements include the Peranakan floor tiles in the reception area, a nod to Singapore’s heritage, says Carlino, while greenery, timber finishes and bamboo flooring “reflect the nature and warmth” of the country.
Beyond the physical elements, the design team wanted to “encapsulate the atmosphere, lifestyle and everyday life of Singapore”, says Carlino.
Elements such as the communal tables and show cooking counter were designed to capture the atmosphere of Singapore’s hawker centre.
“The noise of people and the clanking of woks, the smells of spices in the air, the live action of chefs cooking food, and the variety of different choices of food [found in a hawker centre] have been captured here,” says Carlino.
Textural layering is expressed through the variety of finishes used, from herringbone veneered oak wall panels, through to polished concrete floors and surfaces, paver tiled streets, quilted fabric and leather seats, and exposed ceilings.
Universal power and USB charging outlets, as well as full WiFi connectivity also allow customers to use their smart phones and personal iPads and tablets anywhere in the lounge.
Transcending the typical idea of an airport lounge as a mere transitional space, this new generation Qantas lounge can now be added as a memorable part of the travel experience.
Images © www.owenraggett.com
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