The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin
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Lotte Hotel Executive Tower, Seoul
Subtle references to Korea and its traditions flow through the design
The former spaces, which date back to the 1980’s, have been transformed into sophisticated and light-filled rooms that take advantage of their modest architecture to create an intimate setting full of classic-contemporary styling and homely residential touches.
Minhwha, the tradition of Korean folk art and the surrounding natural landscape of the Bukhansan mountains, is a thread that runs through the concept for the new Lotte Executive Tower, bringing depth and narrative to an otherwise fresh and modern renovation.
The magpie and the tiger
Inspired by one particular folklore story, the motifs within the tale have been subtly woven into the design. The weary bird, having travelled down from the Bukansan mountains, rests in a nearby pine tree where a gentle and welcoming tiger awaits; the symbolism representing the arrival of good luck and strength.
The concept for the lounge draws on the symbolism of the South Korean flag. The layout is loosely divided into four areas corresponding with the flag’s four trigrams which in turn represent the elements of heaven, fire, water and earth.
A feature lazer–cut screen suggests fish-scales representing the water element, whilst carpets capture the inky paintings of the symbolic pine tree – correlating with both the earth element and the idea of Minhwa.
In the bedroom, a hand-painted silk headboard depicts a budding Oyama magnolia; a species of the tree native to Korea. The dressing table features a flip-up mirror detail like a jewelry box. Silk embroidered cushions adorn the bed and window chaise. Bathrooms feature hand-cut marble with in-laid pattern detail and crystal wall lights.