INNOV/16 and STUDIO16 are among the stand-out installations at EquipHotel 2016, but there should be no overlooking the likes of Studio des Chefs, SIGNATURE, SENSES ROOM and the four themed capsule areas. All are spaces devised by the brilliant creative minds of designers who found hordes of renowned companies willing to become partners and sponsors for the Parisian event.
Evenly distributed throughout the Pavilions, the installations bring real personality to EquipHotel, with leading names in the international contract industry bolstering the event’s appeal and finding the perfect exhibition setting for their brand.
INNOV/16 is a far-reaching collection of products encompassing the whole spectrum of the hospitality sector. The initiative takes visitors on a journey to the very heart of EquipHotel, showcasing over 300 products identified by exhibitors as the best new arrivals for 2016 (this number is double that of the 2014 edition, when the collection was known as Equip’Innov). Among the noteworthy products at the 2016 edition is the Xlight Premium collection by Porcelanosa, but the star of the show is the Shower Capsule by Skinjay: a quite brilliant idea which takes the concept of the coffee capsule and transposes it into the bath and spa setting, supplying patrons of the top luxury hotels with a truly on-demand experience.
STUDIO 16 is described as a “fleeting setting in which to showcase the new rules and trends of the hotel and restaurant industry”. Indeed, the strength of temporary architecture (hence the fleeting part) lies in the designers’ ability to express themselves in a manner that is quick and clear, yet provocative and bold in the way that it portrays an imagining of the future of their professional field.
EquipHotel called in the crème de la crème of French design for STUDIO 16, with project manager Thierry Virvaire overseeing the small army of creative interior designers who breathed life into six installations across the three floors of Pavilion 7.
It starts at 7.1 with a veritable outdoor jungle by the name Terrace View! Designed by landscape architects Christophe Gautrand and Benjamin Deshuliètres, Terrace View! is a Garden of Eden for modern times, its incredible richness of plant life mingling with a collection of stunning furniture which draws inspiration from tales of travelling. The area is high impact, but scratch below the surface and visitors will discover a softer heart.
Moving inside from the great outdoors, visitors are met by the Lobby designed by Jean-Philippe Nuel and called Open on the World. The space tackles the issue of direct contact with clients, given that traditional checking in and out is on the wane and designers are increasingly being asked to help hotels maintain human relationships with clients.
The solution lies in the simple and colourful lobby created by the French architect, where the now-defunct reception desk (another casualty of the digital age) is booted out in favour of a bar – the classic meeting point and a place where human rapport can be nurtured through customer service.
Up at 7.2, the New Working Era & Area by artist and interior designer Julie Gauthron is a workspace inspired by our modern way of life. It is packed with practical areas, with ample space for privacy and socialising, working and meeting people. The spaces can quickly be transformed into meeting rooms or even restaurants. It is without doubt the most millennials-oriented display at EquipHotel this year.
Staying at 7.2, communal spaces make way for hotel rooms with In The Room, a display dreamt up by fashion trendsetter Elizabeth Leriche and interior designers Guillome Terver and Christophe Delcourt of the Le Lad studio.
In The Room is a space designed to meet all the basic needs of a client. The room is split into four areas, each with their own theme: the bed, a space to store personal effects, the bathroom and a versatile area. The idea of creating a space for people who don’t even bother to unpack their suitcase is a fascinating – and extremely relevant – one. The bathroom is deconstructed and scattered playfully around the room, breaking all the traditional rules, while the versatility of the furniture means the vibe of the room can be changed in a few, easy steps, opening the door to an infinite number of interior solutions.
STUDIO 16 reaches its climax at Pavilion 7.3, where Le Resto des Chefs takes us into the world of the restaurant industry. Designed by Marc Hertrich and Nicolas Adnet, the bar and restaurant simply ooze with that instantly recognisable French spirit and style. The three main spaces merge effortlessly into one another other in a homage to France – the white and black flooring, the use of glass… and a majestic chandelier encased in a metal cage which dominates the installation.
The final flourish is the spectacular Glass Gallery, a fully fledged temple to transparency designed by Sylvie Amar.
Not just Pavilion 7
The installations and displays don’t stop at Pavilion 7. Pavilion 3 is home to the Sense Room, a fascinating junior suite idea for a boutique hotel. Designed by Francis van de Walle, the Sense Room is packed full of invisible (but very real) solutions around accessibility, with “design for all” very much a mantra for the designer. Centred around cognitive and sensory experiences, the project is a gem that you simply cannot miss, with participation from a whole host of companies, including Italy’s Zucchetti.Kos.
SIGNATURE is an exhibition within the exhibition. Created by French designer Stella Cadente (a firm fixture of EquipHotel), Signature is a celebration of decoration bringing together a vast array of different companies, including the likes of Dedar, Rubelli, Elitis and Romo, to name but a few.