The design force behind the Raffles Singapore renovation, Alexandra Champalimaud is head of the award-winning, multi-disciplinary firm based in New York, recognised for its visionary concepts which span both hospitality and residential projects.
We spoke to Alexandra Champalimaud this month during her showcase of Raffles Singapore to VIP media and esteemed guests.
You’ve just taken on one of the most exciting hotel design projects of the year if not the decade. Revamping one of the world’s most famous and iconic hotels, Raffles Singapore. How did that come about?
It is quite exciting isn’t it? We were invited to participate in a competition and the owner really liked our vision. Our studio has a long history of working within historic spaces. There’s a certain amount of care and finesse that’s required when you approach these properties, especially a relic like Raffles Singapore. I think that came through in our first pitch to them.
What are some of the elements you are most pleased with?
Honestly, it’s hard to point out just one. I actually love every corner of the renovation. From the art collection which not only features local artists but also references Singapore’s ‘Garden City’ moniker, to the hand of the textiles, to the custom designed vanities and mini bars, to the statement light fixtures on the main floor of the hotel – everything. My team and I are pleased with it all. There was so much care taken in the design of the project, it’s hard not to take pride everything that we did there.
What other projects that you and your partners have worked on recently?
We’ve completed a lot of brilliant projects in 2019. Monkey Island Inn just outside of London, Halekuna Okinawa in Japan and its sister property Halepuna in Waikiki, Hawaii, Fairmont Gold at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, a gorgeous villa in Puerto Rico, plus four multifamily residential projects in New York and Hong Kong. We also have a few hospitality projects in Switzerland as well as Boston and Colorado in the US that will be unveiling this year. We’ve been quite busy!
Anything else exciting in the pipeline we should look out for?
2020 will be a year of firsts for us! We’ll be opening our first airport lounge in Bahrain in the first half of the year. We also have our first senior living project that’s due to open then as well. We’re particularly excited about this project because it was an opportunity for us to rethink the idea of living and aging gracefully and what that means to prospective residents today. How do they want to engage with others and how they want to move within their home? We designed an entire suite of custom furniture for the project. Our studio is also working on some new product collaborations too.
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