Hospitality Design | Multi-Lingual Practice | Fireplace Design
The interiors of the Hotel Saint Paul talk not to its imported Beaux Arts exterior nor to the fashion of minimalism but to the northern beauty and austerity of Canada itself. Monolithic forms abstract a wilderness of hard weather, rock formations, and big sky. But the traveler is welcomed and cosseted by plush fabrics and upholsteries. Inside a carved stone shell the Saint Paul floats in an atmosphere of frozen air, grounded by mass and fire, both sheltering and surreal. At one end of the long lobby is a white alabaster fireplace – the largest in North America – built of backlit blocks of “ice”. Sparkling with glasses at the other end is a standing drinks bar forged in facets of bronze. A penumbral blue wall of mirrors and silver leaf in the restaurant produce an arctic mirage. It is the ingenuity of the details that enchant the ordinary and necessary objects of the hotel: a fireplace of ice, an airlock made of shadow, a bed in a cloud wall, a bar like a crystal, a tea room that burns like a sunset. The design was published in numerous books and magazines, won Canadian Interiors `Best of Canada Design`award and took its place as the first Design Hotel in Canada.