News - Mira Moon: Wanders & YOO
Responsible for some of the most iconic designs of his generation, Marcel Wanders’ larger-than life, whimsical ethos is shot through with the unmistakable flavours of his hinterland. Tiles, ‘new antique’ furniture with contemporary flourishes, blues and whites which echo Delft china and an interesting, ever-present element of humour are the hallmarks of his work. Wherever you find Marcel Wanders you find a keenness to re-invest his field with real playfulness and romanticism.
Airborn Snotty Vase, image via Marcel Wanders
Interacting with and re-interpreting Chinese traditions, then, was a challenge that was always going yield a fascinating and surprising result. Mira Moon Hotel – the product of this – is a magnificent example of how two seemingly disparate cultures can inform each other in a beautiful way.
“The philosophy behind Mira Moon Hotel was to create a feeling of celebration - a magical experience full of memorable moments,” says Marcel. “Wanchai, where it is located, has a real feel of rich and colourful history. It has a dynamic vibe and exotic aura that is a fabulous backdrop for a boutique hotel and reminds me a little of Holland’s Rotterdam. I wanted to contribute a certain aesthetic from a western perspective and blend that with an overall Asian sensibility for developing the room interiors. Ultimately the idea was to impart an effect that was romantic, inspiring and poetic, which I think has been achieved so beautifully.”
The interior design of Mira Moon draws on the inspiration of the Chinese Moon Festival fairy-tale - a legend in Chinese mythology about the Moon Goddess of Immortality. The main characters in the story, the Goddess, the Archer, the Jade Rabbit and the moon, appear recurringly throughout the hotel in various charming semblances.
“This sense of folklore and mythology is an important one, for me,” says Marcel. “We have to remind ourselves of the story tales we were told as children, these well-intended lies that taught us how to dream. As designers we have to lie like poets, and pair the unexpected to convey our imaginative vision. We can enhance the world with a dream, a pairing. I love these little moments. They are always welcome in my world!”
Accordingly, Mira Moon Hotel is a trove of beautiful, surprising and magical objects. Influences have been drawn from ancient Chinese artefacts and craftsmanship, fabrics and prints interlaced with contemporary furnishings.
The colour scheme is a bold surge of lacquered whites and rich China reds. References to Chinese culture are expressed through modern furnishings with antique Chinese fabrics and prints, details found in the peony flower walls, tailored carpets, digitally composed Bisazza tile graphics and a lucky charm feature wall in the lobby.
Inspiration was also taken from ancient Chinese craftsmanship with the use of ceramics, carved timber and gold lanterns and cut crystal all culminating in a heady mix of east meets west aesthetic. This combination of Chinese heritage with a modern artistic expression and Wanders’ unmistakable Dutch sentiment has given Mira Moon a unique, vibrant style.
“All the furniture pieces and accessories were designed and tailor made by Wanders & YOO,” Marcel explains. “For example, the lanterns in the foyer are symbolic, embellished with gold balls and embossed with the characters from the fairy tale. The idea was to have these lanterns move up and down in synch with the daily motion of the moon. It was a device to help convey in a more playful way the Moon Festival story in the details of our design.
"The Tulip Armchair is an iconic design of mine and can be found in the lobby area. The design is fresh and happy; a reinterpretation of the lengthened and oversized dimensions of the classic armchair to mimic the stem of a flower. In the reception are also red flying rabbits – which were special, custom-designed and manufactured lighting piece s for the hotel. I thought it would be a fun motif to explore in this way.
“Then again, the peony flower motif which is a key element in the story also appears in a whole host of items, like screens, carpeting, walls etc. It came out wonderfully, especially in the bathroom wall tiling where we digitally printed the red peonies on Bisazza tiles. I think this really adds a strong sense of texture and makes the bathrooms look more chic and alluring. It is the king of flowers – the flower of riches and honour.”
Mira Moon’s lightness and energy at once reflects the vibrancy of its cosmopolitan urban location and provides a refuge from it resplendent with personalised details that embrace technology, innovation and creativity. There’s a sense of theatrical drama contextualised in spectacular surroundings with magical interactions.
“YOO studio has a certain design vision that is similar to mine,” says Marcel, finally, “and we both thought that we could successfully join forces to create, what I feel, is this fascinating and perhaps a bit outrageous, Mira Moon Hotel concept. I hope you enjoy it.”