As part of the re-opening of The Oberoi, New Delhi, 12 luxury suites were to be designed to cater to the dignitaries who would visit the historic property. The design therefore was to reflect the legacy of the iconic hotel, while addressing the architectural context of the 21st century. Two types of suites were designed in response. The Victorian Suites draw from the architecture of Delhi, reflecting Georgian design elements with restraint. Elements like a gold leaf screen, embroidered fabric panels, and intricately detailed furniture, lend an ambience of old world sophistication to the rooms. The Art
Deco suites showcase an elegant and edgy character with rich colours, bold geometry, and ornate detail work drawn from the Art Deco movement.
Completed in 2018
The Oberoi Suites, New Delhi
As part of the anticipated re-opening of The Oberoi, New Delhi, the studio was commissioned to design twelve luxury suites in a span of six months. A myriad of Indian and International luminaries had resided at the property over the course of its more than half-century existence. The refurbished suites were intended to host Heads of States amongst other dignitaries upon re-opening. The client brief was therefore to reflect the legacy of the iconic hotel, while merging with the architectural context of the 21st century.
Opening its doors first in 1965, the hotel precedes an effervescent history. Set in the heart of Lutyens Delhi, the property overlooks the 16th century Humayun’s Tomb on one side and the Delhi Golf Course on the other.
The studio has adopted a contemporary design approach without disrupting the heritage. The suites are fashioned to reflect progress and are designed tastefully – infused with a mix of nostalgia, old and new, novelty and familiarity. The themes chosen are ‘Victorian’ and ‘Art Deco’ – that resonate with the overall modernist expression of the hotel.
Reflecting the evolution of Indo-Saracenic & Georgian design, and inspired by the architecture of Delhi, the design of the Victorian Suites is carried out as an exercise in restraint. The extraordinary, lavish style of the Victorians is mirrored, albeit in a subtle and comfortable manner, ensuring that the space is both ergonomic as well as timeless.
At the entrance, one is greeted by a gold leaf screen that provides a captivating backdrop for the study. The expansive living area is adorned with exquisite, embroidered fabric panels, Lutyens’ style armchairs, an intricately designed coffee table, and a writing desk in oak, with ebony inlay.
The bedroom, cornered by two large picture windows, has a king size bed – a take on Baker. Real teak and heavy brass elements have been used to tie the space together. The bespoke furniture upholstered in luxurious fabrics, the beautifully hand-knotted silk carpets, the delicately handcrafted lights, the geometrically designed cornices on the ceiling and the motifs – are all inspired by the Victorian era and further accented by tasteful artwork, lending a Classical charm to the ambiance of the suite.
A wide array of materials such as aged bronze, brass, leather, teak and oak, have been used to lend a warm yet luxurious feeling to the suite. To create a well-lit space that exudes the right energy, lighting has accorded crucial precedence. The lighting fixtures are inspired by Sir Lutyens’ style of architecture and designed in collaboration with AKFD Studio, exclusively for the project. The exclusive art pieces in the suites belong to the owner, Mr. PRS Oberoi’s private collection, and are curated to lend a personal and engaging touch. A large picture window allows for the ingress of natural daylight, while offering magnificent views of Humayun’s Tomb or the Delhi Golf Course at different ends.
ART DECO SUITES
A design movement characterized by rich colours, bold geometry, and ornate detail work, Art Deco echoes glamour, opulence and order, with symmetrical designs in buoyant shapes. A befitting theme for the suites, the outcome of the process is an elegant and edgy design, although not as pronounced.
The spacious living area is adorned with rich leather panels, luxurious armchairs, a modish brass coffee table, and an oak writing desk with brass accents. Two large picture windows in the bedroom open out to a private balcony complete with seating. The custom-made furniture is crafted in brass, accentuated in luxe velvets. The chic lighting fixtures, cornices and embellishments, geometrical patterns and bright colours blend effortlessly with the rest of the space. The artwork in the suites, inspired by the opuses of artists such as George Barbier and Tamara De Lempicka of the Art Deco period, transports one back into the boldly glamourous age.
The outcome of the entire process is the artisanal quality achieved while ensuring that the suites complement the Lutyens-esque architecture of the rest of the hotel. Each suite embodies a blend of aesthetics and ergonomics with immense attention to detail. The studio’s underlying philosophy in an interior project, Balance, is truly personified in these timeless, congenial spaces. The Oberoi, New Delhi is testimony that an icon can become a classic, without losing sight of its glorious past.