The winning team of last November’s Sleep ReardonSmith Student Award has completed a concept for the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill. The students, from Hoshshule Coburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany, triumphed over 25 other teams in the design of imaginary staff areas in a competition created jointly by ReardonSmith and Sleep with the input of Katrin Hofmann, Hyatt‘s human resources director.
The students were tasked with creating three initial concepts for Hyatt’s consideration, and it was The Engine which won the operator’s strongest approval. This harnesses industrial imagery, in particular the wheel, in combination with brightly-toned and comfortable furnishings within a carefully zoned space.
The redesigned restaurant includes a lounge area, seating booths and a wall on which staff can leave messages. The main dining area features high and low seating for up to 50 people. The centrepiece coffee table in the lounge is made from a traditional cogwheel, while steel tubes are reinvented as a latticed partition.
Brickwork to the walls is exposed and whitewashed, and sofas and benches are upholstered in brown leather and are decorated with brightly-coloured scatter cushions. The Engine is both a place to socialise and quietly relax, and clearly makes the point to employees that they are the engine room of the hotel.
“It has been very exciting to work with Hyatt management on this project,” says Patrick Reardon, executive chairman of ReardonSmith Architects. “They absolutely share with us the view that good facilities for employees mean better motivated staff, and this translates into the most important element of a hotel’s success – people and service.
“The students have been a joy to work with – their concept for the new restaurant is a great response to Hyatt’s aspirations, and I think it has been a very engaging experience for them.”
Kali Nicholson, brand director of Sleep, adds: “I am delighted that we decided to reinstate a student award last year. It resulted in some really innovative thought-provoking entries and I’m looking forward to this year’s challenge. Students are an important part of our community, and we are keen to engage them in the very exciting world of hotel design.”