SpaceInvader designs interior scheme for new Tribe Hotel in Malta
Tribe, a new and rapidly growing hotel brand from Accor with three properties from Paris to Perth, has more than 38 hotels in the pipeline. Geared towards a youthful, contemporary traveller, the brand is making significant inroads into the design-led affordable luxury sector. When the owners of the Skypark development in Malta invited bids for one of the sites to become a hotel, it was a clear match, and Tribe together with a regional Maltese consortium won the bid. Malta-based architects AP Valletta have now designed the building envelope, with designers SpaceInvader creating the hotel’s interior concept, having been appointed to the project after already having worked with the Tribe brand on UK hotel concepts for Liverpool and Glasgow.
The brief for the interiors was to create a vibrant and sociable atmosphere for guests, visible from the second they enter the hotel. The area of Malta the hotel is located in is young, cool and already known for its F&B offerings – including a lively evening cocktail culture – meaning the hotel has an additional role to play in responding to and staying in keeping with the existing local vibe. In response to this and the building’s architectural concept, with plays on light and dark and the concept of day-to-night transformation, SpaceInvader’s design concept is fun, glamourous and dramatic . The overall concept was inspired by the idea of a Zoetrope.
Zoetrope…? Read on and all will be explained!
“The Zoetrope was an early form of animation technology offering fast-moving contrasts from black to white or light to dark,” explained John Williams, Founder of SpaceInvader. “It most often took the form of a cylinder with vertical slits cut into the sides. We have expanded on the concept to design an interior that captures constant movement in a fixed space, reflecting the nature and situation of the hotel as a robust and monolithic building made of local stone, but surrounded at all times by the fast-paced movement of the airport and a sense of travel, transformation and possibility. The Zoetrope additionally references the spirit of theatre and performance, as theatre has traditionally been such a major part of Maltese cultural life.”
The concept’s applications will find form in myriad ways, from art installations by local artists to interiors elements such as panels that allow slivers of light and movement to be glimpsed through the gaps. The concept will also be expressed in the lighting scheme, which includes a bespoke, supersized bar pendant with moving images projected onto its interior surface. Corridor lighting meanwhile will play with dramatic light-and-dark illusions, making a perfect backdrop for guests to record on Instagram. Effects throughout the hotel will ensure a strong sense of day-to-night transition and a variety of atmospheres making use of colour, art and video projection, which can be customised as required to reflect local events, exhibitions and seasonal festivities.
A key ‘affordable luxury’ element will be the use of local materials, from the hotel’s construction to the inclusion of ceramics. Maltese glassware and ceramics will create decorative, eye-catching moments, nodding to a key Maltese craft and marrying Maltese culture with Tribe’s high-style commitment to contemporary artwork, photography and installations. The material palette for the interior will make use of contrasting colours, bold prints and tactile textures, sitting proudly on a balanced neutral base of Maltese limestone. Surfaces of Maltese terrazzo and hammered gold will refer to Maltese crafts and architecture, whilst marble and brass finishes add notes of an affordable luxury aesthetic with added Zoetrope lines ensuring fun graphical concept features. Furniture will include bold monolithic forms to chime with Maltese architecture, together with the fun element synonymous with the Tribe brand.
Dark corridor spaces with floor and ceiling spotlighting cast light and shadow paths, creating a transient lighting effect inspired by the overall design concept. The hotel’s standard bedrooms will feature bold colour blocking with layered textures and forms for depth and interest. Contrasting black and white patterns within the upholstery and lighting will once again reflect the movement of the Zoetrope, with feature lamps inspired by the film and photography industry. Bathrooms will offer 3D linear feature tile offset with luxury marble vanity, along with block colour tiles. Brass sanitaryware and detailing ensures an elegant luxurious bathroom that reflects Tribe’s bold and vibrant brand.
The hotel’s executive bedrooms will feature a palette of muted tones, taking influence from the colours of Malta’s Luzzu boats and surrounding Mediterranean hues. Softness and warmth will be added through the use of timber flooring together with warm lighting and luxury detailing. The executive bathrooms feature stunning vanity units in a bold and unique blue marble, together with gold tones, reflecting the Mediterranean Sea, set against Malta’s limestone architecture.
Tribe Hotels is Accors answer to the affordable luxury niche of contemporary design-driven accommodation. The brand focuses on an edited guest experience having identified that luxury under this umbrella, is all about efficiency flexibility and design, rather than the contents of your minibar. The brand is about simplicity accessibility and social connectivity, it is about getting the style and budget balance right, along with an understanding of what a functional, contemporary hotel should be. The Tribe pipeline is testimony to a trend that is clearly here to stay, and the Spaceinvaders design concept for Tribe Malta encapsulates this design ethos as it prepares to drive the brand forward.
Main image credit: SpaceInvader