The heritage-listed Royce Hotel, a five star boutique establishment on Melbourne’s St Kilda Road, has recently undergone a transformation, with the opulent redesign harking back to its past life with a subtle nod to Art Deco. The Royce Hotel takes its name – and its style – from the fact it was originally a Rolls Royce showroom (in the 1920s) that was recognised as the most glamorous in the world.
The famous Royce Hotel stands proud in the heart of Melbourne on St Kilda Road.
In 2000 the building was converted into a luxury hotel with SJB Interiors commissioned to design the interiors. Now, 15 years later, the same firm has just completed six prototype rooms that will form the footprint for the hotel’s ongoing refurbishment strategy. SJB Interior’s vision for this work took inspiration from the building’s history and then enhanced this with a luxurious Art Deco style.
The Presidential Suite is a stunning nod to the 1920s Art Deco era.
SJB developed a base palette of oyster and metallic tones layered with black detailing and royal blue accents. In addition, the subtle texture of knurled chrome detailing referenced the magnificent Rolls Royce vehicles that once called the building home.
Each luxurious bathroom features hand-made vanities to showcase the new Components tapware range by Kohler.
Sophistication, glamour and opulence are all key words for the ambience of the Royce and nowhere are these more evident than in the bathrooms of the guest suites and rooms.
The Presidential Suite bathroom features double-sized walk in shower with Katalyst showering, minimalist accessories, paired with the modern Evora wall hung toilet suite (Englefield by Kohler).
“It was imperative for the tapware, for example, to reflect the aspiration of the hotel,” said Andrew Parr, director interior design, SJB Interiors.
The stunning Components tapware set features the Tube spout and knurled handles – Oyl.
“Kohler’s Components provided the perfect balance between Classic and Modern Deco, while its choice of decorative elements meant the same range could run throughout the hotel in its various designs. The fittings are beautifully proportioned and the knurled detailing of the Oyl tap handles provides an elevated level of tactility and prestige,” he said.
The moodiness of this Signature Suite is reminiscent of the 1920s style featured throughout the hotel.
Signature Suite bathroom.
The new bathrooms feature spouts and handles from the highly innovative Kohler Components, a collection of interchangeable tapware elements – handle, spout and finish – that can be used to create a unique and bespoke look.
Other bathroom details of note are the marble wall tiles whose shell shape is taken from a motif found elsewhere in the original Royce building, while the chrome detailing on the marble vanity units is subtly redolent of Le Corbusier’s Grand Confort armchair, a classic design of 1928, the year the Rolls Royce showroom opened.
The shell motif marble tiles and deco inspired sconces set the scene for the modern bathroom fixtures including the Evora Wall Hung toilet suite and Katalyst air infused showerheads.
Kohler’s Katalyst showerheads deliver a highly indulgent, luxury showering experience courtesy of a clever water-saving technology whereby 2.2 litres of air is introduced into every 9.4 litres of water to create a deluge of larger, fuller water droplets.
The Kohler Katalyst air infused showerhead matched with Components Oyl top assembly handles.
In lock-step with the design brief of elegant, classic design are the Purist tapware fixtures including freestanding Purist bath filler. A piece of perfectly proportioned, classic design exuding clean, timeless lines Purist is the perfect fit with the marble and chrome finishes and textures of the 5 star Royce Hotel.
A true Melbourne view from the bathroom in the Presidential Suite including the Purist Freestanding Bath Filler.
Interiors: SJB Interiors – Andrew Parr and Léo Terrando
Project Management / Fitout: Chroma Group
Read more on this project by YellowTrace in our Kohler / SJB / YellowTrace co-lab.
Kohler Co, a global leader in kitchen and bath design and innovation, will soon be adding additional products to its global range – the Veil Collection. The Veil Collection carries a modern, minimalist vibe with elements of warmth threaded throughout. The word “modern” conjures images of crisp, cool lines, but the Veil Collection gives modern bathroom design a new twist by featuring gentle lines and sculpted asymmetrical shapes in addition to intelligent features.
New additions to the range
Three new products will join the existing Veil Collection which includes the Veil Intelligent Wall Hung toilet and the Veil Intelligent Wall Faced toilet suite. With its clean, refined design lines and concealed tank, the Veil intelligent toilets offer smart toilet functionality with minimal aesthetic interruption to the overall bathroom space. The intelligent toilets include features such as automatic opening/closing lid and flushing to minimise touch points, easing user’s concerns about spreading germs in the bathroom. The Veil Intelligent toilets use cutting-edge technology to provide comfort features including seamless, integrated bidet functionality, packaging these personal hygiene considerations in a design that is both unassuming and approachable.
Veil Freestanding Lithocast Bath
The Veil Lithocast Freestanding bath features flowing and balanced curves to elicit a sculpted simplicity. This freestanding bath provides a way to make a front-and-centre statement of design and style within the bathroom space. The ergonomically-designed bath offers comfort and relaxation, allowing the bather to fully immerse and indulge.
Veil Essential Basins
The Veil Collection Essential Basins boast the signature Supramic technology thin walls, offering an elegant and visually delicate aesthetic. Kohler’s exclusive Supramic technology delivers thin-wall edges without compromising performance of the ceramic material – in fact, this innovative material technology provides thinner edges with improved durability. In addition, the basins include Kohler’s Cleancoat™ technology which prevents bacteria, mildew and mineral deposits from sticking to the ceramic, so the basin stays cleaner longer.
Veil’s flowing and immaculately balanced curves evoke a sculpted simplicity in tune with contemporary style. Enhanced by a high-gloss finish, the basin’s sleek, organic shape is easy to clean, and keep clean.
The Veil Collection is one of Kohler’s global offerings, featured in showrooms and Kohler Experience Centres around the world.
Home renovations continue to grow at a greater rate than new home construction according to HIA, with a bathroom renovation identified as one area that can add the most value to a home.
Bathroom renovations add great value
With the average cost of a bathroom renovation coming in at round $17,522 and 34 – 54 year olds spending the most, brands like Kohler are keen to flag the latest trends and technological updates to would-be renovators.
Bathrooms have evolved – and blossomed – into temples of personal care. Gone are the sterile, clinical white spaces – today’s bathroom exudes plush comfort and zen-like calm. Colour and texture are key players – in the form of terrazzo or concrete floors, lush foliage and ‘precious metals’ tapware. Statement basins are also high profile inclusions.
Key to the look is a perception of space; natural materials (stone, timber, vegetation and floral design elements); and spa-like technology. Kohler has recently introduced the Dutchmaster collection of artisanal basins that encapsulates the starring role nature and florals can play in a new bathroom. Inspired by the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, the entire surface of each basin – round or rectangular – is adorned with big, bold, lush florals dramatically enhanced by a deeply dark, moody background.
These basins are the perfect partner for one of Kohler’s wall mount or bench mount mixer taps in a luscious selection of precious metal finishes – from polished and rose gold to vibrant brushed bronze, titanium and brushed nickel. The classically elegant design of the Purist mixer taps or the more contemporary, angular form of Composed are popular choices.
Clever inclusions to increase the perception of space are wall-mounted fixtures such as wall-hung toilets and floating vanities. The more floor space that can be seen, the bigger the perception of space. Kohler’s Veil Wall-Hung Intelligent toilet integrates a toilet and bidet in one and has stand-out features such as touchless flushing, one touch remote control functionality, hygienic rimless bowl and built-in UV self-cleansing bidet. The Grande Wall-Hung suite meanwhile, features super hygienic rim-free technology and an ultra-efficient flush system.
The Veil Wall Hung Intelligent Toilet
Wall-hung or floating vanities, in a sleek, understated design of sparkling vitreous china and hardwood detailing are a perfect fit for the modern bathroom. Kohler’s Terrace collection comes in a range of four sizes to fit virtually any bathroom dimensions.
The oak drawers of the Terrace basin + vanity combo.
The choice of shower is pivotal to achieving the spa-like indulgence we all crave – and Kohler has a number of options. The Exhale showerhead fulfils two aspects of the modern bathroom brief – its beautiful soft white silicone spray-face was inspired by the delicate petals of a dahlia while its Katalyst air-induction showering technology infuses water with air to create a powerful, luxurious deluge much like a rain shower. In fact, there are four spray experiences on offer – full coverage, drenching rain, pulsating massage and silk spray.
The Exhale Showerhead offers 4 different shower spray options to suit your mood.
For those preferring an overhead shower there are the RainCan showerheads in square and round configurations, again with Katalyst technology – or, for a clever dual option the Converge is a truly multifunction showerhead. This beauty combines a wall mount shower that has an integrated hand shower that detaches from the exterior rim by virtue of a magnetic docking station.
Kohler’s key message to would-be renovators is to do the research first – there are so many new, beautiful and technologically advanced products for the modern bathroom that will beautify the space, elevate the luxury of the bathing experience and create the perception of additional space. And there are choices to fit any budget.
Art has entered the bathroom in the most lush, dramatic way! Kohler has released its latest collection of Artist Editions basins – two models inspired by the Dutch Masters of the 17th century and aptly called the Dutchmaster Collection.
Big, bold, lush florals, dramatically enhanced by a deeply dark, moody background, adorn the entire surface of the basin’s interior. Fittingly named Blush Floral, the basin is available in either a round or rectangular vessel basin.
Blush Floral is a vivid mass of large scale peonies, dahlias, ranunculus and hydrangeas in lush colours of blush pink, ivory and darkest rose on an onyx background. And for delicate relief? A beautiful, Painted Lady butterfly poised on a single stem.
Kohler’s Dutchmaster collection was created in collaboration with “florography” artist Ashley Woodson Bailey who is renowned for her hauntingly beautiful floral photography.
The vessel basins have been designed to sit proud of the vanity and feature a subtle, defining lift at the edge of the bowl. They can be paired with wall mount or bench mount mixer taps – and due to their rich colouring will suit many of Kohler’s metal finishes, from polished and rose gold to vibrant brushed bronze, titanium and brushed nickel.
These beautiful, full bloom works of art are featured on two styles of basin – the Carillon rectangular Wading Pool and the Carillon Round Wading Pool.
Kohler products and technology take front and centre at prominent activation…
Towards the end of 2018, we shared a story on Kohler Co and Virginia Tech’s smart home winning the inaugural 2018 Solar Decathlon in Dubai, UAE.
More recently, Virginia Tech’s solar decathlon-winning FutureHAUS welcomed thousands of visitors for nearly a month in New York City’s renowned Times Square. Featuring innovative products and technologies from Kohler, the installation has just wrapped up, with recognition from visitors and companies who visited.
Kohler and Virginia Tech’s FutureHAUS features at Times Square, New York.
Attracting thousands of visitors to the “HAUS” in the prominent tourism hub, the FutureHAUS cultivated discussions and transformed mindsets through its thought-provoking ideas for the future of residential living and was also recognised as a finalist in the NYCxDesign Awards under the category – Architectural Installation/Pop-Up.
Visitors to Kohler & Virginia Tech’s FutureHAUS in Times Square
The FutureHAUS project originally won the 2018 Solar Decathlon held in Dubai, an international competition to build the best solar home. The teams had just two weeks – November 14 through 29 – to build prototype houses that ran exclusively on solar power in a public expo area next to the Mohammad Bin Rashid Solar Park. The goal of the competition was to achieve high performing prototypes of solar homes that could function in the extreme climate conditions of the Middle East and could be mass produced in similar communities throughout the world. Teams needed to think holistically about the cultural, climatic and social contexts of construction and to develop solutions that might help to create smart, sustainable housing in the future.
The interdisciplinary faculty-student team from Virginia Tech – the only team from the U.S. that participated in this year’s competition – worked on its house for the last two years, with assistance from Kohler as both a sponsor and consultant on the project. The company supplied design and technology support, as well as fixtures for the kitchen and bathroom in the modular, pre-fabricated home. Kohler also consulted on the 3D printed adjustable sinks, which use KOHLER Response® Technology, as well as DTV showering systems and smart features.
Click here to read more the story on winning the 2018 Solar Decathlon.
Earlier this month was the 10th anniversary of the Australian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE) – hosted and presented by HM Magazine at the Grand Hyatt, Melbourne – and Kohler Australia once again was a Silver Sponsor at the event.
With the largest attendance of delegates in its 10-year history, AHICE is now the #1 attended hotel industry conference in APAC. 850 delegates joined key figures from global Hotels and related industries spanning from developers to designers, builders and real estate to investors and financiers, in addition to keynote speakers and thought leaders from around the world.
Day One’s proceedings kicked off with a welcome by Howard Kemball (Host of AHICE & Director, KCom) and James Wilkinson (Editor-In-Chief, HM magazine) followed by an overview of local tourism by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp. Together they cheered 10 years of AHICE as a giant anniversary birthday cake was presented to the group for their enjoyment at the morning tea break!
With yet another world class speaker program comprising industry members and presenters from around the globe, the 10th AHICE conference looked sure to provide an informative and inspirational series of discussions and panels.
Kenneth MacPherson – CEO of EMEE, IHG got the main event underway in a Q&A session talking about IHG’s past twelve months – a very busy time for the company, launching two new brands (Avid and Voco) and acquiring two luxury brands in Regent and Six Senses.
This session was followed by a thought-provoking Executive Panel discussion on “What Owners Want”.
Panellists ranged from boutique hotel owners including Dr Jerry Schwartz (Schwartz Family Co – Australia’s biggest private hotel owner) and Malcolm Bean (Owner of luxury properties Mount Lofty House, Sequoia Lodge, The Reef House etc) to financiers Lucia Grambalova (GM Hotel Investments Mulpha AU Ltd) and David Scalzo (Perri Projects – investment and development group) and host Howard Kemball. A controversial discussion point from this panel saw Dr Jerry Schwarz jumping to his feet, waving signs to “Maintain Rates” – a message for hotel owners not to cut room rates, creating a price war – rather than guests selecting on hotel and brand experience.
Executive panels explored the “Boutique Blooming” and the Development of Luxury Brands” with IHG, Accor, Marriott and Hyatt VPs and Directors sharing key points around boutique hotels being on the rise as they believe that smaller properties offer more flexibility in design and services for the owner and developer and we should see an influx of boutique openings in the next 2 – 3 years.
Hotelier Q&As for the day included Simon McGrath from Accor Hotels who enlightened delegates on their signing of the new $100 million world class beachfront resort in Byron Bay; Paul Bromley from Choice Hotels APAC explaining how Choice Hotels Asia-Pac has rolled out the ‘Book on Google’ feature across its Australian hotel network allowing travellers to search and pay for their preferred hotel through the Google platform rather than a third-party website.; Dino Messatesta from The Star in Sydney who spoke about their hotel rebrand to The Star Grand Hotel including a $100million renovation and refurbishment underway and…
Heidi Kunkel from the Hilton Australasia who shared on the Hilton’s 100 year celebration as well as the overall performance of the ever-growing portfolio of Hilton Hotels & Resorts in Australia, NZ and the South Pacific.
Investor Q&As included Pro-Invest’s CEO Ron Barrett talking about their recent deal with IHG for a 245 room Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Adelaide, while private investor Dr Jerry Schwartz talked about his recent purchase of the Hilton Surfers Paradise, cementing his place on the hotel and tourism industry map now with management rights to 5 groups and 14 hotels in his ever-increasing portfolio.
Keynote speaker for the day, in association with Fairmont Designs, was Gus Balbontin. As the former Executive Director and CTO of Lonely Planet, Gus led one of the most loved brands in the world through significant disruption. An investor, entrepreneur, founder and explorer, having spent decades helping businesses adjust strategies, products, services and culture to better deal with rapid and regular changing markets, Gus demonstrated with a great deal of energy and enthusiasm about the “Importance of defining your own path” in what is a crowded market.
A fun, interactive hotel industry challenge game ensured the delegates were competitive and still on their game before the afternoon session dived deep into a Global Hotel Sales Outlook, followed by panels on the Australasian Real Estate Outlook and 2020 and beyond Australian Hotel Industry Outlook.
Changing pace, STR APAC presented on Tourism by the Numbers – an insightful session looking at hotel performance and occupancy rates and hotel ownership. It was reported that Australia is still going strong for hotel investment sitting closely below South Korea for the Asia Pacific region. With approx. 25% of hotel investors coming from Asia, this shows an increase in local developers getting into the hotel sector.
The World Travel and Tourism Council’s President Gloria Guevara Manzo talked about Australia as a drawcard and the forecasted growth in tourism in the APAC region, resulting in a pull of more hotels through the pipeline.
With the theme of 2019 being ‘People, Product and Performance in a period of Unprecedented Growth,’ an executive panel featuring Heidi Kunkel (Hilton), Suzi Finkelstein (WLA), Leanne Harwood (IHG), Sean Hunt (Marriott International) and Simon McGrath from Accor, discussed “Human Resources, Why Diversity Matters” – Kohler being an equal employer and a company that has an extensive Female presence in Senior Management, it was interesting to listen to Marriott Group’s Sean Hunt express the same values in their business and plans they have implemented to encourage female’s into the higher ranking management positions available at Marriott Group globally.
The winner of the inaugural award honouring of former Pro-Invest Director Paul Davis – the Paul Davis Hotel Design Award, in association with Pro-Invest Group – was announced. Terence Yong of Terence Yong Architecture won the award for the Little Albion Guesthouse – however he was not able to join us at the conference.
The industry-based award recognises and celebrates excellence in Australian hotel design, valuing the vital contribution made by interior design to the Australian hotel industry.
Pictured is runner up, Rick Whalley from Chada, pictured with Paul Davis’s family and judging chair, Leone Lorrimer. Paul tragically passed away last year after a lifetime dedicated to architecture and the hotel industry.
Over the course of the conference, delegates experienced thought-provoking updates and presentations from key hotel CEO’s including IHG’s Keith Barr, Marriott’s Craig Smith, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Joon Aun Ooi and Ovolo Hotels Girish Jhunjhunuwala (winner of the APAC Hotel of the year at the HM Awards late 2018) spoke on panels – and independently – to update delegates on their brands current activity and expansion plans, with a number of hotels in the pipeline for Australia in the near future.
A Food and Beverage related panel discussion revolved around the current and inherent food and beverage issues and trends including re-energising Australia’s nightlife and the impact on the hotel industry; while the event hospitality and entertainment topic explored the need for hotels to consider themselves a go-to destination for locals and guests alike, In conclusion Emirates Airlines Joost Heymeijer weighed in on the secrets to F&B success that he has learned, from luxury lodges to inflight dining with a fascinating presentation.
The end of day two finished up with presentation of prizes with one lucky winner taking home a Kohler Purist Accessories prize – perfect timing for his home renovation!
Exhibitors ranged from software companies, exercise machines, food and beverage through to paint – yes the Dulux Dog was even there!
The Kohler display featured some of our latest hotel-related products including the new Components tapware with matching accessories and rimless Reach II toilet – due for release later this year – Milano Lithocast bath, Kathryn rectangular undermount basin, and Hydrorail Showering Systems featuring Katalyst RainCan showerhead and Renew handshower.
And our very own Sales Manager David Wu appeared on AHICE TV!