Founder of boutique interior design firm FBEYE, Warren Foster-Brown, shows us the company’s latest globe-spanning hotel projects and the hospitality trends to watch for.
25 March, 2011
The name raises eyebrows and is hard to forget, which is exactly what Warren Foster-Brown was aiming for when he decided to call his interior design firm FBEYE – ’FB’ for his last name and ’EYE’ to mean ’design through his eyes’.
Originally from the UK, Warren was living in Hong Kong when he was headhunted to work with Wilson & Associates in Singapore in 2000. After a few years and having always wanted to head his own company, Warren set out on his own to establish FBEYE here in 2005.
Club Lounge, Intercontinental Hotel, Singapore
Today the boutique Singapore-based studio has a large footprint and a diverse international clientele that includes hospitality bigwigs such as Starwood, Intercontinental, Four Seasons and Shangri-La hotels and resorts
In Singapore, FBEYE is currently focused on several key projects, including the new Westin Hotel, set to open in mid 2014.
Saint Pierre, Singapore
“This project is very exciting as it is the newest 5 star hotel to be built in Singapore,” says Warren.
Harbour Suite, Pan Pacific Hotel, Singapore
Diamond Hotel, Manila, Philippines
“Also, after successful completion of the club lounge at the Intercontinental Hotel, Singapore, we are currently refurbishing the Chinese restaurant, guestrooms and suites.”
Intercontinental Hotel’s club lounge is a project close to Warren’s heart. “Infusing Chinese, Malay, Indian, Dutch and British colonial styles, Peranakan design is distinctive and unique to Singapore,” shares Warren.
“We have created a fresh contemporary setting mixed with elements of Peranakan history, tying in modern hotel conveniences that today’s guests expect, whilst retaining the elements of style and sophistication.”
Presidential Suite, Pan Pacific Hotel, Singapore
Most of FBEYE’s other current projects are in India, with Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Intercontinental Hotels Group, among others.
It is also working on significant hotel projects in Korea, the Maldives and the Philippines, and has just completed the renovation of the guestrooms and suites at Westin Resort, Nusa Dua Bali, Indonesia.
“Our philosophy is simple – we design for the client and the market approaching each project with a fresh perspective,” says Warren.
Westin Resort, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia
FBEYE begins each project with extensive research into – among other things – the area’s historical, geographical, cultural and artistic influences, natural resources, and local building materials and construction capabilities, which then become sources of design inspiration.
Sheraton Sanya, China
On the fundamentals for hospitality design, Warren says: “Spaces are as unique as people and change being the only constant, designers must interpret and embrace the social and cultural changes and reflect them in their work and execution. Aesthetics meets functionality being the underlying principle, the design must draw inspiration from the society and focus on the lifestyle of the target market.”
Warren sees growing opportunities for the hospitality industry in Singapore and the region. “Rapid increase in tourism and the addition of two casinos and world class celebrity chef restaurants is paving the way for new hotels here in Singapore.”
“Aside from Singapore, hotel developments in China and India are very encouraging.”
On the outlook for hotel design, Warren says: “Guests today are savvier in their hotel selection, and are looking for an ’experience’.”
He points to the creation of different spatial zones for different functions and elements like communal engaging spaces where guests can create their own experiences – with flexibility and multifunctional design being driving forces.
Another important trend he sees is the incorporation of technology into hotel suites.
“While upgrades to the interior finishes have been prominent in guestroom renovations, there is a new focus on technologically advanced features,” says Warren.
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