Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sofitel So Bangkok Celebrates the First Anniversary

Sofitel So Bangkok - Hotel Rendering Horizontal

Sofitel So Bangkok celebrates the first anniversary with successful completion of original design elements by Monsieur Christian Lacroix.

On February 28, 2013, Sofitel So Bangkok turned 1 year old. Equally marking Sofitel So Bangkok's first year is the addition of the final art piece by the hotel's Signature Designer Monsieur Christian Lacroix.

From murals and mobiles to uniforms and emblems, Sofitel So Bangkok has successfully completed the installation of renowned French couturier Monsieur Christian Lacroix's key design elements.

The recent unveiling of his bold mobile in the hotel's Street Lobby is the last of his masterpieces located throughout the hotel. The art piece reflects the unique identity of Sofitel So Bangkok, the city's first truly urban design hotel and Monsieur Christian Lacroix's inimitable imagination, stylish and so full of fun, fantasy and flair.

In 2011, during the early stages of the hotel's construction, Monsieur Christian Lacroix was invited to Thailand to be Sofitel So Bangkok's Signature Designer, incorporating his inspiration and design flair all across this unique hotel. A perfect fit to the design boutique hotel, his credentials and creations ranging from haute couture to lifestyle products have long amazed and delighted the fashion world.

At Sofitel So Bangkok, Monsieur Christian Lacroix has combined his personal take on French elegance, theatrical flair, fantasy and folklore with the symbolism of the traditional Five Elements of oriental philosophy - Water, Earth, Wood, Metal, and Fire – that have inspired the hotel's overall design concept, along with touches of Thai influence.

Centrepiece of it all is the TREE OF LIFE, the hotel's emblem that encapsulates all of the Five Elements, creating a harmonious balance, enriched by the spirit of time and of the seasons. Overflowing with a rainbow of colour, this "Neo Arbre de Vie" is an Asian inspired reinterpretation of an ancient symbol of nature found in the West and East and perfectly epitomizes the essence of Sofitel So Bangkok, rooted in its locale, growing upward and outward.

Monsieur Christian Lacroix, in conjunction with local designer Pongthep Sagulku of August Design, further extends his creative genius to the design of Club Signature, the hotel's stylish executive lounge on the 25th floor. Here, a vibrant ambience is created through a unique wallpaper with an eclectic interplay of images and motifs of old Siam and 19th-century France filled with imaginative patterns, rich textures and bright colours that combine to offer a discovery experience. Most eye-catching of all is a huge fanciful mural that greets guests as they enter and in which stylised figures of women shoppers with chic accessories are posed against a swirling colourful backdrop that is a fun celebration of high fashion.

Perhaps what most immediately brighten guests' experience at Sofitel So Bangkok are the staff uniforms which Monsieur Christian Lacroix has created. A stylish collection of 15 different designs, each staff member has three different uniforms that he or she can choose from to wear on any particular day, adding variety and colour to the hotel's already stylish decor.

In terms of design, Monsieur Christian Lacroix has blended French and Thai styles with his elaborate signature patchwork. For example, one style of a female front line uniform mixes a red shoulder sash reminiscent of classical Thai dress worn with a long-sleeve blouse and skirt. Alternatively, there is a tailored blouse complemented by a full, flowing knee-length skirt. Similarly, male front line staff has the choice of classical Thai jacket and baggy knee-length pantaloons or a modern version of a high-collar Thai jacket with Western trousers. Manager uniforms are again bold and imaginative in design while still conveying an executive look.

Masterfully cut and tailored, the uniforms' patterns and colours reflect Monsieur Christian Lacroix at his boldest and most imaginative. His palette ranges from ruby red to the subtlest of pastel shades, while patterns draw on both nature, with bird and floral designs, and on colourful and elaborate quilt patterns, all of which represents the Five Elements.

Most recently, the hotel completed the installation of Monsieur Christian Lacroix's final touch - a bold art piece hanging from the ceiling of the hotel’s Street Lobby. In what is his own theatrical reinvention of a traditional mobile, his design comprises a collection of separately hanging wooden pieces fashioned variously as stylized animals, both real and imaginary – a turtle and a lion, for example, along with a dragon and a phoenix. All are colourful and richly decorated with floral and quilt patterns, while a symbolic dimension adds depth to the creation as forms and colours are used to subtly represent the Five Elements. At the same time, a fun and playful element adds an inescapable sense of joie de vivre.

As the Street Lobby has two entrances, from North Sathorn and Rama IV roads, Monsieur Christian Lacroix, whose work adorns the Sathorn side, collaborated with well-known local designer Rujiraporn Pia Wanglee, of PIA Interior Co. Ltd., to create a connecting mobile of three-dimensional teakwood latticework at the Rama IV Road lobby entrance. The result is a perfect blend of two cultures, the best of two worlds, French and Thai.

With the unveiling of this final artwork, every corner of Sofitel So Bangkok captures the imagination of its guests as they experience a hotel that’s a masterwork of collaborative interior and fashion design.

While Sofitel So Bangkok is proud of its design-driven facilities, even more satisfying has been the international recognition it has received in just its first year. Highlights among the several accolades garnered in the last 12 months are "Best Business Hotel 2012" by Wallpaper UK, "Best of the Best 2012" by Robb Report, "Best New Spa 2012" by Thai Spa Association, and "One of the best new places to stay" in the Luxe List by DestinAsian magazine.

After such a successful first year, both local and international guests at Sofitel So Bangkok can well look forward to much more to enjoy at what is now well recognized as the city's first truly urban design hotel meeting today's demands.

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