We were commissioned by Far East Consortium to design and fabricate a bespoke concierge desk to greet visitors and guests to the new The Ritz Carlton hotel at Elizabeth Quay.
Guests and visitors to the hotel arrive in a lobby lined with Kimberley sandstone, its rich colours and dramatic scale evoking a sense of the Karijini gorges. After exploring many design options inspired by this incredible space, Gabrielle and Greg Sherwood settled on an organic form to be fabricated from hundreds of pieces of century-old jarrah, another material unique to this state and valued for its rich tones and durability in furniture-making. The pieces were intricately laminated together in a process developed and refined, resulting in a form and texture that is undeniably reminiscent of the caverns and boulders of the Kimberley gorges and a dialogue between timber and stone that sets the tone for the whole hotel experience. What could have been a desk in the corner, has become an interactive element in a space that celebrates the unique and diverse beauty of Western Australia.Drawings and models were produced to refine the form and scale of the piece.
This process allowed Gabrielle and Greg to explore how staff and guests would interact with it, how curves and openings could embrace the body and allow for people to meet and converse comfortably while at the same time ensuring that the functional essentials such as power, cabling and technology were subtly and seamlessly integrated into the piece. Form and function were considered as one and this extended to ensuring that the fabrication process accounted for how the piece would wear over time and respond to changes in temperature and humidity due to its location which could result in cracking or warping.