Artful Infusion

The new Kempinski Beirut resort pays homage to local art and culture while defining the future of luxury in the Mediterranean.

03/30/2017 By Robert Nieminen

water wall Intricate arabesque motifs Kempinski Beirut resort Kempinski Beirut resort Kempinski Beirut resort Kempinski Beirut resort Kempinski Beirut resort Kempinski Beirut resort

interiors+sources recently caught up with T’Kint to find out more about this new resort and what role art and culture played in its thoughtful design.

interiors+sources: How did the project team interpret and integrate Lebanese culture throughout the interiors?  
David T’Kint: We looked at many aspects of the Lebanese culture and worked on finding ways to express these in a way which is unexpected, not obvious, and not found in other properties. There are many examples of this work throughout the hotel, one of them being the cedar tree—the national symbol of Lebanon—which is also in the center of the country’s flag. The forest is interpreted through a wooden feature wall of gray tones and random widths. The bark is also used as an accent in some pieces of furniture. The seed is the inspiration for custom-designed handles as well as the signage.

i+s: How did the artwork contribute to the project’s success?
DT: Artwork is a key component of the interiors and is an integral part of the layering and detailing. There would be no soul without a curated artwork collection which tells the same story as the interiors narrative, albeit in a less “designed” approach.

i+s: How many pieces were commissioned in total?
DT: Not that many, as we worked mainly on sourcing existing original pieces from artists. A big commission was the work done by Baal Creations. [Editor’s note: HBA worked with Gilbert Debs from Baal Creations for all of the figures installed throughout the lobby and all guest room corridors, which reinterpret the Lebanese diaspora.]

i+s: How do these pieces of art fit into the broader design narrative of the hotel?
DT: All the pieces from this curated collection are by artists living in Lebanon or Lebanese artists living abroad, in line with the design narrative to pay homage to the country’s culture and heritage. Some of them are directly related to some specific elements of the interiors; however, some of them are not at all related as we believe art should remain less controlled than design.

Photography by Will Pryce

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