Senior Designer, Diana Espejo at GA Group has told us about a space that inspired her recently in line with our ‘International’ theme this month.
GA Design is a leading International Interior and Architectural Design practice specialising in hospitality, and has worked with a wide variety of global hotel operators. As well as their London studio they also have ateliers in Budapest, Kuala Lumpur and Shanghai. Diana has worked in design practices all around the world but started with GA in London 4 years ago. Working in different countries has helped her create unique spaces inspired by different cultures and gives her a sensitivity to every client’s needs.
Diana, tell us about an environment that has motivated your creativity recently and why?
Earlier this year I had the opportunity to travel to South Africa and the trip was definitively one of the most inspiring experiences I’ve had recently.
Nestled in the mountains, hidden away in the wine lands is Delaire Graff Estate. The project designed by David Collins Studio, opened in 2010, and it encompasses a wine estate, luxury lodges, a spa and two restaurants. It’s located close to Stellenbosch, which is about an hour drive away from Cape Town.As I arrived, I was instantly blown away by the breath taking landscape and the views. The winelands and the mountains backdrop from the Stellenbosch Valley, together with the landscape design and the exquisite garden sculptures, truly enticed me to the main building.
The architecture, although contemporary in part, seems to be inspired by the Western Cape’s traditional ‘Cape Dutch’ style. There are local materials utilised through-out, in combination with an interior neutral palette with accent colours and contrasts that seem to take inspiration from the tones of the valley. This is in my opinion a true appreciation of the region’s incredible assets.The fine art collection was another highlight of this experience. The whole main building feels like a gallery where guests can enjoy the owner’s unique selection of carefully curated art pieces, among them works from Vladimir Tretchikoff, Fred Schimmel, Dylan Lewis and Anton Smit.The most interesting part about Delaire Graff is the unique blend of architecture, nature and interior design, which created a fascinating and relaxing stay, something all hotel designers aspire to.