Hotel Byblos Saint-Tropez was recently promoted to ‘Palace’ status, one of the few French properties to claim this much coveted award. To qualify for the Palace distinction, hotels must have more spacious rooms than 5 star properties, better facilities and higher standards of service.
The Palace distinction highlights the influence of France around the world and reinforces the position of the luxury French hotel as an exceptional hotel on the international scene.
Since 1967, Hotel Byblos, the jewel of Groupe Floirat, has been a legendary icon of the Cote d’Azur for 45 years.
The luxury French hotel resembles a Provencal village composed of small buildings placed side by side. A roof made of curved tiles lined with ‘Génoises’; wrought iron balconies; fountains; small cobblestone squares; a hundred-year-old olive tree; palm trees; bougainvillea and jasmine — a total of over 400 plant species; an expansive patio; a large swimming pool, a waterfront bar; two restaurants, a Sisley Spa and the ultra-chic Les Caves du Roy nightclub.
The 91 room hotel including 50 suites which were fully renovated in 2011 are an icon of the Cote D’Azur, the luxury French hotel is the place to stay in Saint-Tropez.
The trendy hotel even boasts its own exclusive iPad and iPhone app offering a concierge service and much much more. And from September 29 until October 7, the Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez – international sailing competition brings a real buzz to the hotel.
Set in the heart of Saint-Tropez the glamorous Byblos is the flagship hotel of the family owned Groupe Floirat, whose portfolio also includes the Black Legend nightclub in Monaco, La Réserve, St Jean de Luz and Les Manoirs de Tourgéville in Deauville.
According to the architects: “This unique site resulted from the demolition of an existing house. The site was divided by the existing driveway, which rose steeply from the end of the cul-de-sac below. The new building’s form, perched as it is in a commanding position, was perceived from the outset to be a pavilion overlooking the lawns and the forested valley below.
“The clients’ brief had a few specific requirements; orientation towards the Constantia Valley and distant False Bay, and the dramatic views up the mountains above Kirstenbosch were essential, as was the emphasis on developing the site to maximise the garden and lawn area. Following the brief the driveway was relocated to the southern boundary of the site to allow this and open up the lawns and the gardens towards the sun and mountain views. There are panoramic vistas towards the south and west from the bedrooms and living rooms; while the pool and terraces are located on the north-east side, in a courtyard protected from the Southeaster gales by the intersecting linear forms of the contemporary South African house.
“The triangular shape of the site, and its elevation above the street and steep incline, required extensive excavation and retaining, in order to provide a driveway of acceptable gradient, and extensive building platform on one level, and garden terraces all round.
“The double-winged roof, floating above the bedroom wing, and virtually glass box-enclosed living rooms, are the main architectural features of this contemporary South African property. These are complemented by secondary architectural elements such as the cantilevered end of the main entrance feature wall, the floating stone-clad fireplace, continuous perimeter cantilever terraces to the bedrooms and the wrap-around cantilever eyebrow.
“Finishes include: polished granite floors, no carpets, no curtains and the floating feature roof with clerestory lighting. The clients’ preference was towards a slick modernist environment with a definitive northern European flair. The imported light grey granite floor slabs set the tone for a colour palette of cool greys rather than natural browns, a refreshing change from prevailing trends.”
gal-based architect Paula Santos has created a stunning minimalist home. The property can be found in Ovar, Portugal.
According to the architect: The contemporary Portuguese property is an exercise where we were stretched to the limit a number of ideas and concepts of other projects, which had never been put in place. It is also – and above all – a project, which allows for thinking with other people about their own way of inhabiting a dwelling.
“The large-scale project, covering 680m2, to be located on not very stable sandy soil allowed us to ponder the house as an object which develops in a continuum. The need to design the main area of the contemporary Portuguese house as a ground floor meant that the difference between spaces was implemented by means of variable heights in geometric forms: in respect of their importance and meaning, the most expressive areas such as the swimming pool and the painter’s studio or the body of the entrance from the street acquire more expressive and more elevated forms.
“The idea for the object in concrete, a traditionally sculptable material, appears implicit in this concept, designing the elevations with level and sloping surfaces up to the coverage. The length of the corridor is used to distribute the desired functions and large areas, further creating clipping plan, which allow for a relation with landscape, with the various wooded areas to be constructed suggesting outdoor leisure.”
USA-based design studio William McDonough + Partners have teamed up with Amsterdam-based designers D/DOCK to redesign a new office space for Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte (B/S/H). The ultra-modern office space can be found in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands.
According to the architects: “The choice was made for a new building in Park 20l20, a new Cradle to Cradle-inspired office park in Hoofddorp. Its openness made it possible to create the desired inviting and open environment. Also its high level of sustainability fitted perfectly with the vision of B/S/H/ on that issue (the company gives this high priority). William McDonough + Partners designed this flexible, innovative workplace, including many sustainable features, such as a full-height, four-story atrium with an indoor/outdoor Living Green Wall and Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) roof that maximises energy and day lighting of the contemporary Dutch building.
“D/DOCK developed a tailor-made interior for the ultimate experience of the B/S/H/ brand and as a unique work environment. The result is a welcoming place that radiates a sense of calm, open for everyone, everywhere and at any time. Optimal lighting, tactile materials, soft colors and flexible design elements throughout maximise the experience and well-being of the people and emphasise the open structure and the vision of B/S/H/ as a company. Every time the perfect balance was sought between combining the five brands on one hand, and keeping their own brand identity on the other: give clarity to the total, with attention for the individual.
“The result is a very flexible facility, easy to adapt to any brand or function. A good example of this is the cooking school. In a very short time the appliances of one brand can be changed to that of another, so all brands can use the space at any time. The same goes for the auditorium, and even the bar and restaurant, where personnel, visitors and retailers are welcome to sit and relax or have (informal) meetings.
“The central core (the atrium), on the first two floors, houses the Experience Centre – named ‘Inspiratiehuis 20l20’. Here each of the brands has their own publicly accessible showroom, where they make their products come alive.
“D/DOCK worked in close cooperation with B/S/H/ to design the contemporary Netherlands office spaces on the two top floors, according to the innovative ‘new way of working’ principle. The space is composed of zones, alternative workplaces and a flexible use of furniture, and each floor features a ‘hub’. This is a central space where all the community functions are clustered, as well as the management.
“A big part of the interior, including all refurbishments like the Shaw carpet, is supplied under the Fornature terms. These terms guarantee that all interior products will return to the supplier after the end of use, to stimulate reuse and to ensure a second-life for all interior elements. By choosing Fornature, B/S/H participates in creating a cyclical system of material reuse and recycling and ultimately means less raw material use and an enormous waste reduction.”