A well-designed hospitality space needs to balance multiple variables simultaneously, no easy feat given the high demands placed upon the space by both staff and guests. Studio Gascoigne has been solving such problems for 31 years: having won over 170 awards for architecture, retail design, hospitality, and interiors in New Zealand and Australia, it’s safe to say they know their stuff when it comes to good design.

“Designing hotels is quite a challenging process, in that we’re primarily targeting our design towards the hotel guest, rather than its owner,” explained Studio Gascoigne’s founder and principal designer Mark Gascoigne.

In order to create a design which will attract and welcome customers, Mark and his team need to know who those customers are, and the particular pitch or story the hotel is trying to convey. “Guest rooms need to move on from the boring and generic ‘box’ model and develop much more personality, and incorporate a strong local flavour.”

Studio Gascoigne recently completed a project at the Auckland International Airport terminal involving multiple hospitality and retail clients, as well as some of the terminal’s public spaces.

The company has numerous hotel renovations to its name, including the Hotel DeBrett in downtown Auckland, and Gascoigne is passionate about optimising the guest experience not just in the room, but elsewhere in the hotel.

“Although there is some great work happening in hotels I still see many refurbishments which simply upgrade ‘old bland’ for ‘new bland’, and still don’t provide guests with the essential comfort, privacy, and connectivity they really want,” said Gascoigne.

“I personally see much more potential for hotels to include public spaces which are more than just waiting areas, but active spaces where guests can meet or entertain their friends or business clients. I think hotels really need to get up to speed with this, because they’re losing so much business to other hospitality operators.”

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