Boutique Design - May 2018 - 38
5 A mirror backed
with sound-absorbing material, a
fold-out table and
ample drawer storage enhance the
staterooms' functionality without
Old World-meetsmodern elegance
of the design.
6 Distinct relaxing and dining
zones introduce a
feel to the spacious
boutiquedesign.com may 2018
color base of the public areas and enrich that timeless palette with deep jewel
tones which complement the surrounding vistas.
While the look and quality level may be on par with any land-lubbing luxury
hotel, the design process of making luxe work within maritime regulations
requires special skills. Rushbrook points out that, typically, bath fixtures are
wall mounted to save floor space. Tap controls are located beside the sink
allowing for a narrow, under-lit vanity. Also, ultra-thin tiles built up with honeycomb backing assist in reducing the ship's weight.
Both Menchions and Rushbrook stress the importance of attention to
detail. "Sound attenuation material was added to every other wall, and upholstered headboards and mirrors whose backs were treated with noise absorption finishes, were placed opposite those walls," they say. "Yes, marine projects
are complex, but with the right combination of creativity and technology,
designers can deliver the same sumptuous, home-away-from-home environment as any other hotel or resort."
How does a designer immerse travelers in a locale when the "neighborhood"-
and maybe even the country-change daily? That was the challenge for II BY IV
DESIGN's team when the U.S.-based luxury cruise line, Crystal Cruises,
approached the firm to design its first two purpose-built 6-star river cruisers.
"We'd worked with the company on renovations for three other Crystal ships,
so we knew the experiences they wanted, their market and their process," says
Menchions. "It was exciting to be involved with two ships-Crystal Bach and
Crystal Mahler-that were completely new construction."
According to Rushbrook, developing a sense of place began with identifying
the common denominators found in the constantly shifting views. "The colors
and patterns that make up the striking seasonal panoramas along the Rhine
River from Amsterdam to Frankfurt (the ships' itinerary) gave us our theme," he
says. "But, because river cruising is a very boutique experience in that it puts
passengers close to both the natural and built environments along the banks, it
was also important for the interiors to reference the historic villages and
castles as well as the architecture shaping cities today."
Armed with a brief to carry through a "6-star" environment from the reception
to the staterooms, the design team set a sophisticated mood in the reception area
by using the FF&E to complement rather than compete with the architectural
features. "With all of the open views of the water, we thought it was a natural
choice to incorporate reflective and refractive elements such as strategic metallic
accents and shimmers of directional lighting," says Rushbrook. "Taking a cue from
the rhythm of the river, we also introduced curved details-from the plush
surround of a club chair and circular ceiling treatments in the public areas to round
dressing table mirrors and oval vessel sinks in the staterooms," says Menchions.
The first of the new vessels to be completed, Crystal Bach, holds 110 guests in
all-suite style cabins that range from just over 200 sq. ft. to two-bedroom
options that cover 750 sq. ft. Both staterooms and suites pick up the neutral