Perched on the banks of the Swan River, The Ritz-Carlton, Perth open its doors in November 2019. What’s remarkable about the hotel's interior are the diverse installations, sculptures and paintings adorning the public spaces, suites, The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge and other areas.
“Design is weaved into every space of The Ritz-Carlton, Perth, delivering an unforgettable immersion into the wonders of Western Australia whilst creating a profound sense of place for guests,” said Dario Orsini, general manager.
Upon arrival at the hotel, guests will be greeted by the property's largest artwork titled Colours of the Rocks – at the concierge desk (pictured above).
The beautiful piece by artist Aileen Sandy from Yinjaa-Barni Art Group depicts the colours changing across the face of the rocks in the Pilbara region at different times of day, particularly during sunset. The lines and patterns represent the layers of rock that are made up of iron ore and other minerals. River sand was mixed into the paint and red Pilbara dirt rubbed into the surface to achieve a textured effect.
The concierge desk itself is made from 100-year-old Western Australian jarrah. Hand carved by Gabrielle Sherwood and her father Greg, the piece is reminiscent of the caverns and boulders found in the Pilbara region. For over 30 years, the Sherwood family has sculpted bespoke furniture inspired by natural landscapes and raw materials.
The sophisticated interior design by Lombard & Jack features 10,000 pieces of hand-picked Kimberley sandstone installed in 12 different colour groupings to create a wave formation symbolic of Western Australia’s iconic beaches.
The hotel's sprawling lobby boasts a lofty 13m-high ceiling. Interior stylist Anna Flanders says, “Walking into the lobby, guests are greeted by sandstone that soars up to the floor above. The mix of Kimberley sandstone with light coloured American oak timber, glamorous lighting and touches of metallics creates a refined and grounded aesthetic.”
Upon arrival, guests are transported to the dramatic Karijini gorges thanks to the dazzling custom chandelier with 275 lights - reminiscent of water cascading through gorges.
Near the front desk are striking feature metal panels which represent bell music writing on a sheet - a nod to the iconic Bell Tower which takes pride of place at Barrack Square next to the hotel. One of the largest musical instruments in the world, the Bell Tower was custom built to house the 14th century bells of Saint Martin-in-the-Fields Church, the parish church of Buckingham Palace in London's Trafalgar Square.
In the lobby too is a six-metre-long wall sculpture by local sculptor and painter Jon Denaro. This piece contains colonial artefacts excavated from the site during development. Shards of blue and white transfer-printed ceramics are held in place by thick copper wire on a brass rod structure, giving the essence of the river and rhythm of the ocean against the Kimberley sandstone backdrop.
Walk further into the lift lobby area and you will see another piece by Denaro who addresses the connections between art and science with affinity to metal, wood and recycled materials. In this sculpture, he fused metal bits and old bottles with historic images from the site to create an aesthetic design.
Over at the Hearth Lounge, which overlooks the quay, the designers incorporated curved forms along with soft blue and white hues that create a coastal influence.
One of the pieces adorning the wall is the 'Fragmented Portals 1-4' by artist Miik Green. A dynamic young artist from Perth, Green looks to the microscopic aspects of nature and translates them into shiny smooth wall sculptures. Here, the sculptures are designed to be visual portals - the panels absorb the textures and finishes of the setting, while presenting geometric glimpses of the space.
Another interesting sculpture (at the lift lobby on level 5) is the ‘Domino Effect’ – made of cast bronze gilt and marble patinas. Contemporary figurative sculptor Stephen Glassborow chose to cut and stack the structural feminine figurine.
Painting-wise, there are multiple unique ones adorning different parts of the hotel. Look out for Perth-based artist Bec Juniper's aerial landscape paintings of the Australian outback. For instance, her ‘Sunset Ideas’ in The Ritz-Carlton Suite depict the ever-changing Western Australian landscape. Juniper's series of artworks typically mimic landform construction that create deserts and become re-inundated inland seas. The materials used are raw, ground pigments.