Villa La Coste, which opened in the heart of Provence last year, debuted its stunning spa just a few months ago. The luxe facility, along with the restaurant, salon, library, and public spaces of the boutique hotel, were all designed by Hong Kong-based designer Andre Fu.
The young designer has been behind notable projects like The Upper House, The Fullerton Bay Hotel, Andaz Singapore, Perrotin Tokyo, and Kioku restaurant in Seoul.
Whitewall spoke with Fu about his vision for creating a relaxed, yet high-end boutique hotel.
WHITEWALL: You’ve said that your commissions aren’t about you or your personal design style, but about telling the story of the particular brand you’re designing for. What is the story you were aiming to tell at Villa La Coste?
ANDRE FU: Inspired by the true artisanal spirit of the vineyard as well as the breathtaking artistic vision of the chateau, I have been commissioned to create key destinations within the hotel, including the salon, the bar, the library and the destination spa that recently unveiled. My vision seeks to instill a “contemporary Provençal” design experience into the project, whilst overlaying my own signature language of “relaxed luxury.”
WW: What does your creative process usually look like when designing for a large project like a hotel?
AF: The design process typically starts with a pro-long discussion with the hotelier to align with a specific vision for the property—after all, I believe the new generation of high-end niche hotel should provoke a strong sense of personality that is site specific and unique in its experience.
I would then immerse myself in the location and try to captivate its sense of place through my designs.
WW: How did you go about designing Villa La Coste in relation to the pre-existing Chateau La Coste?
AF: Chateau La Coste is a destination in itself and it is inevitable that the spirit of the vineyard has a large part to play in my conception of the key areas at Villa La Coste. I believe the atmosphere of being the in vineyard has informed the colors, textures and mood of what I am trying to captivate as part of the holistic Chateau La Coste experience.
WW: The spa at the villa is so beautiful and serene. Did you take any special steps when designing the space that set it aside from the rest of the hotel?
AF: Indeed, it is always considered as a destination in itself. It is at once pure yet rustic, modern yet authentic. This spirit has been reflected in the material selection as well—wrought iron brackets are juxtaposed against pure honed crema stone, with intricate interlocking timber panels to create a distinct visual language.
WW: What role did art play in your interior design process for Villa La Coste?
AF: The curation of art is a true reflection of the owner’s personal vision—my goal is create unique pockets of backdrops and spatial envelopes for the artwork to be breathe and celebrated. After all, I see art as an integral part of the entire vineyard journey.