Interior Design The striking designs of Marcel Wanders
To experience the interiors of Marcel Wanders is to be immersed in a world layered with taste and flair. A stand-alone in an often conservative and careful field, Marcel Wanders never shies away from the audacious, consistently bucking trends and rising above the limitations of modernist thinking. Whether it is mixing historical styles or utilizing an array of different materials, he maintains a constant edge, never failing to instil a sense of wonder and delight.
A master of unique décor, household products, lighting, furniture and luxury interiors, Dutch designer Marcel Wanders has long been present on the world stage bringing quality designs to brands like Bisazza, Puma, Alessi, Louis Vuitton, Swarovski and Iberostar Hotels. Each room, piece, interior or living space creates an environment that bears his unmistakable mark.
In a life’s work of over 1900 projects, it is the clever contrasts that set his efforts apart – between soft and hard materials, the futuristic and the antique, angular and circular— as well as his constant resistance to complacency and dogmatic attitudes in design. He always surprises.
The often avant-garde style of Marcel Wanders reflects a stimulating, provocative approach to design that reveals his own personality and at the same time is intimately aware of the audience, particularly in his hospitality projects. “With each individual space telling its own tale, guests have many different experiences, and therefore, weave for themselves a volume of stories to share,” says Marcel Wanders.
At Moooi, the Netherlands based design label of which the Dutch designer is co-founder, art director and designer, exclusive pieces showcase a variety of works by over 30 talented, cutting edge designers. Pieces include lighting, tables, seaters and a variety of accessories, some of which have been highlighted in a yearly show at the Milan Design Week.
The objects of Marcel Wanders often concentrate on a sense of touch and humanistic approach to design. Whether the pleasant floral motives or the touch of smooth leather, familiar quilted patterns or finely planed wood, the aim is always high-quality craftsmanship and romantic detailing that is noticed immediately.
Instead of simply conforming to one type or looking frantically to the future, he prefers to respect past ages and pay homage to perhaps forgotten aspects of craftsmanship, bringing it to the contemporary moment. Most of all, he rejects the dull and boring. Labelled the “Lady Gaga of Design,” Marcel Wanders respects classic styles, all the while incorporating modern motifs and forms with vitality and energy.
Taking the best ornament and craftsmanship ideas of a variety of periods and mixing them in new, never before seen ways, Marcel Wanders creates sometimes highly detailed, yet harmonious masterworks where the best of the past melds with the most beautiful of modern day life. Marcel Wanders’ objects and furniture sometimes even mix clothing fashion with everyday utility—think old-fashioned lounger with contemporary classy travel, or combine the organic with the inanimate, think ethereal plant-like lighting above firm, orthogonal marble floors.
A relationship to vicinity is essential in Marcel Wanders’ approach, both in the interior and outside atmospheres. Be it in Spain, Japan, Amsterdam or Ecuador, the connections between the setting and the internal areas that instill a sensation of calm and a feeling of home. “I want to be true to the surroundings and the setting, to create a genuine sense of belonging,” Marcel Wanders says.
It is the collection of themes and layers that always creates spaces where the guest feels something unique. Each room of the Iberostar Portals Nous hotel tells a different story in the Dutch designer’s design language, with its eclectic mixture of smooth surfaces and relief, dark and bright, of wood and textile.
Whether it is in a gym, a terrace or a lobby, Marcel Wanders’ consideration of open spaces speaks to his open design attitude. Through clever divisions and passageways, like the transparency of tall glass walls or balcony balustrades, places are connected in subtle ways, making an inimitable experience. Speaking on Iberostar’s new Portals Nous Hotel in Majorca, Marcel Wanders says, “The entire hotel is filled with symbols and constant allusions to life. The sense of space that has been created invites guests to enjoy their own lives to the full.”
Photography by Marcel Wanders and Cordon Press