Online Exclusive - JW Marriott Cannes, FranceJul 9, 2013
By Erinn Waldo
Built on the former site of the Palais des Festivals, the original structure sported strong lines and hard edges, as well as a dark entrance. “With our new design, the entry has become a golden beacon that catches the eyes of passersby,” says Kretschmar-Joehnk. Inspired by the tree-lined corniche, structural columns now mimic golden palms, while the porte cochère suggests a palm frond canopy. “Our design celebrates these powerful structural elements, yet also creates comfortable, inviting spaces,” she adds.
The lobby’s ground level introduces a sense of harmony with bronze lines sweeping across white marble and espresso wool carpeted floors. “We felt it was important to create a more human-scale experience at the ground level so that guests would be at ease any time of day,” says Kretschmar-Joehnk. High wingback chairs and subtle platinum and champagne-toned silks and velvets enhance the calm mood⎯⎯despite the immense five-story space above the lobby.
“We needed to create something special for this immense void that would both subdue the existing architecture and provide an enchanting focal point,” says Kretschmar-Joehnk. “Our solution was a light sculpture made from thousands of glistening glass ‘leaves’ that appear to be dancing in the wind.” More than 16 feet in diameter, the sculpture consists of 24,000 pieces of gold-plated aluminum attached to 1,636 light fibers.
“[The structure’s] graceful delicacy tones down the masculine feel of the architecture, resulting in a more relaxed ambiance that elevates the hotel’s cachet and luxury appeal,” she explains. “The soaring height of the lobby called for something quite amazing to escalate its wow factor and add a touch of glamor.”
In recalling the glamor of the finest French couture houses, the bar boasts Macassar ebony timber and burnished gold. High-gloss champagne tables and accompanying white leather seating contrast with dark gray marble floors. “One of our favorite aspects is the wine display crafted from woven rose-gold mesh,” comments Kretschmar-Joehnk. “Located next to the champagne tables, it is a classic and stylish feature solution for showcasing varietals from the region.”
Showcasing Canne’s Mediterranean shoreline, the JW Grill uses polished granite and beveled mirrors to reflect the outdoor dining terrace and the seascape. Cream and cognac-colored leathers and black and white marble floors add to the restaurant’s open luxury. “The refined décor appeals to the cosmopolitan crowd drawn to Cannes for business and leisure, yet has the relaxed ambiance one expects to find in this celebrated Mediterranean hotspot,” says Kretschmar-Joehnk, adding, “Our vision was to create a smart and sexy, yet understated, elegance. Now, red carpet glamor has been infused throughout the public areas with luxurious materials, detailed craftsmanship, and graceful forms telling a story of timeless and sophisticated beauty.”