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Online Exclusive - Park Hyatt Busan, South Korea

Aug 20, 2013

By JoAnn Greco

Blessed with a project that includes both a prized, beachside location and a starchitect pedigree, Japanese designers Super Potato found no shortage of inspirations while working on the interiors of the Park Hyatt Busan. Situated on a popular marina in Korea's second largest city, the hotel is housed in a new 33-story building by Pritzker-prize winner Daniel Libeskind.


Boasting an extensive use of curved glass, the building's architecture offered "magnificently open ocean views," according to Norihiko Shinya, Super Potato's vice president. "We incorporated that motif into our design to create equally open interiors." Guestrooms take full advantage of the floor-to-ceiling windows with beds set lower to the ground, spare furnishings, and generous use of built-in components.


While breaking down the barriers between indoors and outdoors is, of course, a vital component of Japanese design, the property remains thoroughly Korean in its materials and influences, continues Shinya. "Our design uses traditional building materials and small everyday items to capture the living energy and vitality of Busan's people from the past and through the present," he says.


For example, in the formal restaurant, the Dining Room, Super Potato added layers by reusing bricks, roof tiles, and old wooden beams, columns, and walls—all culled from vernacular housing and depth by punctuating the space with accent pieces such as salvaged porcelain dinnerware and aged barrels. 


The brief for the 269-room property (including 69 suites) was that it suggest a residence, continues Shinya, so the designers also scattered public spaces throughout the hotel such as a library, lounge, and a salon. In contrast to the cool modernity of Libeskind's design—which is supposed to suggest both the lines of a ship's sail and the intricacy of the camellia, Busan's flower—Super Potato's interiors are warm and tactile, emphasizing natural materials like French oak, granite, and lots of wood in the guestrooms.


A walk-in closet is placed at the center of the room and is surrounded by weathered wood lattice that allows natural light to stretch into the bathroom. "Everything was carefully planned to provide ocean views," says Shinya.


In addition to the Dining Room and the gathering spaces, the Park Hyatt also offers a more casual all-day dining spot, a patisserie, and a spa that spans three floors and features seven treatment rooms, a fitness center, and a dramatic 65-foot swimming pool.


hdtalks: the interviews

During HD Expo 2014, Hospitality Design’s Michael Adams sat down with HBA’s Michael Bedner to talk about his half-century in the hospitality design industry. View the video.



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