Bruno Viterbo is Managing Director of Champalimaud, a renowned interior design firm specialising in hospitality design. Current projects include the re-design of the top floor suites at The Dorchester, London. He is a guest panellist at the ‘Hospitality Interiors – The Future’ professional practice seminar on Monday 26 September at 11.30am.
What is your earliest ‘design’ moment, the one that perhaps set you on your path?
My mother’s an interior designer and early on I remember floor plans open on the dining table. I actually studied Economics and then began work for the family business. It was only when a client had an unresolved planning solution for the entrance of a restaurant and I stayed up all night developing a successful one that I decided to go back to school and get a design qualification.
Do you have a design mantra?
Design is not only the answer, it is also the question.
What’s the biggest challenge when designing a hotel or restaurant, a place that demands style, comfort and good service in equal measure? We all instinctively think what a space should look and feel like when we start designing, but we have to keep in mind that hotels and restaurants are businesses above all.
What is the most inspiring room/building you’ve ever experienced?
As a teenager, I once visited an old convent in Portugal that has one of the largest libraries anyone can imagine. It was here that I first understood what mortality was: not being able to read all those books even if that was all I would ever do. On a more positive note, I recently stayed at the Upper House, Hong Kong, where André Fu has created a truly original hotel. I could live in any of those rooms.
Design Lecture Ticket Information:
Booking Hotline 020 7352 1900 http://www.dcch.co.uk: Professional Practice Seminar £15 Location: SPACE, Third Floor, South Dome