Famed for its sophisticated design philosophy and environmentally conscious approach, international architecture studio Michaelis Boyd handles some of the most exclusive projects across the globe, ranging from residences, hotels, and resorts to restaurants, bars, and private members’ clubs.

Alex Michaelis and Tim Boyd (Photography: Ed Reeve)
Alex Michaelis and Tim Boyd (Photography: Ed Reeve)

The latest in its portfolio include Hotel Indigo in London; a wellness and lifestyle co-working space in New York; and the Ryse Hotel in Seoul, to name just a few. Here, Alex Michaelis and Tim Boyd, partners of the esteemed firm, share their thoughts on their creative journey, sources of inspiration, and more. 

The alluring pastel surroundings at Ryse Hotel in Seoul (Photography: Yongkwan Kim)
The alluring pastel surroundings at Ryse Hotel in Seoul (Photography: Yongkwan Kim)

Artistic aesthetic is present throughout the hotel (Photography: Yongkwan Kim)
Artistic aesthetic is present throughout the hotel (Photography: Yongkwan Kim)

 The Print Culture Lounge is a dreamland for all book lovers (Photography: Yongkwan Kim)
The Print Culture Lounge is a dreamland for all book lovers (Photography: Yongkwan Kim)

The Creator Room is filled with chic and sleek touches (Photography: Yongkwan Kim)
The Creator Room is filled with chic and sleek touches (Photography: Yongkwan Kim)

TB: When I was 19, I was fortunate to work for Kenneth Ko in Hong Kong. The experience I gained with him was priceless. AM: I wanted to be a doctor in the first place, but a trip to Florence for a life-drawing course at the age of 18 helped me realise that I should go after architecture instead. My father, Dominic Michaelis, was also an inspiration; he was one of the pioneers of solar panels and sustainable living. 

Whimsical decorative elements at Hotel Indigo (Photography: Ed Reeve)
Whimsical decorative elements at Hotel Indigo (Photography: Ed Reeve)

Dominating the space are bright tones and geometric accents (Photography: Ed Reeve)
Dominating the space are bright tones and geometric accents (Photography: Ed Reeve)

A balmy ambience in one of the hotel rooms (Photography: Ed Reeve)
A balmy ambience in one of the hotel rooms (Photography: Ed Reeve)

Dramatic yet appealing appointments (Photography: Ed Reeve)
Dramatic yet appealing appointments (Photography: Ed Reeve)

AM: Nature and natural forms are my great sources of inspiration. I am very fortunate that my profession takes me all around the world, and I am able to apply these influences in my designs. I’m also moved by Le Corbusier, as his philosophy deeply influenced me with the design of my West London home, which features two curving towers. TB: Travel inspires me constantly. And my best ideas always appear when I am away from the office – be it for work or pleasure.

The soothing public area at Kimpton de Witt Hotel (Photography: Laure Joliet)
The soothing public area at Kimpton de Witt Hotel (Photography: Laure Joliet)

The hotel is dominated by a sophisticated decorative scheme (Photography: Laure Joliet)
The hotel is dominated by a sophisticated decorative scheme (Photography: Laure Joliet)

Guests are encouraged to socialise in the elegant setting (Photography: Laure Joliet)
Guests are encouraged to socialise in the elegant setting (Photography: Laure Joliet)

The tranquil interiors inside of one of the guest rooms (Photography: Laure Joliet)
The tranquil interiors inside of one of the guest rooms (Photography: Laure Joliet)

TB: The “sense of place” is generally a feeling of both people and objects fitting naturally into a space. It’s very important in interior design, especially in hotels, as you want not only guests but local residents to enjoy the spaces. Among our projects, we feel this was especially effective in the lobby of the Ryse Hotel in Seoul. Our design reflected the artistic background of Hongdae through fun details such as the pink resin floor and the communal seating. AM: We also see a “sense of place” as ensuring a project reflects its heritage. With [Brooklyn luxury condo project] 11 Hoyt, we were inspired by the rich history and lavish detailing of the early downtown buildings, and our goal was to provide each apartment with a bespoke Brooklyn-inspired experience.

The airy environment of 11 Hoyt
The airy environment of 11 Hoyt

A social hub for guests to enjoy a nice brew over a conversation
A social hub for guests to enjoy a nice brew over a conversation

The hotel is set to be surrounded by greenery
The hotel is set to be surrounded by greenery

AM: Looking ahead, I see design becoming more organic in form, despite the precision and straight lines of computers. TB: A focus on sustainability and increased use of materials that wear over time are other influential directions. 

Clubhouse by Zo (Photography: Ed Reeve)
Clubhouse by Zo (Photography: Ed Reeve)

The unparalleled views outside (Photography: Ed Reeve)
The unparalleled views outside (Photography: Ed Reeve)

See more: Through the Lens: Balint Alovits Captures Sculptural Staircases in Budapest

MichaelisBoyd RyseHotel HotelIndigo AlexMichaelis TimBoyd KimptonDeWittHotel 11Hoyt hotel design

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