Pioneering hospitality concept specialist BLINK Design Group is poised to make a bigger impact on Asia’s design and architecture landscape with the launch of an all new regional headquarters in Bangkok’s prestigious Sathorn district.
Led by Creative Director and founder Clint Nagata, the BLINK office commands the entire 30th-floor penthouse of Bangkok City Tower and occupies 12,000 square feet of workspace in an 8,000-square-foot area – a feat made possible via economical use of the eight-metre-high loft ceiling and a sleek metal mezzanine structure that overlooks the open offices.
Nagata says the idea was to highlight the beauty of the “massive double-height volume space” of the penthouse allowing for a commanding view of Bangkok, symbolic of the company’s position within the city and the rest of Asia.
“Bangkok is very much the hub of hospitality design in Asia, both geographically speaking with a position in between China and India, as well as culturally so, being right at the heart of ASEAN,” explained Nagata. “When the AEC is fully realised in 2015, Thailand, specifically Bangkok, will be the main jumping off point for the region and the strategically perfect location for BLINK.
“Another key reason to set up our regional headquarters in Bangkok is because of the strong and impressive talent pool of Thailand’s architects and designers,” he added.
Along with Mr Nagata, BLINK’s head office in Thailand is staffed by some of the region’s leading hospitality visionaries, including BLINK Director of Architecture Christopher Chua and Bangkok’s home-grown diva of design, Kraisupa ‘Ont’ Asvinvichit.
Born in Los Angeles, raised in Bangkok and educated in England, Ms Asvinvichit joined BLINK in 2010 as Lead Designer and has since created three hotels in as many years – Regent Bali, Regent Phuket, and Jumeriah Dhevanafushi Maldives, which was awarded a prestigious Asia Pacific Interior Design Award in 2012 and was recognised in the ‘bible’ of what’s hot in hospitality, the Condé Nast Traveller’s Hot List.
BLINK shares offices with Asia’s renowned cutting-edge design firm Space Matrix, with whom it joined forces in 2011. Since then, BLINK has expanded rapidly throughout the region, where its unique brand of bespoke hospitality design has caught fire. BLINK currently operates offices in four key urban centres in Asia, with operations in Delhi, Shanghai, Singapore and now Bangkok.
Founded seven years ago by Clint P. Nagata, BLINK has reinvented the traditional service model for hospitality to offer clients an end-to-end solution that encompasses a full suite of integrated services featuring architecture, interior design and branding under one umbrella.
BLINK Design Group has moved its headquarters to Bangkok, which the company’s management views as the cultural epicentre of ASEAN.
BLINK’s ability to inspire with its bespoke aesthetics has made them a hot ticket with a prestigious customer list of luxury international hotels and resorts – such as Conrad, Hilton, Jumeirah, Langham Place, Le Méridien, Regent, Sheraton, Westin, Marriott and InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) – all of whom are seeking uniqueness and long-lasting impressions for their resort, hotel, spa, gaming or restaurant projects.
“The BLINK brand is centred around the belief that each project is a platform to achieve something extraordinary,” said Nagata. “In the seven years we have been operating I think we have been able to shake up a few norms in the hospitality industry with our combination of intuitive thinking, innovation and design aesthetics.”
BLINK Director of Architecture Chris Chua added that BLINK is focused on identifying the very best emerging talent to join the team in Thailand.
“The new office is a statement for us in many ways as a company – signifying that we are very much about providing an environment for our dynamic workforce that is conducive to creativity; and, to be creative, the team needs a space that is relaxed, stylish, centrally located and, above all, fun. I think we have gone a long way to achieving this in our new office and this in itself will help in continuing to attract the great designers of the future to our company,” he explained.
BLINK was recently commissioned to design two stunning new resorts on Asia’s most renowned tropical islands to herald the rebirth of Regent Hotels & Resorts. BLINK has created the new Regent Phuket Cape Panwa and Regent Bali from the ground up, combining timeless tropical modern design with subtle heritage and cultural accents.
BLINK worked on the interiors at Regent Phuket Cape Panwa resort.
The immense success of these two projects led to the recent appointment of BLINK by FIH Regent Group for two additional assignments: to re-imagine the flagship property Regent Taipei and to introduce the company’s new Regent Place brand through the creation of a new city-centre hotel in the Chinese city of Xi’an.
Other notable recent projects include the 300-key Marriott Xiangshui Bay resort in Sanya, Hainan Island, featuring cutting-edge contemporary design and wow-factor features by BLINK including a lobby inspired by a folding Chinese paper lantern and a rooftop bar and fitness centre. It will open in 2014 and is not far from the Conrad Sanya Haitang Bay, another BLINK masterpiece, the elegant classicism and French Riviera glamour of which scooped the World’s Best Luxury Hotel at the Hospitality Design (HD) Magazine Awards in 2012.
In India’s most famous resort town, Goa, BLINK is behind a very different kind of Hilton resort, with just 100 keys, arrayed along a steep hillside, and based upon a Colonial-era Goan village, featuring a collaboration on interiors with famous Indian fashion designer Tarun Tahiliani. The Hilton Goa is scheduled to welcome its first guests in 2015.