When it comes to hotels, we all have our pet peeves. For many, bad interior design is top of the list: bathrooms with too little counter space, not enough power outlets, “fighting doors” – the list goes on. Solutions for guests include packing an extension cord; for hoteliers – finding an interior designer who builds for humans, not Instagram filters.
KAZE, an interior design studio headquartered in Saigon, has made a name for themselves as ‘solutions consultants’, consistently delivering interiors that are every bit as functional as they are artful. Anyone who’s ever stubbed a toe on an awkwardly placed coffee table will come to appreciate the firm’s obsession with detail and usability.
As physical beings, when we walk into a building, we compose a personal narrative about our relation to it, in both interior design and decoration. Trying to imagine the psychological effects of the proposed space, KAZE founder and lead designer Fong-Chan Zeuthen always starts with shaping the mood.
This can be achieved through several means: by rethinking the types of textiles and materials that are used, by evoking certain emotions through carefully selected decor pieces or by placing visual cues to draw attention to specific narratives. All this helps to build a compelling story and establishes a dialogue between the designer and the people who will occupy the space.
But what truly elevates KAZE designs is their dynamism and artistic skill. A virtuoso storyteller, Fong-Chan’s Scandinavian roots and Thai heritage make her uniquely placed to deliver the kind of controlled palette that Nordic design tradition is known for, all the while retaining the essence of local vernacular materials and patterns.
Working alongside the client, from the infinite number of possibilities KAZE arrives, without fail, at a solution that translates the client’s vision into an engrossing visual story by making the most of the firm’s unique skill set.
The studio’s in-depth understanding of how to work with materials, both common and rare, means the team always delivers on a budget and excels at using minimum materials for a maximum effect.
Signature KAZE touches such as subtle details steeped in local traditions that add suspense, creative treatment of surfaces, masterful work with light and collaborations with local artisans come together in a delightful revelation.
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Keeping the ship on course
Over the years Fong-Chan and her team have succeeded in positioning KAZE as a reliable business partner that will help your enterprise soar. This takes the kind of stewardship that comes with years of experience.
Having spent 18 years working in the fields of architecture, industrial and interior design, Fong-Chan is a skilled helmswoman. Starting with small-scale residential projects in 2010 to landing KAZE on the coveted Marriott International list of approved interior designers, she has built up a foundation for KAZE to leapfrog into the top ranks of Southeast Asia’s leading hospitality designers.
Since the launch, the studio has transformed the landscape in the region with over 100 high-profile projects in Vietnam and Cambodia across a wide array of development projects spanning the sectors of hospitality, F&B and luxury residential buildings.
Designers to hoteliers
There are fundamental differences between designing for residential properties and hotels. On the most basic level, with home interiors it’s the quirks, interests and hobbies of the occupants that come to the fore, whereas in hospitality the focus shifts to bringing the destination to life through interior design.
KAZE’s pivot from residential to hospitality developments was a strategic decision underpinned by Fong-Chan’s vision for the company. And as interior design awards for KAZE-designed hotels started to accumulate on the mantelpiece, the company’s reputation as a hospitality designer par excellence was cemented.
Those accolades are many: the winner of 2019 BCI Asia Interior Design Awards for Liberty Quy Nhon Hotel; Best Hotel Interior Design for Le Meridien Cam Ranh Resort & Spa at the 2018 Vietnam and Thailand Property Awards; Best Hotel Interior Design at the Asia Property Awards In 2016 for Renaissance Riverside Hotel Saigon, to name a few.
Moving forward, KAZE will remain focused on working on premium hospitality projects with local and international developers, as well as grooming a generation of young Vietnamese creatives who will be setting the tone in Vietnam’s interior design industry for the years to come.