Installations::Ritz Carlton Club, St. Thomas

In this episode of "Installations" I want to talk about one of my favorite projects to date: the installation of the waves in the lobby of the Ritz Carlton Club in St. Thomas.  It's one of my faves not only because I got to go there and install it myself, but because it really made a fantastic impact on the space, and solved a huge problem for the client.

They had recently completely redecorated the lobby of the building, but the piece chosen by the designer to hang above the coffee bar (a busy place!) left much to be desired.  Just a small piece that consisted of driftwood sticks nailed together to form a nest like shape, it was too small for the 18 foot long wall, and didn't have enough impact to compete with the rest of the beautiful decor of the lobby.  The chandelier alone was fantastic and made a statement, but it needed some support. 
Right outside the lobby is the beautiful Carribbean sea, and it made sense to extend the watery vibe to the interior, so the waves were a natural choice. What better way to bring the sea indoors with some elegant porcelain waves? 

Working together with a small group from the Club, we decided on a design that encompasses almost the entire wall, and flows from one end to the other.  The wall can be seen from all angles of the lobby, so it was important to me that it move with the viewer through the room, from the time they walk in the door, to the time they exit from the other end onto the beach.  It ebbs and flows from one side of the wall to the other, mimicking the undulation of the ocean just outside the doors.

We were all very happy with the final result.  Not only is it fun to get to do the actual installation myself, but I think it serves the client, and the work better, as the artistry is mostly in the installation arrangement.  Usually I'll see pictures and send a template to be used by the architect or designer's installers for the actual placing of the pieces, but getting to do it myself means the piece can really exist as I have envisioned it. By being in the space I can really see and react to what else is there, as well as how people will exist in and move through the space, which really informs the placement of each piece, and is something I can't get from an image alone.  A template will work in a pinch, but the client really gets what they pay for when the artist does it herself!


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