When we decided to renovate the on-site Hotel to open the new Hotel Camiral in 2016 we knew we needed a designer who could take on the challenges of the space while remaining sympathetic to the regional flavour of the place. There was only one man for the job. Lázaro Rosa-Violán is one of Spain’s most prolifically talented interior designers. Celebrated for his ability to turn even the most banal of environment into marvellously quirky, yet supremely comfortable spaces you want to spend quality time in. He’s currently got projects on the go in more than 12 different countries, and we’re happy that a year after we opened our doors, he still found time to chat to us about his vision for the Hotel Camiral.
What is your definition of space?
A space can be anything, but the atmosphere that comes with the project – its character and personality – are what makes the space speak and this forms the foundation of every project I embark on.
What most inspires you?
Barcelona is one of my main sources of inspiration, but I travel a lot, and inevitably during those trips I stumble across all sorts of resources. I think it is important to time travel as well. I found lots of my best ideas among the trends of different periods.
What were your biggest challenges when you began the conception of the Hotel Camiral?
Before the renovation the hotel had absolutely no character. All of the spaces had the same aesthetic and it did not invite you to sit and enjoy any of them. Outside wasn’t much better, the pool was very small and the terrace was split into lots of other small areas so that you felt hemmed in. My main goal was to find its character, and give each space its own unique personality. To do that we created different ambiences that are always visually connected to each other, so that when you’re in one place you find yourself contemplating what might happen there and what goes beyond it. We connect the interior with the exterior by invading the lobbies and rooms with light and nature. It invites you to explore, have fun, relax, both inside and out.
Which were the most central elements to your design?
At the centre of the building the space is triple height. In the upper lobby a floor to ceiling closet of doors and drawers creates a more domestic and intimate atmosphere, but also provides great visual access to all three areas. In the lower lobby a library with a central fireplace provides a more playful space, somewhere to hang out. I love using large mirrors to reflect at all times what is happening in the other spaces so you always feel included, and at the same time it creates the illusion of transparency and breadth. Each area is demarcated by supersize lanterns, which gives the new-build ceilings a liveliness that was missing before.
How is the Catalan culture reflected at the Hotel Camiral?
We were very specific about using local natural fibres, wood, even vegetable motifs painted by hand on ceramic tiles on walls and pavements, fabrics, artworks and elements of attrezzo. Take the central staircase for example, where regional amphoras in a glass cabinet connect the lobby and the bar, or the floral ceramic mosaics in the bathrooms that are based on sketches of flowers of the region.
Light and colour are one of the star attractions of the region. How have you incorporated it here?
Lighting always plays a fundamental role in our projects. Here we use more general lighting during the day to enhance the natural light that bounces through the space, while more discreet and focused illumination is used at night in the shape of pendant lamps and hidden LED strips in ceilings and cabinets. We used a warm, off white as our canvas on which natural materials are combined with Mediterranean blues and greens, and the clay hues of the vineyards and rolling hills of the surrounding landscape. I suppose that’s the key to it all: always connecting the interior and with the exterior and vice versa.