Interior design studio Kristina Zanic Consultants recently unveiled the breathtaking transformation of the Ritz Carlton’s inaugural establishment in Azerbaijan. The firm spearheaded the interior styling, FF&E (furniture, fixtures, and equipment) design, and art curation, breathing life into one of Baku’s most iconic towers.
The newly opened hotel and luxury branded residences, nestled within the architectural splendor of a prominent Baku tower, received a sophisticated makeover completed in January of this year. Kristina Zanic Consultants infused the previously unveiled hotel interior with local character, vibrant colors, and elevated the specifications to meet the renowned hospitality standards of Ritz Carlton.
Encompassing a sprawling 80,000 sqm, the project covered a range of spaces, including guestrooms, suites, luxury residences, and public areas. The scope extended beyond conventional interior design, encompassing FF&E design, art consultancy, procurement, and an extensive redesign of key areas like the lobby, pool, spa, and the presidential suite.
The interior remodel pays homage to Baku’s rich cultural tapestry, drawing inspiration from local crafts and weaving the city’s influences into the design narrative. Retaining elements of the original architecture, such as sandstone columns and marble finishes, the enhanced interior features an inspired palette with gold detailing and jewel-toned accents reflecting the Caspian Sea and the fruit associated with the country – pomegranate.
“Our design inspiration stemmed from the rich history of Baku as a cultural crossroads and a mix of modern and traditional, natural and urban,” said Kristina Zanic, CEO of the eponymous studio. “We wanted to create a contemporary setting that has color and zing, that speaks the local design language, while simultaneously delivering the luxury Ritz Carlton experience.”
The meticulously crafted interior showcases clean lines, curved forms, and woven patterns inspired by Azari embroidery crafts. Notable highlights include teardrop-shaped sculptures in the lobby, created in collaboration with local haute couture designer Faik Kerim. The public areas boast fabrics from renowned brands such as Casamance, Zoffany, Nobilis, Zimmer + Rohde, and wall coverings from Maya Romanoff, Nobilis, and Rubelli.
The presidential suite, covering an expansive 608 sqm, exudes classical style with Art Deco touches, featuring symmetrical layouts, molded ceilings, and opulent finishes. “It’s always exciting to work on a property with statement architecture, but with that comes a unique set of challenges,” said Annika Broemmer, Design Associate at KZC. “The curved shape of the tower meant that no two rooms were alike, requiring layouts to be meticulously adapted to each floor.”
Navigating the unique challenges posed by the tower’s curved shape, the guestrooms and suites showcase flexibility in layout and meticulous planning. Embroidered fabrics, handmade in local patterns, adorn the rooms, while bathrooms boast boldly veined marble finishes and smart privacy glass.
In the culmination of Kristina Zanic Consultants’ vision, the Ritz Carlton in Azerbaijan stands as a testament to the fusion of modern luxury and cultural heritage.