The Central Private Hotel by Naumi Hotels

Designer: Liv Macfarlane at Undercurrent Limited

Jacobsen Product Used: Shaw Contract Dye Lab Carpet Tile Collection

Flying into Queenstown, New Zealand is a surreal experience. The proportions, shadows, textures and colours combine to create a sense of utter wonder. All this unfolds in a single feeling, it is this moment we set out to capture in our interior. This moment brings to mind the snow globe—an iconic artifact of childhood that, when shaken, opens the door to a new world. We strived for a bold aesthetic, verging on biophilic surrealism, in a bid to recreate that moment of child-like wonder, sensed with a glance to the Southern Alps or the shake of a snow globe.

The client had one request: that we avoid whites and neutrals. We responded by aligning the levels of the three-storey building with their natural outlooks. The ground floor nods to the red tones of the flora outside; the first floor alludes to the greens of the treetops; and the second storey reflects the blue tones of the sky and snow-capped mountain tops

From the outset, we were careful in our palette selection. The challenge was that every singular colour needed to work with every other colour from every floor’s scheme, coming together in the hotel’s bar..

We used tone-on-tone colours in corridors in-keeping with each floor’s scheme, while inside guest rooms we paired deep tones with bold pastels. Undercurrent tapped into the work of artist Deborah Moss, who’s work draws upon the power and dynamisms of nature. We printed a series of her works to an exaggerated scale, and colour-matched with paint and carpet colours, so that when guests move from the corridor to their room, they’re greeted with a stark, whimsical contrast that gives that sense of child-like wonder for just one more single moment – one more single feeling.

We employed innovative and peculiar design details, playing with exaggerated scales, installations and disproportionate sensory details, to create a tactile and memorable experience for our curious travellers.

“My ultimate goal is to create extraordinary spaces for memorable moments. We believe our projects bring a sense of aliveness to the ordinary,” says Director and Designer of Undercurrent, Liv Macfarlane.

The Dye Lab carpet tile aligned perfectly with our vision of biophilic surrealism, portraying the relationship between the natural world and human scale. The Dye Lab carpet draws inspiration from natural dyes, creating an elegant and unpredictable visual. Dye Lab brings lush intimacy and expansive boldness to the spaces we set out to create.


This article was written by Liv Macfarlene from Undercurrent Studio in support of her submission of this project into the 2021 Shaw Contract Design Awards.