Armenian Aesthetics


After Alexander James Interior Design scooped a prestigious International Hotel & Property Award, L-J Andrew caught up with, Founder & CEO, Robert Walker

The multi award-winning interiors team at Alexander James Interior Design has just added another trophy to the cabinet. At the International Hotel & Property Awards 2021 in Capri earlier in September, the judges awarded the prize for the ‘Hotels under 200 Rooms in Europe’ category to the Alexander James team for their work on The Alexander Hotel in Yerevan, Armenia.

The award comes a year after luxury residential and hotel interior design firm Alexander James Interior Design celebrated its 25th year of operation. In that time, the team has worked on projects around the globe, delivering unique, luxurious designs that are tailormade to suit each hotel or home.

Yerevan’s first luxury international hotel, The Alexander, by Marriott, is located in the city’s historic centre. The scaled back, minimalist design features grand, gold accents and the bold use of Armenian patterns and motifs.

Robert Walker, Founder & CEO, Alexander James Interior Design said “We are thrilled to have received an International Hotel & Property Award for our work at The Alexander Hotel. We set out to deliver a design that celebrated strong visual references to Yerevan and to Armenia. The artwork and pattern elements repeated throughout the hotel are taken from the rich Armenian culture, giving a strong sense of place and creating a coherent experience for guests.”

Local references abound. The hotel is located close to Mount Ararat, which according to Christianity was the resting place of Noah’s Ark, while the sun-worshipping practices of ancient Armenians formed the starting point for the design concept. The guiding principle behind the design was ‘all roads lead from here’, with radiating lines, gold details and local patterns used in subtle and contemporary ways to deliver this.

The dramatic and eye-catching reception desk is a point in case. The unique feature was formed from specially selected marble from Italy. The rich gold veining of the stone appears to melt into the gold leaf effect on the plinth, evoking a connection with the molten core of a volcano in reference to the ancient dormant volcano of Mount Ararat.

Meanwhile, the Alexander James team designed a dramatic ceiling feature for the pre-function room. Part light fitting and part sculpture, the polished shapes reflect the custom-designed carpet which, as with most of the bespoke carpets within the hotel, is influenced by traditional Armenian carpet patterns. Also reflected in the ceiling is the stunning, contemporary Armenian script wall sculpture.

“We chose to be guided by the richness of Armenian history and culture, delivering a design scheme that would help guests develop a sense of connection with the city. We commissioned local artisans to make the carved stone wall plaques which adorn the bedroom walls, while using traditional patterns in both subtle and overt ways” added Walker.

Minimalist design was used to help maximise the panoramic views shared by the spa, pool and main restaurant. The Alexander’s collection of bars and restaurants have created a luxurious social scene for Yerevan’s discerning residents and visitors, with the design setting new standards for elegance in the city. Alexander James Interior Design used a variety of seating zones in the restaurant, mixing chairs and dining sofas to provide a range of dining experiences. The team also delivered a deluxe private dining room and a cigar lounge designed to resemble a gentlemen’s club with the overtones of a classic library.

Walker concluded “The Alexander Hotel was designed to play a key role in Yerevan’s newly emerging social landscape, so we delighted in adding interesting touches to give visitors a unique experience. This was a fantastic project to work on and winning the International Hotel & Property Award was the icing on the cake.”


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