JOHN PAUL PEDERSON, Wimberly Interiors London
In 5-Minutes With, SPACE’s Can Faik gets personal with up-and-coming interior designer John Paul Pederson of Wimberly Interiors…
Tell me about your role as Associate at Wimberly Interiors London?
I’m one of 22 incredibly talented designers at Wimberly Interiors, a design studio of WATG. London is one of Wimberly Interiors’ fastest growing studios, focusing on luxury hospitality projects across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Our goal is to design beautiful interiors and create inspiring destinations that pay homage to the locality and culture of the destination. As a team we work closely with the client from day one, helping to craft and develop the story the property will tell.
During my time at Wimberly Interiors, I have been named in Boutique Design’s ‘The Boutique 18’, which recognises creative influencers that are making waves in the hospitality industry. Prior to joining Wimberly Interiors, I was fortunate to work under Margaret McMahon while she was at Wilson Associates, New York.
What projects are you currently working on?
We are currently working on a luxury beach resort in southern Morocco; a refurbishment project in Athens, Greece; two luxury hotels in Egypt; and the refurbishment of the renowned Al Bustan Palace – a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, set to open early 2018, in Oman.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Moving overseas was always a goal I wanted to achieve, so moving to London and landing a job at Wimberly Interiors has been the highlight of my career so far!
Our collaborative approach to design means that we have access to a global team, from all practice lines; including strategists, master planners, landscape designers, and architects, bringing a flair and freshness to the design process.
Wimberly Interiors has a fantastic team of interior designers, striving to create visionary, inspired designs with a strong point of view.
How important is the journey when it comes to designing a new hotel?
For us, it’s about creating a memorable experience for the guest. When designing a hotel, we focus on the feel, atmosphere and excitement the hotel will evoke. We don’t have a house style, we take a chameleon approach to every new project. We focus on details, creating a destination that draws the guest back time after time.
Once we begin crafting the design narrative, the initial thread of the design is where the fun begins. We focus on the collaboration of ideas within our design team, from concept to check-in, from idea to installation, trying to achieve and reach beyond the expectations of the client. It doesn’t happen overnight, it takes iteration after iteration and much to our visualisers’ dismay, rendering after rendering!
What is your favourite city?
Hong Kong is one of the most exciting, raw and captivating places I have visited. The Star Ferry trip across Hong Kong Harbour is fantastic, I could happily spend an afternoon travelling back and forth, taking in the skylines of Hong Kong and Kowloon.
What is your favourite hotel?
To me, The St Regis New York is a hotel that has it all. It’s an institution. Located in the heart of Midtown, the St Regis is an emblem of elite style and sophistication, bursting with history and charm. The award-winning Bentley Suite, designed by Wimberly Interiors’ New York studio, combines the modern yet glamorous feel of St Regis with timeless and impeccable style. You will find me in the legendary King Cole Bar.
As a design studio, we admire a diverse group of designers, both historic and current. Personally, I admire the work of architect Richard Meier. He was a significant influence on the direction of my work throughout university. The interior spaces created by Jean Louis Denoit and John Pawson captivate my imagination, both styles are different but unique in their execution and beauty.
What would your dream hotel project be?
I gathered a few words that describe a ‘dream project’ from designers around our studio and I thought a few were worth sharing; inhibited authenticity, brief-free, under the stars, cause-worthy, the impossible, home… to me, a dream project would be to design in a completely unconventional and backwards manner, and see what the outcome would be.