Adam Tihany has marvellously re-done Amber, Richard Ekkebus’ Michelin-starred restaurant at LANDMARK MANDARIN ORIENTAL HONG KONG. He hasn’t touched the periphery of the room. Walls, floor and ceiling were where they were before. But the ceiling’s former fringe hangings have been replaced by the sculpture above. Brilliant.
This got Girlahead to thinking how important ceilings are. In restaurants, while waiting for a date. In lobbies, while standing for seemingly forever while waiting for the long check-in line in front to move (this is especially vital in Las Vegas where big casino lines seem to snake to infinity, though at least BELLAGIO has a multi-colour ceiling of hundreds of coloured glass discs, hand-blown by Seattle’s glass master, Dale Chihuly).
Chihuly has also done two end walls on the third floor of Singapore’s RITZ-CARLTON MILLENIA. That’s the stunner of a hotel where you only look up when outside, though the hemispherical mother-of-pearl canopy over the porte cochère warrants attention. Inside the hotel, the natural look is out, especially across Marina Bay.
In Ireland, in south-facing room #326 at ASHFORD CASTLE in Co. Cong, Girlahead looked out across acres of grass at an Irish lough. But look up, and the tall ceiling was barely able to hold a soaring four-poster. In north-east facing room #701 at THE REGENT HONG KONG she looked out across the harbour and also to the next door Museum of Modern Art. But look up, and the deliberately understated décor was relieved by a recessed gold leaf ceiling panel.
The moral seems to be that if there’s something worth looking up at, memories are enhanced.