Based in Melbourne, Australia, and established in 2010, Travis Walton’s diverse design portfolio is already packed with successful projects, awards and accolades. From opulent nightclubs and quirky eateries, to sleek, luxurious retail and residential developments, Walton’s name is fast becoming synonymous with the very latest in contemporary creative design.
I AM INFLUENCED A LOT BY MY PERSONAL TRAVEL EXPERIENCES WHICH CREATE A SHIFT IN MY THINKING ABOUT DESIGN.
Tell us a little about your background – did you always want to be an architect, and what path led you to the kind of work you’re doing now?
From a young age I was exposed to design through my grandfather who was a builder turned painter. He encouraged me creatively teaching me to draw and paint, and the basics of construction.
How would you describe your design aesthetic / approach of your practice – what influences the style of your work?
Our interior design approach is driven by the user experience with a strong sense of form, materiality and vibrant use of colour. I am influenced a lot by my personal travel experiences which create a shift in my thinking about design. For me design is about being in the right frame of mine to be able to ask yourself the right questions to inform new design outcomes.
Where do you look for inspiration?
Photos of my own travels usually kick start my creative ideas, of late my recent trip to Japan has been a source of inspiration. Otherwise I find myself online shopping for great books, I’m currently studying the work of Brazlian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha.
What have been one or two defining moments for you in recent years?
This year we are nominated for Designer of the Year in Australia which is really exciting for us to be recognised by our industry. It also happens to mark our 10 year anniversary. It’s been an amazing journey so far and I look forward to pushing the possibilities in design over the next decade.
Do you travel a lot for work / play? Has this influenced how you approach your work?
I travel a lot for work and also to relax. Our international projects are a constant source of inspiration and keep me on the move.
Any favourite cities/places for inspiration?
Tokyo is my number one. Not far behind is Milan, New York and also Paris.
AN EDITED LUXURY EXPERIENCE TO ME IS A CURATED EXPERIENCE OF THE LOCAL PLACE AND ITS CULTURE.
Tell us a little about the process for Tribe and how you formed a vision for the hotel?
I always start with the existing context and work on spatial layouts through a series of sketches. Most of my ideas flow out of this process which in terns forms the basis of my 3D perspectives.
The vision for the first Tribe was a series of small interconnected spaces, but it was important for these not to be defined by walls and enclosed ceilings. It needed to flow seamless from arrival, to check-in, to the lounge and all the way to the room.
Talk a little about the collaborative process – with the founders, the branding team etc.
Creating a new brand from scratch is always exciting! We were tasked to establish the physical identity of Tribe alongside the creative brand direction from studio 21-19. Being the first location, we were conscious that the aesthetic needed to create a signature guest experience that would be able to translate to future locations.
Tribe has been described as Edited Luxury. What makes an ‘Edited Luxury’ interior?
An edited luxury to me is a curated experience of the local ‘place’ and it’s culture. When I am in a new city I want to experience what the city and the people have to offer. By having a social mix of hotel guests and also local patrons I get a holistic understanding of the city’s soul.
How would you describe the design of Tribe Perth?
As an eclectic series of communal lounge spaces curated for socialising and working. The communal spaces are designed to be inhabited and enjoyed in a connected way rather than be transient spaces you pass by.
What is your favourite aspect of Tribe Perth and why?
I love the bespoke design of our ‘cloud’ sofa in the bright cobalt blue mattress fabric. Recessed in an alcove the sofa sits below a mirrored ceiling with a bright pink neon halo. It’s super cool space that is enjoyed by people of all ages.
Can you tell us a little about the finishes, furniture and details you selected?
The majority of the pieces were custom designed for the Tribe however this is also overlayed with pieces from Moroso and Tom Dixon. There are many custom details that were created specifically for Tribe including bespoke black & white graphic tiles, brass lift reveals and an illuminated infinity mirror. The boundary of curatorship shifts, where furniture design ends art décor begins.
What were some of the more challenging / unique aspects of the project?
A hotel brief has many functional requirements, many of which are in open view to the patrons. Balancing function with high end design was a challenge but I believe we achieved a great synergy between public and private.
What’s next for you – what other projects do you have on the go?
We are currently working on new hotel and hospitality concepts throughout Asia Pacific and the USA.