“I have enormous respect for timeless design classics of architecture…” Melanie Hall, Founder of Luna2
Melanie Hall is Founder & Designer of Luna2, a collection of hospitality properties named after the first spacecraft to land on the moon in the late 50’s. Her father, Alan Chambers, was an acclaimed international architect during the 50’s and 60’s, and he greatly influenced her love of modernist architecture and design. Melanie now refers to her design style as “FUNked-up modernism”. With references to modernism and 60′s pop, she injects innovation of the future, and adds huge doses of humour into the mix – a distinct characteristic of the Luna2 company ethos, which “Respects the past, welcomes the future and likes to have fun in the process!” As such, elements of nostalgia, futurism and fun are fuelled into every aspect of Luna2.
THC: What inspires you and why?
Melanie: I have enormous respect for timeless design classics of architecture, interiors, furniture, accessories and fashion. But I am hugely inspired by those who push boundaries in design. A good example of this would be the Monsanto “House of the Future” built in 1957. They were indeed ahead of their time, as were the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Oscar Neimeyer and Verner Panton.
THC: How did you get into your business?
Melanie: Some years ago, my husband and I recognised a niche gap in the market for discerning, design-conscious world-travellers seeking more privacy and higher levels of personal service. Hence, we created Luna2 private hotel back in 2007. With my previous experience in Creative for international fashion brands and my passion for furniture & interior design, together with my husband’s business & finance expertise, and also combined with the fact that we have both lived in scores of different countries between us, venturing into the hotel industry in Bali was a fairly seamless transition for us.
THC: What are you working on right now?
Melanie: We have secured sites in Niseko Japan, Phuket Thailand and Lombok, and are currently completing concept design for our next Luna2 studiotel in Niseko. This will be an exciting step off the beach for us and onto the slopes of Asia’s new ski resort. Our approach to the property is ‘Bahaus 60’s pop-futuristic Swiss chalet.’
THC: How do you see your space evolving?
Melanie: We recognise the need for change in 21st century niche-market hospitality and aim to provide cosmic experiences that connect and engage likeminded people, to satisfy the needs of discerning world-travellers’ increasingly high-octane lifestyles, to inspire them and to create a sense of belonging on a very personal and emotional level.
THC: Who’s your hero or icon?
Melanie: My father, Alan Chambers, was a visionary architect of the 50’s and 60’s and instilled in me a love of modernist architecture & interior design. He travelled the world to visit and document great modernist works, many of which I referenced when designing the properties. He passed away in 1997, and I continue to see things through his eyes. I trust he is looking down at me with a proud smile! Fantastically, one of the homes he designed and built in the early 60’s in the UK was recently awarded a Grade II listing, and was remarked as being one of the best examples of in-tact modernist designs – both for its architecture and interior design.
THC: Where’s your favourite spot around the world?
Melanie: I currently live in Singapore with my family, which is the ninth country I have lived in and possibly the least interesting! My years as an expat child were in the British Virgin Islands and St Lucia, as well as Nigeria. Having spent the last 18 years throughout South East Asia and Indonesia, I am now craving a lot more of Europe: England, France and Greece especially. But I have to say, both the British Virgin Islands and a few of the Caribbean Islands are most certainly hot contenders as favourite spots for me and my husband.
THC: What’s your favourite injection of culture into a brand?
Melanie: I spent my first five years of employment at Harrods in London. Harrods really is an institution and is exemplary in its vision to represent and be, only the best. Harrods instilled this in every single employee and was frankly, the ultimate starting point for me, and set the benchmark for my career path.