Vee Kessner, Director, Space Studio
Over the decade, architecture has evolved with time and has introduced massive transformation in the creation of masterpieces. The field is constantly delivering lasting experiences to the customers while opening doors for endless opportunities. One such prominent firm which is transforming the industry with its devoted endeavors is none other than Space Studio. Space Studio is a specialist interior design studio with a focus on design excellence and exceptional delivery of hospitality projects.
Initially, the company was established in 2004 as a boutique, design-focused studio by Vee Kessner with a desire to build a practice that provides an engaged creative studio with all the relevant skills to design and deliver luxury interiors. With 30 years of experience in interior design, Vee brings a wealth of experience in hospitality, retail, and workplace design. She shares, “A shift for the company arrived during the Global Financial Crisis when a stagnant NZ market drove exploration for new business through the Pacific. This helped the company foster a growing portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts throughout the Pacific. And as the economy picked up in New Zealand, so too did the demand for hotel and hospitality interiors to meet the growing tourism demand.”
Today, Space Studio is an industry leader in large-scale hospitality interiors. With its hotel and resort projects, the company has attracted the interest of multi-unit residential, high-end aged care, and private residential projects, all seeking detail, luxury, and refinement they experienced visiting the hotels.
Building a Strong Business with Unique Services
Since 2004, Space Studio has continuously delivered premium design solutions for hotel, retail and commercial projects in New Zealand and internationally. The studio has an established team with a diverse range of skills across architecture, interiors, furniture, and lighting design. “We lead the design of major commercial projects or work alongside many of NZ and Australia’s most recognized architectural practices,” affirms Vee. It also documents projects in Revit and has extensive 3D modelling and visualization tools to communicate the design to all stakeholders.
Additionally, the company also has an established well-versed senior team in coordination with architects and services consultants to ensure that documentation is thoroughly coordinated and completed.
Space Studio is a specialist furnishing designer who specifies complete documentation for fit-out. The studio is unique as it offers full procurement services for Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment (FF&E) and Operating Supplies and Equipment (OS&E), allowing for a smooth transition and delivery of projects to completion. It also has in-house stylists to provide the final layers at project completion.
The core clients of Space Studio are developers of hotels and resorts, along with many smaller businesses and residential clients. Vee says, “We have been fortunate enough to have worked with many of them in an ongoing capacity and over several projects.” She adds, “Key to our relationship with all our clients and something we have often heard back from them is that we listen. It is part of our culture that we see the client as a valuable collaborator on any project.” Space Studio initiates this process at the critical initial stage of a project where it develops a design narrative that will carry the objectives of the brief to be cohesive through the completion of construction and placement of furniture. The company invests the time at an early stage to listen and establish a strong response and relationship with the client that will run the project.
Vee believes that a critical part of the success of projects and a unique selling proposition has always been to provide a full service from the initial concept design through to procurement, final placement, and styling. “Through the continued research and investment in the design team, we have achieved recognition of our work with international design awards. Just this week the new Cordis Auckland won ‘Best Hotel over 200 rooms – Asia Pacific’ at The International Hotel & Property Awards 2022 in the UK.”
Gearing Up for the Future
Following the years of Covid restrictions to travel, the company is looking forward to the renewed interest in travel and has been developing ideas that respond to travellers’ new needs. According to Vee, clients are often requesting the company to infuse a strong sense of place and local culture into the projects. On the other hand, travellers are seeking more sincere cultural engagement while traveling and are seeking spaces that are more in harmony with the environment, nature, and the region.
Vee shares, “More often than ever we are engaging with Mana Whenua and local artisans on projects. We are also interested in biophilic design principles, and how our spaces can facilitate well-being.” She believes that delivering great design through the Pacific playground offers the opportunity to engage closely with local artisans and develop and integrate these skills into great travel experiences.