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Inside Tsogo Sun’s SunSquare and StayEasy hotel complex


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The striking, custom-designed LED-lit timber walkway adds a wow factor to
the hotel's entrance. It leads to the hotel's restaurant, Vigour & Verve.

 

Tsogo Sun’s latest, highly-anticipated development – the SunSquare and StayEasy Hotel complex in Cape Town’s City Bowl – recently emerged after more than two years in the making.

The stylish and sizeable 504-bedroomed SunSquare (consisting of 202 rooms) and StayEasy (302 rooms) hotel complex is the new concrete kid on the block, located on the corner of Cape Town’s bustling Bree, Strand and Buitengracht Streets.

With a towering 20 storeys, the decidedly squareshaped R700 million building initially designed by Londonbased architecture firm Dexter Moren Associates (DMA) and later taken over by Ruben Reddy Architects, dwarfs much of its surroundings. At night, its bright lights illuminate the building’s contemporary, subdued facade.
 

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The spacious lobby area is illuminated with Spazio's Actros downlights
and adorned in sophisticated neutrals and greenery that brings the outdoors in.


Varying from budget to luxe, the two brand-new hotels aim to offer accommodation to suit all guests’ budgets, with rooms starting from as little as R999 at StayEasy, and from R1 499 at SunSquare. Apart from SunSquare’s many rooms, the expansive 2 400m² public space includes a reception area, restaurant, bars, lounge, pool deck, conference rooms and a gym.

Interior design company Blacksmith Interior Inspiration transformed both hotels’ interiors, giving each a distinct look and feel that reflects its character.

For the more plush SunSquare offering, interior designers Jenna Page and Ryan Illgner of Blacksmith employed natural materials to give the space unmistakably stylish and timeless appeal: burnished metals combined with glass, greenery, vibrant fabrics and decorative lighting that does double duty to brighten up the space.


At StayEasy, deep neutral tones adorn the walls, accentuated with pops of primary colours as seen in the furniture and accessories, while clean lines keep it modern and minimalist.
 
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Olive round footlights illuminate the numbers on the doors of the rooms.

In executing the client’s brief, the Blacksmith interior team had to design the space in such a way that it remains timeless and appeals to a youthful market.

“The idea was to create a space that exudes casual luxury in a contemporary and timeless manner,” says Jenna of SunSquare’s décor and design. A walk through the hotel reveals its overarching design theme: geometric angular shapes

“This can be seen in the tilted LED-lit timber walkway leading to the hotel’s restaurant, Vigour & Verve – a pattern repeated in the furniture, lighting, wallpapers and other design elements.”

In order to highlight and accentuate certain areas in the hotel, lighting had to be carefully considered. “Accent bulkhead and feature lighting, combined with deep tones and moody fabrics, was used to strike a balance between light and dark,” explains Jenna.

 
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Downlights light up the restrooms.

One of many custom-made light fittings in the hotel, a dimmable lighting system was incorporated that automatically adjusts for day and night. “This provides warmth and a comfortable ambient glow.

“It also lends a richness to the design and emphasises the natural tactile timbers and contrasting sleek concrete and metals incorporated in the design,” Jenna asserts.

 
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The restaurant's sleek and stylish interiors overlook busy Buitengracht Street.

McAvinchey Consulting Engineers was tasked with the functional lighting design and specification, with Dave Alhadeff of Intellibus supplying the lighting.

“Spazio's range of recessed LED downlighters, LED footlights and continuous-line LED strip lights were used extensively in public areas as well as in the bedrooms,” says Dave. Hilton McAvinchey and Jenna agree that one of their biggest challenges was the restricted ceiling height.

But practical Spazio light fittings, such as the Saturn downlights with their depth and ability to be surface mounted, made things easier, says Hilton.

 
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Actros downlights also light up the strikingly positioned rooftop pool area.

The careful consideration given to lighting was pivotal in bringing the various design elements together, while providing different intensities of light for specific areas and for decorative effect.

SEE THE LIGHT
Throughout SunSquare: Spazio's round Saturn LED downlights, square Olive footlights, LED strip lights, recessed LED floor uplighters and various tapelight profiles.

 
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Bar staff at the hotel's The Deck Bar, lit with Kardan downlights from Spazio,
ready to serve guests, who can soak up magnificent 180º views of the Mother City.


 

IMAGES: JAN RAS & WIANÉLLE BRIERS

WORDS: ASHRAF BOOLEY


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