When it comes to the shaping of public spaces, an airport lounge provides glorious scope for the flexing of design muscles. When a space serves a broad spectrum of tastes and types, what guides the aesthetic? When hundreds of people tread its floors daily, what materials will withstand the wear and tear? And what furnishing and effects does the space require in the first place? Are people using it to fuel up on food before a flight, or as a temporary office? Are they making a library of the space or a crêche; are they catching 40 winks or drinking towards an airborne stupor?
In early 2020, Danish design house BoConcept found themselves seeking answers to these questions when they were tasked to fit out Hamburg Airport’s VIP lounge.
BoConcept – which has 65 years of experience in making modern furniture with a Scandinavian flavor – was chosen for its proven ability to quickly and efficiently install the comfort and style of a home environment in any space, while ensuring quiet but effective functionality. It wasn’t the first airport lounge design BoConcept has tackled recently. In the summer of 2019, it helped furnish Denmark’s Billund airport.
Learn more about BoConcept's Hamburg Airport project
The Billund project did, however, give BoConcept’s contract team valuable practice in fulfilling the furnishing needs of a forward-looking airport lounge, and when it came to the German commission, the Hamburg-based contract team, led by Ole Valsgaard, took on the entire project – from planning, to interior design, to production, delivery and installation of the pieces. Their clear brief was to develop distinct areas fulfilling all the possible functions passengers might wish from a lounge. They were to do it with an eye to the effective use of daylight, an ear to good acoustics and a feel for instilling calm into the atmosphere – all while meeting the strictest material standards and certifications, including a high level of fire resistance.
"BoConcept has created a completely new atmosphere," says Faik Bozdogan, the Daily Lounge Manager at Hamburg Airport. "Our lounge used to be just normal. Now we have areas where our guests can choose how they want to enjoy their stay"
The team achieved a living room-like feeling using warm earthy tones and a material mix of leather, metal and fabric. Ogi chairs with swivel function were installed under over-sized lampshades designed to provide acoustic privacy for quiet moments and meetings. Torino bar tables teamed with the Adelaide bar stool provide social space, the Lucca armchair paired with the Dublin footstool and the Ottawa lounge table offer a zen zone, and the Torino table and Vienna chair make a good work station. In order to subdivide the 500sqm VIP lounge into different areas, partition walls and statement lights were placed as acoustic and optical room dividers, which give guests privacy and make the wait for a plane comfortable.
The results have hit the mark: "BoConcept has created a completely new atmosphere," says Faik Bozdogan, the Daily Lounge Manager, Hamburg Airport. "Our lounge used to be just normal. Now we have areas where our guests can choose how they want to enjoy their stay." The challenge for Bozdogan now is to get ensconced passengers to their flights on time.