Getting to Know Rosewood Bangkok Designer Celia Chu

The Taiwanese designer imbues each of her projects with a strong sense of place and appreciation for local artisanry

Image by Owen Raggatt. Courtesy of Celia Chu Design

Image by Owen Raggatt. Courtesy of Celia Chu Design

When interior designer Celia Chu established Celia Chu Design in 2007, it was with a view to deliver high-end hospitality and residential projects. Twelve years later and the Taiwanese studio’s portfolio is distinguishable for its impeccable detailing, luxe materiality and thoughtful integration of fine art and artisanal crafts. Each interior —whether hotel, restaurant or home — is a deliciously multilayered explosion of texture, colour and pattern, driven by a concept steeped strongly in narrative.

‘Interior design isn’t just about visual impact,’ says Chu, who was born and raised in Taipei and studied at New York’s Parsons School of Design. ‘Rather, it’s about the story we want to tell and the end user’s experience.’ With projects in locations ranging from Da Nang to Cairo, and Geneva to Shenzhen, Chu understands that exploring a place’s culture is key to creating an immersive outcome.

For their design of the recently completed Rosewood Bangkok hotel, Chu’s 16-member team looked to local Thai culture and peppered subtle references throughout. A roof tile-inspired glass wall features in the Sky Lobby, while the bespoke crystal chandelier in the Pavilion evokes the spins and turns of traditional Thai dance. Elsewhere, ornament and embellishment referencing the country’s temples and palaces abound, balanced by a pared back elegance, the result of careful editing and planning.

In many ways, this project exemplifies what the practice does best. As Chu explains, ‘Each space within Rosewood Bangkok is full of meaning and this is what we believe creates connections with the guests.’ Indeed, the interior’s overall scheme evokes a strong sense of place and the material palette’s tactile fabrics and finishes simply makes it all the more welcoming, not to mention, visually compelling.

Unsurprisingly, Chu loves to travel and draws on these experiences to extend her design vocabulary. It also allows her to seek out local craftspeople. ‘We use our projects to provide a platform for artists and manufacturers who might not otherwise have the opportunity to show off their work,’ she says. ‘So by collaborating with them, we can promote local crafts that may be in danger of fading away forever.’

Artistry is central to the Celia Chu Design aesthetic, with each component of a project’s new fit-out, renovation or refurbishment meticulously curated. Although nothing is left to chance, there’s still a relaxed quality to the studio’s portfolio, which makes it look and feel very modern. Chu and her team are experts at mixing elements of old and new, luxe and rustic, everyday and aspirational to deliver interiors of incredible appeal.

Text / Leanne Amodeo

Grand Hyatt Dalian. Image by Menere Derryck

Grand Hyatt Dalian. Image by Menere Derryck

Grand Hyatt Dalian. Image by Menere Derryck

Grand Hyatt Dalian. Image by Menere Derryck

Grand Hyatt Dalian. Image by Menere Derryck

Grand Hyatt Dalian. Image by Menere Derryck

Rosewood Bangkok. Image by Panoramic Studio

Rosewood Bangkok. Image by Panoramic Studio

Rosewood Bangkok. Image by Owen Raggett

Rosewood Bangkok. Image by Owen Raggett

Rosewood Bangkok. Image by Owen Raggett

Rosewood Bangkok. Image by Owen Raggett

Rosewood Bangkok. Image by Panoramic Studio

Rosewood Bangkok. Image by Panoramic Studio

Rosewood Bangkok. Image by Owen Raggett

Rosewood Bangkok. Image by Owen Raggett

Rosewood Bangkok. Image by Owen Raggett

Rosewood Bangkok. Image by Owen Raggett

Rosewood Bangkok. Image by Panoramic Studio

Rosewood Bangkok. Image by Panoramic Studio

Taipei show apartment. Image by Menere Derryck

Taipei show apartment. Image by Menere Derryck

Taipei show apartment. Image by Menere Derryck

Taipei show apartment. Image by Menere Derryck