'A timeless love song to the city': HBA London complete The Orient Jerusalem hotel

Over the centuries, Jerusalem has been a melting pot of peoples, each bringing their stories and crafts and leaving a great legacy of artisanal resourcefulness
– Inge Moore, former principal of HBA London

Design firm HBA London has completed the interiors of The Orient Jerusalem by Isrotel Exclusive Collection – a hotel that doubles as “a timeless love song to the city.”

Situated at the entrance to Jerusalem’s historically rich German Colony district, The Orient is formed of two 19th Century Templar houses, which have been restored and reinvented as a collection of 39 luxury guestrooms. These are joined by a new, modern nine-storey building, with 205 guest rooms, crowned with a rooftop pool and bar, with 360-degree views over the old city walls.

HBA London, part of global company Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA), took inspiration from the city’s architectural heritage, adopting features such as encaustic floor tiles, mother-of-pearl inlaid cabinetry and extensive use of local stone. The blue and ivory palette, meanwhile, has been chosen to represent the colours of the national flag.

Designer Inge Moore created the concept while principal of HBA London, although she has since left to establish her own studio, Muza Lab.

She said: “Jerusalem is an amazing city for a designer to work in. Everything is embraced by the golden tint of the stone, interspersed with the green of foliage and plants and with bright punches of colour in the fruits, markets, textiles and ancient decoration.

“Over the centuries, Jerusalem has been a melting pot of peoples, each bringing their stories and crafts and leaving a great legacy of artisanal resourcefulness. We were particularly blessed with this project because we not only had the city to draw on, but the influences of the German Colony’s Swabian architecture.”

In the spotlight
HBA London on their design for The Orient Jerusalem

“The journey begins within a grand atrium of glass and Jerusalem stone. The purity of the design is imposing and everything looks hand-crafted. A high glazed ceiling lets in an abundance of natural light and is dressed with gently gathered drapery that lends elegance to the space while also shielding guests from the midday sun and softening the acoustics.

“Illuminated mosaic tiles, the design of which was taken from encaustic tiles found in the Templar buildings, course across the floor and walls, articulating the large space; the reception desk is of bronze and a chandelier with hand-blown local glass cascades through the central stairwell, suspended above a reflection pool two floors below, to captivate guests on arrival.

“The grand lounge bar is the beating heart of the hotel and has become a favourite hotspot for hotel residents and locals alike. Flowing from the entrance lobby, it is an atmospheric double-height space that is a symphony of reflective and textural surfaces. The bar itself is clad in a richly grained green marble, the pattern of which has been translated into the wall covering. A composition of framed verre églomisé mirrors, together with an antiqued mirror to the back of the bar, play with movement and reflections within the space.

“Plush banquet seating, elegant leather-covered armchairs and local lace chandeliers soften the geometric patterning and beaten metal features, while screens on each side of the bar recall the many-layered views to be found in the streets of Jerusalem. Through soaring arched windows, guests can access cosy balconies overlooking the delightful outdoor courtyard below.”

Amenities include a triple-height dining room, a courtyard terrace, a gym and a gallery showcasing sculptures, watercolours, prints and etchings by acclaimed and emerging Israeli artists. The hotel also boasts a cavernous seven-room spa with a rough-hewn lava stone feature wall, a cascading waterfall and a golden crystalline ceiling.

HBA London  The Orient Jerusalem  Israel  Isrotel Exclusive Collection  Inge Moore  Hirsch Bedner Associates 
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Design firm HBA London has completed the interiors of The Orient Jerusalem by Isrotel Exclusive Collection – a hotel that doubles as “a timeless love song to the city.” Situated at the entrance to Jerusalem’s historically rich German Colony district, The Orient is formed of two 19th Century Templar houses, which have been restored and reinvented as a collection of 39 luxury guestrooms. These are joined by a new, modern
CLD,SAB,HHR,HOT,ARC,DES
A rooftop pool and bar overlooks Jerusalem / Thomas Andersen
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