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Designer Robert Bailey was charged with setting up a respite in the top two floors of the recently built Fairmont Pacific Rim. First published in 2012.
A high-flying life brings the owners of this penthouse suite to Vancouver a dozen or so times each year. (There are also posts in London, Singapore and other cities when business takes them there.) So when it’s Vancouver’s turn, they seek a calm and Zen environment for relief from a harried life.Designer Robert Bailey was charged with setting up that respite in the top two floors of the recently built Fairmont Pacific Rim, a gleaming tower that rises from the Coal Harbour waterfront. One of the advantages of owning a pied-à-terre within a five-star hotel is the luxury guest services: they have a habit of trickling upward. A phone call in advance of touch-down will have the concierge loading the fridge, favourite breakfasts are delivered in the morning, and maid service is constantly on hand. A nearby lounge space means guests can socialize while the chef works.“They wanted,” says Bailey, “the luxury of their own home and the benefits of the hotel.” The luxury he speaks of, though, is not the vibrant or showy sort in which many penthouses of a similar calibre take pride. “It’s a very quiet kind of luxury. It’s the kind of space that reveals itself to you slowly as you inhabit it.” In concrete terms, that means exquisite fabrics, for one: fine leathers, cashmere and silk velvet cover most of the custom furnishings in this sky-home. And custom furniture was essential in such grand spaces as the double-height living room, where Bailey positioned a 14-foot sofa along an epic wall of glass. The Layers carpet by Zoë Luyendijk picks up the blues and earthtones seen in the mountain views outside the penthouse.Of course, it’s what’s outside that glass that’s the real showstopper. Panoramic views of ocean and mountains dominate the visual language here, so Bailey used a palette of browns, blues and silvery greys taken directly from nature. There is access to a generous set of terraces from most rooms, too, driving home the connection. Bailey’s design works with the view instead of competing with it.In the bedroom, a true quietness was encouraged by wrapping all the drawer fronts and doors in leather so nothing can bang shut. Miles of silk drapery have a hushing influence, too. A custom canopy bed designed by Bailey and Michael Trayler pairs beautifully with Maxalto Elios bedside tables and Porta Romana Coffee Bean lamps. Cladding the entire space in limestone adds a quiet calm to a space meant for relaxation.All told, the 6,400-square-foot penthouse took two years to complete. An internal private elevator shuttles the owners between its two floors of serenity and up to the rooftop, 500 feet in the air. The view from there is a 360-degree experience; it’s enough to make you stop, really breathe the salt-licked air and give yourself a slow moment before jumping on the next flight out of town. A bronze-finished dining set remains in keeping with the colour palette Bailey selected for the interiors: browns, blues and silvery greys.
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