Bomporto Hotels. Making ‘The Lumiares’ a local.

Foster & Bloom joined Bomporto Hotels to help create their first boutique hotel in Lisbon, Portugal:  ‘The Lumiares.’

Bomporto’s (non-Portuguese) developers got in touch shortly after a major American/global coffee chain approached the group to lease the street level commercial spaces that form part of the hotel.

The Lumiares is located on the edge of bustling Bairro Alto in the centre of Lisbon, a feast of spaces and experiences unique to the city. A big, brash American coffee vendor was not what the area needed, nor what guests at The Lumiares would seek.

Bomporto asked us to find a local partnership for these retail spaces, to help bring something unique to the hotel’s offering – an authentically ‘Lisbon’ experience.

Initially, Foster & Bloom provided the developers with a scouting report on Lisbon’s independent cafes and retailers for consideration, but even after Bomporto found their own perfect local partner – renowned Portuguese chef Miguel Castro e Silva – their relationship with Foster & Bloom grew.

With each new local business, maker or supplier discovered and presented to the group – a Lisbon leather crafter, a wool blanket weaver – the scope of our remit expanded organically, to include:

creative consulting

– design directorship and sourcing of all locally-made furniture (FF&E)

– design, sourcing, project management all artwork & craft in rooms/public spaces

– sourcing, production, project management of hotel materials — room directories, Lisbon ‘city guide’ / ‘insiders’ map of Lisbon, uniforms

social media positioning – sourcing and recommendation of best-in-practice local partners

competitive scouting report/social media – Lisbon’s hotel brands

After assessing Bomporto’s needs, Foster & Bloom’s starting place for design and artwork was the hotel’s location; we made the unique character of the Bairro Alto neighbourhood central to our design concept and FF&E brief.

In keeping with the ‘localist’ ethos Bomporto Group share, we also sought to feature as many local brands, makers and artists as possible.

Almost every item of mid-century modern furniture at The Lumiares – from bedside to coffee table — was conceived, designed and manufactured in Portugal.

A centre-piece is a hand-woven wall tapestry commissioned for The Lumiares by Ferreira de Sá; one of the oldest producers of handmade rugs in Europe, family-owned and run for generations.

All tableware is by Portugal’s own porcelain makers, Vista Alegre.

Bathroom amenities come from iconic, beautifully-packaged Claus Porto brand.

Leather room directories/compendiums were designed and finished by hand in Lisbon by contemporary artisan leather crafters Project 226, and contain notebooks hand-bound by a Santa Catarina bookbinder – sourced and designed especially for The Lumiares by Lisbon artisan collective, Malta & Companhia.

This same collective helped produce bespoke ‘Lumiares’ maps of Lisbon: a labour of love by the team to share our very favourite locations in the city.

The hotel’s bedrooms feature wool bed throws by Portugal’s own Burel Factory, made in Serra da Estrela mountain range.

A hand-woven textile bed cushion was designed and made for the project by Mizette Nielsen of Fábrica Alentejana de Lanifícios, artisan weavers in Alentejo.

Original artworks in bedrooms inspire with ‘Lisboan’ colour and pattern, while handmade letter-press typography – a special commission, hand-pressed in an age-old studio in the Azores – inspire guests with words, featuring poetry of Lisbon’s own poet Fernando Pessoa.

From our lobby’s bold black + white and brass-accented flooring, the colourful abstract original artwork of Maser, Jeff Lowe and photographer Vasco Celio, to designer Beau McClellan’s captivating sculptural and cubic brass lighting installation in the hotel’s central stairwell, we made the unique character of Lisbon’s patterns, colours and light central to its look and feel.

Foster & Bloom, with the help of Portuguese bespoke furniture makers Room2Fit and Algarve-based art consultancy Omey Projects, enabled The Lumiares hotel to take a ‘localist’ approach to design at every step.

It was a privilege to work with Bomporto’s enthusiastic, creative, Lisbon-loving team, and of course, the exceptional Portuguese designers, artists and craftspeople we met along the way.

Read and see more here about the local collaborations and makers involved in this project.


*Photos of The Lumiares by Vasco Celio, another talented artist whose work features in the hotel.

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