An award-winning design studio based in Santa Monica, Minarc, has been at the forefront of contemporary and sustainability in hotel design through their incorporation of natural elements and materials within their design projects.

Inspired by their native Iceland, each member of the Minarc Design Studio blurs the lines between interior and exterior spaces and prides themselves on their innovative approach to sustainable design practices.

We caught up with Architectural Designers, Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir and Tryggvi Thorsteinsson, to talk more about how Minarc is helping to redefine the very nature of sustainability in hotel design and eco-friendly style.

minarc design studio

What key themes are trending this year in terms of sustainability in hotel design?

Using local resources will be a big trend in the future. People are starting to understand how little we actually need. Minimalism – ‘less is more’ – fits well for 2018.

The most popular theme we’re seeing is simplifying, removing layering and taking advantage of local resources.

What have clients been asking for this year?

We’ve seen clients asking for design which is compact and functional – we’re building smaller and building with quality materials like, for example, mnmMOD, a customisable insulated wall-panel which is durable, energy efficient and better for health as they’re thermally broken.

Energy saving and being waste-free is a large requirement we’re seeing in new clients – which, of course, we’re happy to see.

ion city

What design challenges do you think the hospitality sector faces over the next 12 months?

Experience over luxury is where hospitality is heading. It’s more about leaving guests with memories that live on forever.

Are you seeing a rise in hospitality clients wanting eco-friendly interiors?

Absolutely! Everyone is becoming more aware that their contribution matters. We, as individuals, can do our part which matters for sure, but the hospitality sector has more power to get things out to the world quicker and on a larger scale.

Do you think that the number of establishments wanting sustainable design features will rise over the next 12 months?

Undoubtedly. It’s rising and has been for the last ten years. I don’t see anything stopping it now and I think we’ll see it take off faster now than ever before.

What advice do you have for hoteliers who are looking to create a sustainable experience?

Educate yourself with the experience of various cultures and with an open mind and open eyes. See, be, and use what you learn.

sustainable design

Which projects are you most proud of over the last year that, in your opinion, epitomise the year’s trends?

Being able to build a hotel in the city where we grew up is a dream which came true last year when the latest hotel designed by us, Ion City, opened in Reykjavik.

Included in the design were products that we designed and are very proud of; the Dropi, the Nest, and our light fixture, the Polestar, as well as the walls in the bathroom which were each handmade by Erla on site.

We used only local materials for construction and sustainability, and sustainable materials and design were our main thoughts and concerns throughout the project and design of the hotel.

plus hus sustainable design

Also, our latest addition Plús Hús is an accessory dwelling unit that stands for all the things that are trending right now in sustainability and epitomises the issues surrounding less waste and minimising space. Plús Hús is made from mnmMOD; thermally broken walls that don‘t support fire or termites. The unit itself is approximately 320 square feet which can be used as a residential dwelling, guest house, work-space etc. It truly is looking towards the future thought of ‘less is more‘.


To read the Vision Style Guide, please click here or to request your very own print copy, head over to the Vision Style Awards page which includes information on the brand new Vision Style Awards coming May 2018.