All the King’s men

Reception

Naia Stuyck is a descendant of famous Flemish tapestry maker, Jacobo vandergoten, former director of the renowned spanish factory, The Real Fábrica de Tapices

Some would say design runs in Naia Stuyck’s blood because she is the descendant of Jacobo Vandergoten, a renowned master tapestry maker of Antwerp, who moved his family to Madrid in the 18th century.

King Felipe V appointed Vandergoten as director of The Real Fábrica de Tapices founded in 1721. The factory was formed on the model of the Royal Factories set up in France at the beginning of the 17th century.

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The King wanted to create a strong national industry so that Spain would not have to depend on the imports of French or Flemish products and the Spanish monarchy became the promoter of one of the longest-surviving tapestry factories in history. Today, it continues to produce works that are just as refined as they were 300 years ago.

Stuyck has always been interested in painting, colours, textures and design. She graduated in interior architecture at the Polytechnic University of Madrid in 2001 and has been working in the industry for over 10 years.

She joined Hyatt Hotels as design manager, working from its regional office in DIFC, Dubai, four months ago.

What is it like working as an in-house interior designer for Hyatt Hotels? Working with Hyatt is a great professional opportunity as I am able to do what I love. I am at the heart of the hotel design process, I review designs, conduct site inspections, meet hotel owners and consultants and I learn something new every day.

What I like the most about working for a big hotel group is that I can be a part of the experience of creating designs for venues worldwide and getting to see how the end result can inspire a certain mood in people. In hospitality every detail counts, from the food and the decor when eating in a signature restaurant to the feeling you get when you open the door to your room, everything has to be well thought out and work in harmony with one another.

I feel lucky that I can work with people who know how to make this become a reality. Engineers, architects, contractors and hotel operations work together to ensure each product is delivered the way it is expected. Working for Hyatt offers me the possibility of being involved in two industries I enjoy: design and hospitality. I am honoured to work for such a prestigious hotel group.

How did you get the job at Hyatt Group and what did you do prior to the role? I have been working in the industry for the past 10 years in Spain, the UK and the Middle East. I graduated in Spain and worked in a small studio doing residential projects in Madrid and Bilbao, which was a real eye opener when dealing with clients and contractors on-site.

Soon after, I moved to London where I worked on various projects including hospitals, educational and civic buildings, private residences, offices and hotels, until I found my niche in the hospitality sector.

I had the opportunity to work for firms such as John McAslan + Partners and David Collins. At David Collins I had my first taste of a hotel project which was the London, NYC. After this experience I was set. Hospitality was my thing.

After five years in London I thought it was time for a change and moved to Dubai. I came here to work for Woods Bagot and after this GAJ architects.

I have been involved in hotel design on projects such as the Kempinski, Inter Continental and St Regis Hotels. After working on hotel projects for most of my career and gaining experience as a consultant and on the client side, I felt the next natural step was to work for one of the top hotel groups.

After completing a site supervision of the St. Regis Hotel in Abu Dhabi, a friend in the industry informed me that Hyatt was recruiting for its regional office in Dubai. I had an interview for the job and was delighted to get hired.

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