MKB Design refurbishes Le Grande Casino in Kinshasa, DRC
21 Oct 2008 - eProp - MKB
The premier interior design firm has been prominent in the industry for many years specializing in concept, concept development and execution of interior design of local and international casinos, hotels, restaurants, bars, night clubs, residential homes, wine cellars, spas and cigar bars.
Established in 2007 by CEO Gregor Bremer, the firm has a staff of 200 full-time highly skilled employees with extensive experience in refurbishment and interior design and architecture. The company offers a turnkey service and can handle every aspect of any refurbishment.
MKB Design manufactures all the fixtures and fittings for the company's projects at its large factory in Sandton. There is also a full design studio on site. MKB designs and manufactures fittings for their own turnkey projects but also has the capacity to supply other contractors with top-quality fittings.
The 900m2 Le Grande Casino, although owned and managed independently, forms part of the Le Grande Hotel complex. This is the only casino in the DRC and it has 90 gaming machines and 14 games tables including American Roulette and Blackjack. Located in the Gombe residential area of Kinshasa, Le Grand Hotel and the Casino is conveniently situated near the President's Palace and the diplomatic and business areas of Kinshasa.
Established 34 years ago the Le Grande is a five star hotel with 422 rooms including 32 presidential suites and 12 penthouses. The well-positioned establishment offers elegance, luxury, comfort and a wide-range of facilities including a retail component with 35 shops, a gym, entertainment, a business centre and conference facilities for up to 1220 delegates. Le Grande Hotel is the meeting place of choice in Kinshasa and draws a wide range of tourists, politicians, and business people from the Congo and all parts of the world. The Le Grande Casino provides a sought after entertainment option in an area that is relatively devoid of entertainment facilities.
MKB Design completed the refurbishment in just four weeks. Bremer says that this was a challenge as the Casino was completely gutted before refurbishments commenced. In addition to the tight schedule, the DRC is a quagmire of bureaucratic red tape and rules and regulations vary and are often dependent on the needs of the relevant officials.
"We utilised top quality materials wherever possible," says Bremer. "We imported every single item that we needed for this refurbishment, right down to the last nail. Everything was flown into the DRC from South Africa. There is very little that they can supply and what is available is not consistent in terms of quality or availability."
MKB Design also flew in it's own work crews for the project. "Due to the tight time constraints we worked with two teams around the clock," adds Bremer. "Original plans included transporting materials by road. Road problems necessitated a change in plans and materials were then going to be shipped. Further logistical problems in terms of shipping and harbours resulted in another change of plans. In the end we flew everything into the DRC, a costly but more reliable exercise."
In keeping with the ambience and décor of the Le Grande Hotel, the interior of the Le Grande Casino has a contemporary design that incorporates classical elements. Bremer says that the overall effect is similar to the casinos that one sees in the original James Bond films. "We used traditional flocked wallpapers, quality chandeliers and custom-made carpeting."
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