Monthly Archives: November 2013

Introducing HAM

Posted on November 28, 2013 by Megan

London based designer Jo Robson (née Ham) has designed a range of 100% British-made wares which draw aesthetic inspiration from her childhood nostalgia of growing up on a farm. As a farmer’s daughter, Robson grew up in the Shires before training as a fine artist, and it was these years spent in rural England that have provided her with the creative fuel for this collection.

Through this range of prints, greeting cards, notebooks and mugs, HAM designs capture some unexpected moments in the quiet lives of a pig, a horse and a rabbit. The minimal aesthetic brings a serious edge to the playful subject matter.

Established in 2011 as a pop-up shop in London’s famous Carnaby Street, HAM has since been featured in a number of press titles and can be found on the shelves of many prestigious design-led stores and galleries around the world.

Minimalism and bold silhouettes against a crisp white background define HAM’s aesthetics, and only on closer inspection can the eye detect more specific details about the animals and their curious behaviour, which exhibit Robson’s subtle sense of humour.

Included in the range are a collection of screen prints (available in varying sizes) and A5 notebooks.  HAM has produced a line of British-made luxury greeting cards, litho printed on thick matt paper, accompanied by brown kraft envelopes.

In the spirit of the forthcoming Christmas season, HAM has also launched two new festive designs featuring the pig and rabbit.

More information available at http://www.hammade.com/

 

Westin Palace

Posted on November 19, 2013 by Megan

Rockwell Group Europe have recently completed the interior design for the new event spaces at the historic Palace Hotel, Madrid. Originally designed by Catalan architect Ferrés i Puig, the internal event space within the 20th century building have been given a touch of modern elegance in a bid to revive the hotel’s longstanding role as a hub for Madrid civic life.

A total area of 1,185 sq m was transformed by Creative Director Diego Gronda and his team. Worthy of note within these designs are several custom lighting features, including an LED lighting system which allows users of the “Circulo Palace” to choose between more than 250 colours, to set the mood of the room at the touch of an I-pad.

The new venue, Espacio Palace, complements the hotel’s existing meeting rooms, providing a distinctive spatial and aesthetic alternative. “We developed a design language that is at once respectful of the 100-year history of this magnificent building, yet offers a contemporary interpretation and accommodates the technological needs of guests and customers of the 21st century,” says Gronda. “This project has been especially important to us because the hotel plays such a prominent role in the life of Madrid, and it’s our first commission in our home city.”

Rockwell Group Europe invented a sophisticated, multi-purpose space that is adaptable to amaximum of private functions, such as business presentations, cocktail parties, wedding celebrations, dinners, and ballroom dances. The design is intended to capture the essence of the glamorous “Palace Brasserie” that occupied this location in the early 20th century while imbuing the space with a modern sensibility and firmly anchoring it in our time. Inspired by the landmark Neptune Fountain in front of The Westin Palace, Rockwell Group Europe integrated subtle design references to water throughout the new venue, connecting the hotel’s interior to its urban context and adding a sense of movement to custom furniture, lighting, and carpeting. Neutral and metallic tones lend the spaces a fresh and contemporary feel.  

The project nearly doubles the hotel’s banqueting capacity, making The Westin Palace the largest luxury hotel supplier for special events in Madrid. It is the culmination of Rockwell Group Europe’s interior redesign of the hotel’s most significant public spaces, which began in 2012 with the renovation of the dramatic rotunda lobby and lounge, long known for its spectacular stained glass dome, as well as four of the hotel’s meeting rooms.

QE2 Hotel Design Proposal by Benoy

Posted on November 18, 2013 by Megan

Almost 50 years on from the launch of The QE2, design proposals are being put forward for the ship’s conversion into a floating 5-star hotel. Amongst the proposed plans is the scheme of award-winning designers Benoy, who propose a design preserving the original architecture and ambience of the world-famous vessel, uniting the character of the 60s with contemporary and cutting edge design trends. It is a scheme which propels the liner into the 21st century luxury market.

In the historically important spaces of the Midships Lobby and Queen’s Room, Benoy propose to conserve the forward-thinking intent of the original QE2 design by introducing modern variations on textiles, lighting, fittings and technology. 

Amongst the design challenges encountered during the early stages of planning was the issue of how to introduce light and physical space into the arteries of the ship, given the long, straight passenger corridors which run through the vessel. Benoy’s solution was to carve circular vestibules out along the passageways, providing opportunities to showcase art and feature lighting to open the space up.

Within the guest suites, the curved alterations of the corridors continue to flow through the spatial design, with subtle hints of a nautical theme. The luxurious ambience was crafted using highlights of marbled stone, stand-alone bath tubs and glass walls. The furnishings note the style of the QE2 history, with a vintage appeal that is accompanied by a natural and contemporary colour palette. 

The floating hotel will accommodate private residences, a conference centre, a performance theatre and ballroom, as well as retail and leisure locations. Benoy has accommodated space for a modern maritime museum, present the important and fascinating history and artefacts of the iconic vessel to both the public and hotel guests. Guests can experience an elevator ride to the top of the ship’s funnel, which has been re-designed as an observation platform. Above deck, the original swimming pool has been enlarged to accommodate 5-star standards.

John Denton, Director of Interior Design at Benoy, commented that the firm’s submission embraced the “history and philosophy” of the transatlantic ocean liner.

Benoy’s design concept film for the QE2 hotel can be found on the Benoy YouTube Channel.

The London Distillery Company confirmed as sponsor of the World Interiors News Awards

Posted on November 5, 2013 by Rosie

We are delighted to announce that The London Distillery Company will be serving its first London-crafted gin at the WIN Awards Dinner at the Saatchi Gallery on the 28th November.

Developed at the new distillery in Battersea, London, Dodd’s Gin pays tribute to Ralph Dodd, an 18th century born entrepreneur and engineer, who formed The Intended London Distillery Company in 1807. Dodd’s business prospectus detailed his commitment to produce Genuine British Spirits and whilst he never quite fulfilled his visionary project, his aspirations are finally being realised over 200 years later by The London Distillery Company.

The small batch gin, created by Head Distiller Andrew MacLeod Smith and Founder Darren Rook, uses organic botanicals, which include: juniper, angelica, fresh lime peel, bay laurel, cardamom, red raspberry leaf and London honey.

A significant proportion of the ingredients are first distilled in ‘Christina’, a traditional 140-litre copper alembic, with the more delicate botanicals being reserved for ‘Little Albion’, The London Distillery Company’s state-of-the-art cold vacuum still. The two spirits are then married for several weeks before being hand-bottled and labelled by the team at the distillery.

Darren Rook comments: “We came across Ralph Dodd and his story whilst investigating former distilleries in London, almost a year to the day after founding The London Distillery Company. Dodd’s ethos about creating Genuine British Spirits was akin to ours, so we felt it fitting that our first London produced brand was dedicated to him.”

Andrew MacLeod Smith adds: “Any distiller will tell you that it takes many months of research and development to create an innovative, premium organic spirit, and Dodd’s was no different. For example, we distilled several types of honey, from all areas of the UK, but found that the complex honey produced by urban bees in London gave the spirit a luxurious mouth-feel and added a delightful top note, which complements the rest of the aromatics perfectly.”

www.londondistillery.com