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ensure the customer was at the heart of that proposition. Tis formed the foundation of our new brand ethos – ‘Stay Individual’ – which is brought to life at every touch point and across all branding materials.’ Te work led to a re-naming of the hotel as Te Athenaeum Hotel & Residences (formerly ‘& Apartments’) to stay true to the brand’s English heritage. Te positioning also lay behind the offering of British classics by Te Galvin Brothers on their restaurant menu. Te updated identity work then led to a huge raft of graphic applications with almost 80 individual items, from menus and coasters through to luggage tags, cocktail invitations, notepads, pencils and guest postcards. Te hotel’s external appearance has been


transformed, with an entirely new ground- floor-level façade offering guests spectacular leafy views out across the Royal Green Park via new floor-to-ceiling windows. An impressive new, fully DDA-compliant main entrance has been relocated to the left of the façade, directly alongside the ‘Living Wall’ and created according to a design aesthetic of ‘authentic deco’. It therefore features classic architectural details of the era, such as stepped bronzework and geometric shapes, with a pattern overlaid on the doors, along with bespoke gilded metal inlays, featuring abstracted art deco shaping. Outside the front of the hotel, a new terrace area has been created, forming one of the very few outdoor dining areas on Piccadilly in what was a relatively low-key, but very successful, transformation of available space in the project’s earliest phase. Te design team also converted an existing secondary entrance on Downs Street into a new glass box with solid doors to serve as a direct entrance for non- resident guests to the hotel’s new destination bar.


For the newly-remodeled, double-height


lobby area - where the whole mezzanine galleried section has been squared off and pulled back to double the available space - the design team applied a playful interior architectural signature in the form of an eclectic mix of classic British furniture items, to reflect the hotel’s strong British heritage, mixed with contemporary and mid-century- modern European pieces. Te scheme features lots of contrast and texture, with high-gloss and reeded finishes and thin and elegant metal forms set against a muted and subtle colour palette, punctuated by bright and contemporary accents. Materials include mesh-within-glass and a curated rose bronze that the design team created in order to get the exact look and feel required for the galleried balustrade to the mezzanine. Stunning, open, metal screens create semi-private zoning between the open-plan lobby and restaurant space, whilst the columns, which are a strong feature of the space, are clad in a striking, narrow-reeded dark timber. Te overall result is both playful and geometric with the hotel’s art deco roots acknowledged but approached


26 GS Magazine


with a thoroughly contemporary sensibility. Te space features a carefully-chosen selection of elegant chairs in smoky grey and teal velvets, with mustard and tangerine upholstery in leather and other fabrics, with all chairs chosen for their interesting tones, contrasts and juxtapositions. Te main flooring in the lobby is a dark-fumed oak with a herringbone pattern, with marble used to delineate the circulation area and stairs. Te stairs have been re-clad with a polished plaster finish on the inside and marble treads, whilst the outside is clad the same way as the columns with narrow-reeded panelling. Touches of greenery throughout refer to the Living Wall and to Green Park and underscore the hotel’s English heritage. A new


high-level hanging plant feature in the entrance space gives the meeting room a sense of being fully enclosed within the Living Wall. Art is also a vital piece of the overall


integrated scene dressing and was selected for the scheme by art consultant Robin Greene, in partnership with the hotel’s owners, to express the ‘Stay Individual’ brand ethos and to link to a number of key themes, including the hotel’s historical links to the film industry and a contemporary commitment to young British artists. In a move to be one of the first London five- star hotels of its size to offer a personal and barrier free check-in experience via iPad and a concierge service, the modernised Athenaeum


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