A MOD­ERN, DAR­ING, cre­ative de­sign HAS BREATHED new life INTO THE BUILD­ING’S BONES

Inside Out - - DESIGN | PLACES - Man­dari­nori­en­tal.com

atrium; fil­ters through the in­tri­cate metal­lic screens that de­fine the en­trance hall and public spa­ces; and is re­flected via gleam­ing glass and mir­rored ceil­ings and pan­els. Most im­pres­sively, the fil­i­gree-like metal grid in­stal­la­tion that is sus­pended over the ho­tel’s res­tau­rant BistrEau casts in­trigu­ing shad­ows and bounces light to mes­meris­ing ef­fect. A tran­quil cen­tral court­yard, the Mi­mosa Gar­den – de­signed by land­scape ar­chi­tect Beth Figueras in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Urquiola – also en­sures that even within, the sense of light and airi­ness can be ap­pre­ci­ated: in dra­matic con­trast, how­ever, the spa, down in what was once the bank’s vaults, is dimly lit and en­velop­ing, with dark wood and gran­ite stone pro­vid­ing a min­i­mal­ist aes­thetic. Ev­ery­thing from the decor to the fur­nish­ings, art­work and fin­ishes have all been care­fully cho­sen by the de­signer. Be­spoke pieces, or fur­ni­ture es­pe­cially adapted for the ho­tel in part­ner­ship with the likes of B&B Italia, Molteni, Flos and Morosa, have a fas­ci­nat­ing back­ground or con­cept be­hind them: in the sig­na­ture

res­tau­rant, an early 20th-cen­tury French iron­ing ta­ble now serves as an un­ex­pected cen­tre­piece; the lobby sofa has been adapted from a tra­di­tional Ch­ester­field, while a tar­tan car­pet in the bar is an evoca­tive nod to yes­ter­year’s gen­tle­man’s clubs. Lux­u­ri­ous ma­te­ri­als – leather, wood, metallics, vel­vet, silk – to­gether with ce­ram­ics and art, have been used ex­ten­sively in both the public spa­ces and in the 120 guest rooms and suites where Urquiola has com­bined con­tem­po­rary fur­ni­ture with ori­en­tal de­tails, in­clud­ing wall screens in­spired by ori­en­tal par­avents, and wardrobes de­signed with lac­quered Chi­nese boxes in mind. Stand-alone pieces, geo­met­ric tiling and splashes of rich colour in the soft fur­nish­ings add un­ex­pected de­tail, all com­bin­ing to cre­ate so­phis­ti­cated but com­fort­able spa­ces. For Urquiola, a fi­nal flour­ish is the cre­ation of the Man­darin Ori­en­tal Group’s sig­na­ture fan em­blem: for this ho­tel’s ver­sion, she clev­erly in­cor­po­rated an el­e­ment of the bronzed alu­minium lat­tice­work into the fan’s de­sign… creat­ing a unique ver­sion of a well-recog­nised and valu­able mo­tif. Very much like her cre­ative in­ter­pre­ta­tion of this ho­tel, in fact.

Clock­wise from left This Ter­race Suite’s pri­vate pa­tio has been de­signed to com­ple­ment the in­te­ri­ors with el­e­gant fur­ni­ture and beau­ti­fully lit plant­ing. The rooftop pool and Ter­rat bar en­joy won­der­ful views. The Pent­house Suite’s bath­room is the epit­ome of lux­u­ri­ous glam­our. In con­trast to the rest of the ho­tel, the spa’s decor is dark and mood­ily dra­matic, of­fer­ing a sense of med­i­ta­tive calm.

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