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    Ember Locke hotel channels Kensington’s decadent heyday

    Warm saturated colours and maximalist touches are combined inside Locke Hotels’ latest outpost in west London, designed by local studios Atelier Ochre and House of Dré.

    Occupying an imposing Victorian mansion block in Kensington, the Ember Locke hotel was designed as a homage to some of the area’s historic architecture.
    Atelier Ochre and House of Dré have designed the Ember Locke hotelAmong the references brought in by the designers were the art deco Kensington Roof Gardens and the now-defunct Biba department store, which rose to popularity in the Swinging Sixties.
    “We wanted to create interiors that are an extension and interpretation of the neighbourhood, a space that reflects the cultural heritage of Kensington but also somewhere that shows the area’s evolution over time,” Atelier Ochre founder Pauline Dellemotte told Dezeen.
    “We wanted to delve into the world of bold patterns, rich colours, eclectic furniture and art deco details, to tap into the sense of opulence that once dominated the Kensington scene.”

    The hotel accommodates 121 serviced apartmentsInstead of traditional guest rooms, Ember Locke accommodates 121 serviced apartments over eight floors, alongside a bakery, restaurant and conservatory cocktail bar, a stage for live performances, a co-working space, a gym and a garden.
    Its interiors were designed to offer a contrast to the hotel’s location on bustling Cromwell Road – home to three of London’s most important museums including the V&A and the Natural History Museum.
    Velvet banquettes in the rooms are trimmed with ultra-long fringingThe building’s original arch-topped windows are mirrored in the arches and curves found in each room, from tubular-backed banquettes and chairs to the sculptural meandering clothes rail of the deconstructed wardrobe.
    “The curved edges of the banquette, the rotating mirror and the wardrobe rail are attempts to combine the unlikely trio of playfulness, comfort and practicality,” said House of Dré founder Andreas Christodoulou.
    “We’ve introduced some bold furniture and sculptural objects to spark a sense of curiosity and playfulness, and to allow guests to interact and reflect themselves within the space,” Dellemotte added.
    Each apartment also has a small kitchenetteThe velvet banquettes are trimmed with ultra-long fringing, echoed by the fringed pendant lights that hang low above the circular table in each room to zone the seating area.
    Brass detailing across coat hooks, wall lights and clothes rails adds to the sense of opulent modernity.

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    An intense colour palette, which layers red, orange and mustard tones, is offset by the deep green of the apartment kitchenettes, highlighting the more practical nature of this area.
    “With the fringing and warm earthy colours, the rooms flirt with maximalism but still possess the calm and contemporary sophistication that one would expect from a Locke hotel,” said Christodoulou.
    The bed is separated from the kitchen via a cotton curtainHeavy recycled-cotton curtains in a claret colour, custom-created by London textile company Yarn Collective, track around the walls and create a flexible room divider, separating the bed and kitchen areas when needed.
    Many of the communal spaces feature art by local and up-and-coming artists alongside specially created works by House of Dré.
    Striped shower curtains jazz up the bathroomsThe project was a close creative collaboration between Dellemotte and Christodoulou.
    “We are old friends who met at a previous practice,” said Dellemotte. “Our friendship grew to include exciting collaborations across hospitality projects, where we combined our passions for design and art.”
    “At Ember Locke, we’ve been given the opportunity to blend the interior aesthetics and art curation of the spaces with the overall branding of the hotel in a holistic way.”
    Surfaces are finished in a salmony peach colourLocke Hotels already has a number of other outposts in London. Among them is one in Bermondsey – with interiors designed by Holloway Li to echo sunny California deserts – and one near St Paul’s Cathedral that is housed in a converted 1970s office block.
    The photography is by Kensington Leverne

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    Of Architecture builds beachside home for surfer-and-artist couple in Cornwall

    London practice Of Architecture has used a fuss-free colour and material palette to create this understated home for a young couple in the town of Newquay in Cornwall.

    House by the Sea belongs to an artist and a surfer, who told Of Architecture that they wanted a home without extravagant finishes, instead preferring a living space that appears “simple, robust and utilitarian”.
    Of Architecture has designed House by the Sea for a couple in CornwallThough the brief was relatively straightforward, erecting the home proved tricky for the practice.
    “The house is located by the cliff side of Pentire peninsula and has a very steep driveway, so transporting material was a big challenge for everyone on site,” the Of Architecture co-founder James Mak told Dezeen.
    “We had to work with materials that could be carried by a small vehicle or by hand.”

    One of the sitting areas has uninterrupted views of Pentire Steps beachOnce the framework was in place, the house was finished with a “monolithic and modest” lime plaster facade.
    Key rooms were dispersed across the home’s open-plan first floor, where walls are almost exclusively painted an off-white shade.
    Prefabricated steps grant access to a cosy mezzanineIn one corner is the kitchen, which features black melamine plywood cabinetry and a large breakfast island topped with stainless steel.
    Overhead hangs a couple of industrial-style pendant lamps.
    The space is filled with artworks and other trinketsAdjacently lies a sitting area that directly overlooks Newquay’s picturesque Pentire Steps beach.
    Fronted by expansive sliding windows, the space is dressed with a classic Eames lounge chair and an L-shaped sofa upholstered in beige marl fabric.

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    Another sitting area lies towards the rear of the first floor, facing a concrete blockwork wall.
    Backed against the wall is a wood burner with a tall slender flue that stretches up to meet the four-metre-high ceiling.
    A skylight in the beam-lined roof helps brighten the mezzaninePrefabricated plywood steps lead up to a mezzanine level tucked beneath the home’s sloping roof, which is held up by steel beams.
    Intended to serve as a cosy retreat, the space is illuminated by a single skylight while artworks are casually leaned up against its walls and books are showcased on a wrap-around gridded shelf.
    The minimalist aesthetic of the first floor then carries over onto the home’s ground floor, which accommodates two guest bedrooms – complete with their own en suites – a cloakroom and a utility room.
    Rooms on the home’s ground floor are also pared backA number of other architecturally striking homes can be found along the British coast.
    Examples include RX Architects’ Seabreeze in East Sussex, which is coated in smooth pink concrete, and Mole Architects’ Marsh Hill House in Suffolk, which is shaped like a seagull’s wing.
    The photography is by Lorenzo Zandri.

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    Hollie Bowden converts London pub into pared-back jewellery showroom

    Lime-washed walls meet aluminium display fixtures in this minimalist studio and showroom that designer Hollie Bowden has devised for London brand Completedworks.

    Set over two floors of a former pub in Marylebone, it provides space for Completedworks to design and display its jewellery and ceramics, as well as to host an array of craft-focused classes.
    Hollie Bowden has designed a studio and showroom for CompletedworksThe brand was established in 2013 and up until now, has largely been sold via high-end department stores such as Dover Street Market and Liberty. But founder Anna Jewsbury felt it was time for Completedworks to have its own brick-and-mortar space.
    “We increasingly had clients asking to come and see our pieces in person but felt that we didn’t have a space that felt considered and reflected our vision,” she said. “We wanted people to be able to enter our world and get to know us, and for us to get to know them.”
    Display shelving was crafted from lustrous aluminiumFor the design of the showroom, Jewsbury worked with London-based designer Hollie Bowden, who naturally looked to the brand’s jewellery for inspiration.

    This can be seen for example in the hammered-metal door handles that appear throughout the studio and directly reference the creased design of the gold Cohesion earrings.
    A modular display system in the showroom is clad in lilac linen”[Completedworks] is known for the beauty of the textural surfaces and flowing almost baroque forms,” Bowden explained. “We developed a display language that played off that, with minimal details and strict lines.”
    Almost every surface throughout the studio is washed in beige-toned lime paint, with only a few slivers of the original brick walls and a worn metal column left exposed near the central staircase.

    Hollie Bowden channels the ambience of dimly lit gentlemen’s clubs for London office

    Bowden used brushed aluminium to create a range of display fixtures, including chunky plinths and super-slender shelving units supported by floor-to-ceiling poles.
    The space also houses a couple of angular aluminium counters for packing orders that include discrete storage for boxes and subtle openings, through which tissue paper or bubble wrap can be pulled.
    Shoji-style storage cabinets can be seen in the officeA slightly more playful selection of colours and materials was used for the studio’s custom furnishings.
    In the main showroom, there’s a modular display island sheathed in lilac linen. Meanwhile in the office, designer Byron Pritchard – who is also Bowden’s partner – created a gridded wooden cabinet inlaid with translucent sheets of paper, intended to resemble a traditional Japanese shoji screen.
    Hammered-metal door handles in the studio resemble Completedworks’ earringsThis isn’t Bowden’s first project in London’s affluent Marylebone neighbourhood.
    Previously, the designer created an office for real estate company Schönhaus, decking the space out with dark-stained oak and aged leather to emulate the feel of a gentleman’s club.
    The photography is by Genevieve Lutkin.

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    Chatsworth House exhibition is a “collision of past and present”

    An exhibition at Chatsworth House including designers including Michael Anastassiades, Faye Toogood and Formafantasma, features in this video produced by Dezeen for the stately home.

    Called Mirror Mirror: Reflections on Design at Chatsworth, the exhibition brings together a collection of furniture and objects displayed throughout and responding to Chatsworth House and its gardens.
    In total, 16 international designers and artists created pieces that respond to the interiors of the building.
    The exhibition introduces new art pieces and objects into the house and gardenSome responded by sourcing materials from the property itself, while others focussed on themes and ideas taken from decorations within the interiors.
    “The designers of the exhibition have responded to Chatsworth in all sorts of fascinating ways,” said co-curator of the exhibition Glenn Adamson.

    “Throughout you really see this kind of conversation between the present and the past.”
    Jay Sae Jung Oh designed a throne using musical instrumentsThe exhibition continues Chatsworth House’s 500-year-long history of working with leading artists and designers and collecting an extensive collection of art and objects.
    “An artist’s new work can create a new way of looking at these spaces,” said Chatsworth House Trust director Jane Marriott.
    “It can capture their imaginations and hopefully inspire them to explore Chatsworth in a different light.”
    Toogood’s monolithic furniture creates a pensive space within the exhibitionBritish designer Toogood took over Chatsworth’s chapel and adjoining Oak Room. As a nod to the historical use of the space as a place of worship and gathering, she created an installation of monolithic furniture made from bronze and stone.
    The sculptural forms were designed to evoke ecclesiastical structures and to reflect the local landscape.
    “These objects give a sense of meditative calm, a sense of massiveness or monumentality that feels appropriate to the space,” Adamson said.
    Dutch designer Joris Laarman designed a series of benches for the exhibitionTwo stone benches by Dutch designer Joris Laarman made from locally sourced gritstone , which was the material used to build the house itself, were placed in Chatsworth House’s gardens.
    The surfaces of the benches were carved with undulating patterns in which moss and lichen have been planted and will continue to grow over time.
    Other objects in the exhibition include a throne-like seat wrapped in leather made from musical instruments by Jay Sae Jung Oh, a fibrous cabinet designed by Fernando Laposse, and sinuous steam-wood sculptures by Irish furniture maker Joseph Walsh.
    Laposse’s fluffy cabinet is made from agave plant fibresAnother section of the exhibition, which occupy Chatsworth’s Sculpture Gallery built in the early 19th century, features pieces by British designer Samuel Ross.
    Ross’s pieces were designed to echo the surrounding sculptures, mimicking their form to invite viewers to imagine the body that would recline on them. The designer has used a material palette of stone and marble to further reflect the sculptures within the gallery.
    Chatsworth’s collection contains art and design pieces spanning 4,000 years”It’s a kind of collision of past and present, of the artisanal with the technological, the classical with the industrial,” Adamson said.
    “It’s a great example of how the show in general tries to talk across generations, across centuries.”
    Mirror Mirror: Reflections on Design at Chatsworth is on display at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire until 1 October 2023. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.
    Photography is courtesy of the Chatsworth House Trust.
    Partnership content
    This video was produced by Dezeen for Chatsworth House as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen’s partnership content here.

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    Thirdway transforms Georgian townhouse into women-only members' club in London

    American members’ club Chief has set up its first London outpost inside a centuries-old townhouse in Bloomsbury, with cosy interiors conceived by design studio Thirdway.

    Established in 2019, Chief has locations in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, where women working in senior leadership roles can connect, learn from industry peers and find ways to drive more women into positions of power.
    Thirdway has completed the Chief members’ club in LondonWhen it came to designing the club’s first overseas branch, Thirdway was asked to maintain the homely aesthetic established across its US outposts while also speaking to the unique architecture and location of the townhouse.
    “We wanted a mix of what felt like Chief but with a London stamp on it, while also being sympathetic to the age of the building and the local London area,” explained Alex Hodson, a senior designer at Thirdway.
    A gridded ceiling and leafy plants nod to the look of an English conservatoryThe club occupies a Grade I-listed townhouse in Bloomsbury, which Thirdway extended by connecting it to an adjacent four-storey mews house via a glazed walkway, allowing enough space for all of Chief’s amenities.

    Members enter via a forest-green reception area that’s anchored by a wooden desk.

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    Arched panelling fronts the table in a nod to the townhouse’s curved windows, while its fluted detailing references the grooves on the building’s original fireplaces.
    Rich hues go on to appear in the club’s other rooms. In the bar, for instance, the drinks counter is clad with glossy, emerald-green tiles. Here, the arch motif also reappears in the form of the storage cabinets holding the bar’s glassware and wine bottles.
    Some of the club’s rooms feature wood-lined wallsPlump teal and mustard-yellow sofas were dotted throughout the sunroom on the lower-ground floor, alongside poufs covered with the same fabric that was used to upholster seats on London’s Piccadilly underground line in the 1990s.
    To emulate the look of a traditional English conservatory, a white grid was installed across the ceiling while a number of leafy potted and hanging plants were dotted around the space.
    A grand piano takes centre stage in one of the roomsAnother events room on site was given a slightly more sophisticated feel with wood-lined walls and vermillion-red velvet seating.
    Other women-only members’ clubs in London include Allbright in Mayfair, where the walls are exclusively covered with works by female artists.
    All images are courtesy of Peter Ghobrial Photography.

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    Pink-tinged paint store Lick pays homage to London's art deco buildings

    Dusky pink surfaces appear throughout the Lick store in southwest London, which local practice Oskar Kohnen Studio has designed as a “deliberate celebration of paint”.

    Lick’s store is nestled among a parade of boutiques on Northcote Road and is the first brick-and-mortar outpost opened by the paint brand since its launch in 2020.
    Lick has opened its first physical store in LondonTo honour the occasion, Oskar Kohnen Studio wanted to design the 55-square-metre store as a “deliberate celebration of paint”, which he describes as “one of the most immediate and most intuitive ways to create a space”.
    “We live in a time where interiors are full of marble and precious finishes and I wanted to do the opposite,” said the studio’s titular founder.
    Pink paint was applied to the store’s ceiling and part of the wallsPink-tinged paint store Lick pays homage to London’s art deco buildings

    Lick’s facade, ceiling and a majority of its walls were therefore painted a bespoke dusky pink hue called Northcote 65 that the brand created specifically for the opening.
    Walnut wood trims run around the central tableKohnen says this largely monochromatic colour scheme is a nod to the Northcote Road of the past.
    “Looking at old pictures of the high street shops from the 1950s, every one of those stores used their own simple colour combination to give identity,” he explained. “It’s so beautiful how colour was used back then.”
    The store’s floor has white and grey tilingIn the store’s central room, the lower half of the walls was painted off-white to create a contrast with the ceiling and in turn draw more attention to the loftiness of the space.
    This room was designed to have a distinctly art deco feel with the help of a handful of clean, shapely details. At its centre is a white oval table with walnut wood trims and a curved metal pendant lamp suspended directly above.
    “Northcote Road pretty much ends at the iconic Battersea Power Station, which has exactly those deco elements,” said Kohnen. “I’ve always been a fan of London art deco, which is somehow less fancy and simple, quite often just painted simple ornaments.”

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    Lick’s paint tins are showcased on a custom shelving unit, with one side finished in pegboard panels for mounting brushes, rollers, finishing tape and other handy tools.
    “I wanted to create the feeling of a workshop or atelier,” added Kohnen. “I wanted to stay true to the Lick DNA, making sure the store was a place one could not only pick colours but also try them out and get creative.”
    In this spirit, the store’s grey-and-white tiled flooring mimics that seen in the Atelier Martel – an art studio that architect Robert Mallet-Stevens completed for sculptors Jan and Joël Martel in Paris in 1927.
    Products are mounted on pegboard panellingShould customers want a more in-depth consultation with one of the Lick team, they can head to the back of the store. This area is centred on a vintage steel-legged table by Danish designer Nanna Ditzel and black editions of the curved 3300 chair by Swiss designer Bruno Rey.
    Another small seating area located near the storefront features a duo of sage-green velvet armchairs.
    Vintage furnishings feature throughout the interiorAnother striking paint store to be featured on Dezeen is Helsinki’s Cover Story, in which a number of unfinished details are meant to evoke thoughts of renovation and home improvement.
    Previous colour-focused retail projects by Oskar Kohnen Studio include a mint-green eyewear store in Berlin with towering floor-to-ceiling cabinets.
    The photography is by Alexander Edwards.

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    Wood and stone surfaces bring “rich texture” to Primrose Hill House interior

    Architecture for London has updated a 1960s house in London, creating an open-plan interior filled with natural materials and an improved connection to the rear courtyard garden.

    The house is one of two detached properties set in a modernist estate in Primrose Hill that primarily consists of painted brick courtyard houses and small terraces.
    Primrose Hill House was designed by Architecture for LondonThe new owner asked Architecture for London to transform the interior into a modern layout that is better suited to their lifestyle.
    “The house had a very broken plan consisting of lots of small rooms,” the studio’s director Ben Ridley told Dezeen. “The client wanted to create a family house that was more open plan with better views of the garden.”
    The studio added a rooftop extension clad in white bricksThe remodelled interior improves the connection with the garden by incorporating a large picture window in the kitchen, along with sliding wood-framed doors in the living area.

    The ground floor also contains a smaller reception area next to the entrance hall, with folding doors allowing this space to be separated from the kitchen and dining area.
    Sliding wood-framed doors open the living room up to the gardenA bespoke blackened-steel staircase provides access to four bedrooms on the first floor, including a main suite with a juliet balcony overlooking the garden.
    Following a detailed cost and sustainability review, a decision was made to demolish all of the property’s interior walls and rebuild them in order to achieve the required spaces.
    The interior was finished in a rich material paletteThis solution also offered the best energy-efficiency potential, according to Ridley, with a layer of wall insulation added alongside a heat recovery ventilation system (MVHR).
    The home’s first-floor plate was replaced using steel beams and timber joists to enable the demolition of the ground-floor walls and the opening up of the interior.
    Flooring was used to define different zonesspThe project also involved the addition of a timber-framed rooftop extension, clad with white-painted brick to tie in with the rest of the house and set back so it’s largely hidden from view.
    The extension contains a flexible mezzanine space for yoga and meditation that is accessed from the main bedroom suite.

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    Throughout the home, Architecture for London applied a pared-back palette of natural materials that is intended to create a sense of calmness and connection with the garden.
    Internal walls treated with breathable lime plaster provide a neutral backdrop for furniture including a dining table made from locally sourced London plane trees.
    Doors and windows are framed with wood”We intentionally didn’t use a lot of colour so there’s a strong feeling of consistency,” Ridley said. “The choice of stone and timber brings a rich texture to the palette.”
    A reference image of a Portuguese manor house, featuring a tiled trompe l’oeil frieze around a doorway, informed the use of materials to define space within the interior.
    The shared living areas have an open-plan layoutIn the living room, stone floor tiles in different shades create a border around the room, as if an area rug has been placed on the floor to demarcate where furniture could be placed.
    Ben Ridley founded Architecture for London in 2009 following his studies at London’s Barlett School of Architecture. The studio aims to create places that improve how people live and work, with a focus on reducing their operational emissions.
    Wood lines the interior walls of the homeRidley’s own London house recently featured in our round-up of five UK house renovations designed to improve energy efficiency.
    “Ultimately we are going to have to accept some changes in the appearance of our traditional homes,” he said, speaking to Dezeen as part of a feature on architects who have retrofitted their own homes.
    The photography is by Christian Brailey.

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    Office S&M unveils its own colourful office with plastic-bottle-wall enclosed meeting room

    Architecture practice Office S&M has completed its own office inside a former paint-making workshop in Hackney, London.

    With an entire wall of material samples and areas for modelling and sketching, Office S&M’s workspace aims to act as a laboratory to support its ongoing exploration of materials “that are both practical and fun.”
    Material samples are loosely placed to allow experimentation in the officeThe studio, headed by architects Catrina Stewart and Hugh McEwen, frequently experiments with materials and colour.
    For its own office, complementary shades such as electric blue, yellow, red and green, were combined.
    The office combines bold colours”For this workspace, we particularly used an electric blue and a bright yellow to contrast with each other and make the space larger,” McEwen told Dezeen.

    “At the same time, because the workspace is south facing, we used the blue to cool the light and even out the warmth of the sun when looking at samples or drawings.”
    The space has been broken into spaces for different usesThe office features a separate meeting room acoustically isolated with sheets of recycled plastic bottles.
    The plastic-bottle wall also works as a point of light thanks to the bulbs it contains inside.
    According to the architects, the recycled-plastic-bottle “provides excellent acoustic insulation””For our own office, we decided to use another common waste material, plastic bottles, but reimagined, to build a soundproofed meeting room,” said Stewart.
    “The recycled plastic insulation is easy to work with, and irritation free, compared to traditional insulation.”
    The studio also includes ergonomic workstationsThe space was divided into areas focused on collaboration, discussion and making to reflect Office S&M’s commitment to community-led design.
    “We live in east London, and do much of our work in the areas near where we live and work,” said McEwen. “This gives us really local knowledge, so we can make sure projects have the most impact and can give back to the area.”
    The building is owned by Bootstrap, a charity that supports emerging businesses in HackneyAdditionally, Office S&M added plants, air purifiers and ergonomic workstations that intend to maintain the well-being of its occupants.
    Other projects by the studio include a rental home for a young property developer that aims to offer a solution to London’s rental market, and the renovation of the Mo-tel House, a residence that features pale colours and bathroom counters made of discarded milk bottles and chopping boards.
    The photography is by Ellen Christina Hancock.

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