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    Hotel guests not ready to pay more for sustainability says Conscious Hotels CEO

    Only “hardcore sustainable” customers are currently willing to pay extra for eco-conscious hotels, according to Marco Lemmers, CEO of hospitality company Conscious Hotels.

    Lemmers predicts that hotel guests will be prepared to pay more for sustainability in the future, but it will be “a few years from now”.
    “I think people will be prepared to pay more for a sustainable solution,” he told Dezeen.
    “We’re not there yet, because the hotel business is still quite price-sensitive. You have to be hardcore sustainable to want to pay €10 euros extra for a sustainable stay. But slowly it’s moving in that direction.”
    Marco Lemmers is CEO of Conscious Hotels. Main image: the all-electric Westerpark venue is one of four Conscious Hotels in AmsterdamLemmers, who founded Conscious Hotels in 2009, spoke to Dezeen during The Lobby hospitality design conference in Copenhagen in August.

    Conscious Hotels has four properties in Amsterdam. These hotels have eco-friendly policies in place for all of their operations, including interior fit-out, energy and water use, food and drink, and cleaning processes.
    According to Lemmers, the company’s sustainability ethos has enabled it to build a loyal customer base.
    “We’re the most sustainable option in Amsterdam, so we see a lot of returning guests” he said.
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    The brand’s mantra is “eco-sexy, big smiles”
    However this alone is not enough to make the business thrive, Lemmers explained. Conscious Hotels aims to be competitive in terms of design and cost, so it can also attract non-eco-minded customers.
    “The only way to make change is to seduce people,” he said.
    “We have our sustainable planet promises but we also have to make it sexy. Sexy is about having beautiful places, beautiful food and drink, and beautiful people.”

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    Looking forward, Lemmers predicts that changes in legislation will soon give eco-minded hotels a competitive advantage over rivals.
    He believes that hotel owners in Europe will soon be legally obligated to meet much stricter rules on the sustainability of their buildings and operations.
    “We’ve already seen it happen in the Netherlands with offices and the same will happen with hotels,” he stated.
    “Even if you don’t believe in sustainability, do a SWOT analysis in the next business planning cycle and see the threat.”
    The Tire Station of one of two Conscious Hotels with its own source of solar powerThe CEO says that hotels lagging behind need to urgently rethink their approach, or risk playing catchup.
    “There’s an opportunity now – if you have sustainability in order, you have a competitive advantage,” he said. “Pretty soon legislation will push you to go there anyway, and there’s usually not a lot to be gained by being one of the last movers.”
    Conscious Hotels implements a number of guidelines in order to reduce its environmental impact.
    All the materials used for hotel fit-out are either natural products with cradle-to-cradle certification, or they are recycled or second-hand.
    Interiors only use materials that are recycled, second-hand or certified cradle-to-cradleConscious Hotel Westerpark is 100 per cent electric-powered, with most of its energy supplied by the brand’s own windmill, while two of the other hotels generate energy from rooftop solar panels.
    Restaurants serve organic food, with more than 50 per cent vegan or vegetarian dishes, and almost all produce is sourced from local suppliers.
    Other initiatives include green walls, passive heating and cooling systems, organic cleaning products, water-saving showerheads and faucets, refillable toiletries and waste separation.
    All food and drink is sourced from local suppliersWhile Lemmers acknowledges that some of these initiatives require time and investment, particularly for large hotel chains, he claims that others are easy to implement.
    He believes that all hotels could easily take at least one step towards improving their sustainability credentials.
    “Start with the operation; you can do it today,” he said. “Just procure stuff that’s local instead of having it come from the other side of the world.”
    “FF & E (furniture, fixtures and equipment) comes slightly later, but you have to invest in that every seven years anyway, to maintain and renew.”
    Conscious Hotels currently has 318 rooms across its four Amsterdam hotels, although the brand plans to increase this to 1,500 as part of a Europe-wide expansion.

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    Thermory wood cladding forms backdrop to Grand Emily Hotel in Ukraine

    Promotion: design agency YOD Group has designed the interior for the Grand Emily Hotel Lobby and Terra restaurant near Lviv, opting for Thermory’s rustic wood cladding throughout.

    The hotel, which was completed this year despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is located in the Ukrainian town of Vynnyky near Lviv. The hotel and restaurant form a part of the Emily Resort that YOD Group has designed with a natural, tactile aesthetic.
    YOD Group used Thermory products at the Emily Resort in UkraineIts aesthetic was achieved using a mix of natural and natural-looking materials, including material manufacturer Thermory’s range of Drift cladding.
    This saw YOD Group awarded the best interior project in the Thermory Design Awards Grand Prix competition, which was held by Thermory for its 25th anniversary.
    The agency created the interior for the Grand Emily Hotel LobbyIn the Grand Emily Hotel Lobby, the Thermory thermally modified Drift cladding is used across the walls.

    It was selected for its worn, rustic appearance, which is intended to evoke reclaimed wood without sacrificing quality or durability.
    Thermory’s Drift cladding was used throughoutSelected in shades of Black Pearl and Smoked Brandy, the cladding provides the lobby with “touchable surfaces” that form a natural backdrop to the space.
    “We aimed to get the visual lightness and tell the story about the morning breeze that passes on the lake surface and combs the reeds,” said YOD Group designer Volodymyr Nepiyvoda.
    The wood gives the interiors a natural aesthetic”We created this emotion by the structure of the boards that we used for the wall covering of the hall,” added Nepiyvoda.
    The cladding also forms a suitable yet contrasting backdrop to a large sycamore tree that is suspended through the Grand Emily Hotel Lobby, forming its centrepiece.
    YOD Group’s aim was to give the hotel “touchable surfaces””We rejected the idea of a massive chandelier in the atrium in favour of a strongly meaningful installation,” explained Nepiyvoda.
    “A tree means connection with roots and family values, growth, and development, strong bar, and flexible branches. It connects the earth and space.”
    YOD Group also designed the resort’s Terra restaurantOver in the Grand Emily Hotel’s Terra restaurant, Thermory Drift Cladding has also been used.
    YOD Group used the material to help blur the boundary between the restaurant interior and a terrace outside that is lined with American sweet gum trees.
    The Thermory wood is also used in the adjoining terraceAccording to Nepiyvoda, it is designed to encapsulate the landscape of western Ukraine.
    “We reflect all of that in the interior of Terra restaurant,” they said. “Vast expanses, rich colours, textures and flavours, generous nature, lust for life, and existential joy.”
    To find out more about Thermory products and how they are used, visit the brand’s website.
    Partnership content
    This article was written by Dezeen for Thermory as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

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    Studio MK27 creates Patina Maldives resort on new island

    Brazil-based Studio MK27 has used wood, rattan and stone textures to create the buildings for a holiday resort on the Fari Islands archipelago in the Maldives.

    Patina Maldives occupies one of the four islands that makes up the artificial archipelago, which was built over approximately 10 kilometres of reef on the northern edge of North Male Atoll.
    Patina Maldives is located within the new Fari Islands archipelagoStudio MK27 has designed architecture and interiors for buildings across the island, including an arrival pavilion, a spa, a kid’s club, and a cluster of bars and restaurants.
    Accommodation is provided by a mix of beach suites, private in-land villas and water villas that project out to sea.
    Studio MK27 designed architecture and interiors for the resort’s various buildingsNever rising above the tree canopy, the buildings are dotted around the island in an arrangement designed to create areas of vibrant social activity and spaces of complete seclusion.

    “Patina is unique in the Maldives: an opportunity to be together in isolation,” said Studio MK27 founder Marcio Kogan. “[It is] one of the most remote places on Earth and still a place designed for people to meet one another.”
    Natural materials are combined with earthy colours”Patina Maldives embraces our natural conflicts: desire for peace and party, for nature and design, technology and rusticity, self-indulgence and deep reflections,” he added.
    The materials palette throughout consists of earthy colours, matt finishes and natural textures that are intended to chime with the natural landscape.
    Water villas come with their own swimming poolsMany of Studio MK27’s own designs can be found in the furnishings, including woven lighting pendants, neatly crafted shelving units, and cabana and deck chairs co-designed with Norm Architects.
    The villas feature high-tech sliding window systems that allow the interiors to be opened up on three sides at the touch of a button, as well as custom-made blackout blinds.

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    “We escalate the textures and emotions from zero to 100, from soft shadows to overwhelming light,” said Studio MK27.
    “It’s a rhythm with contrast, pauses and transparencies. From slow dolce far niente to exuberant real vitality, it is a place for people to bond with nature and each other, for people to experience the essential with glamour.”
    There are also suites and villas inland and on the beachMany of the buildings are characterised by clever details.
    The spa centres around a shallow pool, with a skylight above offering a play of light and shadow, while the kid’s club is defined by colourful window apertures.
    The spa centres around a calming poolThe bar and restaurant area, known as the village, has its own sense of style.
    Arabesque, a restaurant serving Middle Eastern cuisine, combines patterned terracotta blockwork with copper lights, while the Brasa grill is designed as a Latin American smokehouse.
    The Village is a cluster of bars and restaurantsStudio MK27 has worked on many projects in idyllic locations, such as the beachside Vista House, or Jungle House, which is located in a rainforest.
    The studio spent five years developing designs for Patina Maldives, which officially opened in May 2021.
    Studio MK27 custom designed much of the furnitureThe hotel was longlisted for Dezeen Awards 2022 in the hospitality building category, while the spa is shortlisted in the leisure and wellness interior category.
    It is one of three resorts located on islands within the Fari Islands archipelago, along with the Ritz-Carlton Maldives and the Capella-Maldives.
    The photography is by Fernando Guerra.
    Project credits
    Architecture: Studio MK27Lead architects: Marcio Kogan, Renata FurnalettoInterior designers: Diana Radomysler, Pedro RibeiroProject team: André Sumida, Carlos Costa, Carolina Klocker, Diego Solano, Eduardo Glycerio, Elisa Friedmann, Gabriela Chow, Gustavo Ramos, Giovanni Meirelles, Julia Pinheiro, Lair Reis, Laura Guedes, Luciana Antunes, Renato Rerigo, Regiane Leão, Renata Scheliga, Ricardo Ariza, Marcio Tanaka, Mariana Ruzante, Mariana Simas, Samanta Cafardo, Suzana Glogowski, Tamara Lichtenstein, Thauan MiquelinDeveloper: Pontiac Land GroupLandscape designer: Vladimir Djurovic Landscape ArchitectsLighting design: The Flaming BeaconConstruction: Alhl PvtProject manager: Mace Group

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    The Quoin hotel by Method Co opens in historic Delaware bank

    US hospitality firm Method Co has turned a Gilded Age-era bank building into a boutique hotel in Wilmington, Delaware, which boasts the city’s first rooftop bar.

    The Quoin offers 24 guest rooms within a four-storey Victorian Romanesque brownstone that was constructed as the Security Trust and Safe Deposit Company Building.
    The lobby at The Quoin features a mixture of contemporary and Shaker-influenced furnitureCompleted in 1885 by Philadelphia architect Frank Furness, the downtown building features original arched windows and mouldings that were preserved during the renovation, which Method Co’s in-house team undertook in collaboration with Stokes Architecture.
    “Pronounced ‘coin’, the name is derived from the Old French word meaning ‘corner’ or ‘angle’, honouring the legacy of the original building, while also referencing the legacy of the original banking house — connecting the building’s history, location, and architecture through a single thread,” said Method Co.
    The hotel’s main restaurant and bar is located just off the lobbyThe building’s time period influenced the colour palette for the hotel’s interiors, based on paints dating back to 1820.

    Natural motifs were also introduced through hand-drawn illustrations, and various patterned wallpapers found throughout the communal areas and the bedrooms.
    Patterned wallpapers with natural motifs are used throughout the interiorsIn the lobby, an eclectic mix of contemporary and Shaker-influenced furniture forms a cosy lounge area around a black fireplace.
    Three food and beverage spaces have been given distinct identities.
    Bedrooms on the top level have extra character thanks to the original arched cove windowsJust off the lobby, The Quoin Restaurant and Bar serves wood-fired fare based on the cuisines of southern France and northern Italy and features wood panelling and banquette seating that create an intimate setting.
    A craft cocktail lounge, named Simmer Down, has an original brick ceiling and a mural painted by Reverend Michael Alan.

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    The bar on the rooftop, billed by Method Co as the city’s first, is designed as a happy hour spot with cushioned rattan seating and offers light bites on the menu.
    Bedrooms are simply decorated, with wallpaper used to create feature walls behind the headboards, as well as wooden furniture and herringbone parquet flooring.
    The rooftop bar is billed as Wilmington’s firstThose on the top level have extra character thanks to the cove-arched windows and walls that curve to follow the roofline.
    Method Co’s other hotel properties include the Roost East Market in Philadelphia and the Whyle in Washington DC, which was longlisted for the 2021 Dezeen Awards. Both were designed with Morris Adjmi Architects.
    The building was constructed in 1885 as Security Trust and Safe Deposit Company BuildingThis is the company’s first venture in Wilmington, the largest city in the small coastal state of Delaware, which is known for its beach houses.
    Examples of these include an oceanfront residence by Robert Gurney and a single-family home built using wood reclaimed from a nearby agricultural structure by DIGSAU
    The photography is by Matthew Williams.

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    Life House transforms motor lodge in the Berkshires into hotel

    A former motel in rural Massachusetts has been transformed by American hospitality brand Life House into a hotel decorated with objects influenced by 1970s hospitality.

    Life House converted an existing, two-storey motel property with its in-house design team. While the 64 guest rooms maintain the same layout, a new extension was added for the lobby, restaurant and lounge.
    Life House, Berkshires is a reimagined 1970s-era lodge”Set in the middle of the mountains, Life House, Berkshires is a reimagined 1970s-era lodge that culls inspiration from the lodge styles of the past century and reinterprets the architecture via modern materiality and forms,” said Life House.
    The property is located in the Berkshires mountains, between the towns of Pittsfield and Lenox.
    Its design “culls inspiration from the lodge styles of the past century”Visitors access rooms via exterior walkways, a feature that Life House has reinterpreted for a more contemporary hotel set-up.

    “The exterior is rendered in oat-colored wood shingles juxtaposed with dark gray trims that give the building a cozy and luxurious appearance,” said Life House.
    The main communal space is called the Club RoomThe most important addition to the property was the communal space, which is nicknamed the Club Room.
    In addition to being the first space visitors see as they enter the hotel, this is the main gathering space, as it contains a fireplace, the bar, lobby and a restaurant.
    A custom mural covers the wallsThis double-height room features cathedral ceilings, exposed wooden beams and ornamental chandeliers that give the space a warm light and a sense of scale.
    “The gargantuan, 28-foot ceilings house custom Murano glass chandeliers handmade in Venice by Sogni di Cristallo and hang high above the bar millwork that showcases a marble countertop and leather upholstered panels,” said Life House.
    The terrace provides a space to loungeA custom mural painted by artist Lei Xing covers the walls of the Club Room. Vitage prints and found objects – as well as other electric accents – cover the walls.
    This indoor space is connected to a terrace via sliding glass doors, where guests can lounge on several large couches surrounding fire pits.

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    “The design of the outdoor spaces exudes the nonchalance of its environs telegraphed via a color palette inspired by the striking sunrises and sunsets of the Berkshires,” said Life House.
    Throughout the property, the team selected furniture and decor pieces that create a sense of nostalgia.
    Life House selected furniture that intends to evoke nostalgiaWithin the guest rooms, there are custom wardrobes created by the Life House team, alongside lamps and armchairs with a vintage aesthetic.
    “Collage artwork by Annie Lynch, whose pieces present black and white portraits of female figures with superimposed aerial photographs of local landscapes, are hung alongside framed poetry by artist Russell Markus who used an antique typewriter and vintage paper to produce each art piece,” said Life House.
    Custom wardrobes by Life House feature in the guest roomsOther hotel properties that can be found in the region include Hotel McKinsley, which was designed to avoid the typical aesthetic of “antlers or plaid and reclaimed wood” and a property in Armenia, NY that is set within an English-style country home.
    The photography is by Sophie Fabbri for Life House.

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    “We've developed a movement towards silence” says Still Room designer

    Hotels and offices could improve the well-being of occupants by introducing “still rooms” says Cédric Etienne, co-founder of Belgian design office Studio Corkinho.

    The Still Room concept developed by Antwerp-based Studio Corkinho imagines a type of room where people go specifically to enjoy the benefits of silence.
    Etienne believes hospitality brands can use these rooms to offer a new type of well-being experience to their guests, while employers could use them to provide a greater level of care to their staff.
    Cédric Etienne is co-founder of Antwerp-based Studio Corkinho”A still room offers a place to do just nothing,” he said, “a space where you can welcome silence or just the luxury of not being distracted.”
    Etienne – who co-founded Studio Corkinho with creative director Klas Dalquist – made the comments at The Lobby, a hospitality design conference held in Copenhagen in August.

    The interior designer was there to present Studio Corkinho’s pilot still room, created in 2020 when the designers converted a room in the former Noorderpershuis power station in Antwerp into a space for meditative contemplation.
    Studio Corkinho created its first still room in Antwerp in 2020The room hosts individual visits, but also yoga practice, tea ceremonies and study groups from the University of Antwerp.
    “We’ve developed a movement towards silence in our city,” Etienne said.
    Studio Corkinho has since been consulting with hotel brands on how to create still rooms for hospitality.
    The studio has been working with brands to design still rooms for hotels and resortsEtienne said still rooms could become a typical amenity in luxury hotels and resorts, just as you might find a gym or a library. These rooms could host yoga, meditation and other well-being activities, he suggests.
    “A still mind is actually more important today than ever before,” he said.
    “There’s a huge opportunity for the hospitality experience to redefine how we care about guests and how we offer them something more valuable than just a brand experience.”
    The studio has created a library of design templatesStudio Corkinho has developed a library of still-room design templates, along with a palette of appropriate materials and textures. It also advises brands on how to integrate a sense of ritual into the guest experience.
    “It’s not just thinking about the design and the aesthetics, but also how to activate the space,” said Etienne.
    “We’re trying to create awareness about the opportunities there are for hospitality,” he continued. “We could create a network of these kinds of still places.”
    Studio Corkinho is also exploring how still rooms can be created in officesSpeaking to Dezeen after the conference, Etienne said that the studio had received positive feedback from hospitality clients and was now being approached by employers looking to improve well-being in the office.
    He suggested that meeting rooms could be transformed into still rooms, to give employees a space where they can take time out from their work and recharge their batteries.

    Still Room in Antwerp is designed to be a “shelter for the mind”

    “Considering the overload of distraction, still rooms help employees to step away from distraction and travel inward in order to perform better in their daily work challenges,” he said.
    “From the employer’s side, this shows a positive message to their teams, to generate a more stable work-life balance. Improving productivity at work means more happiness and more time out of the office.”
    Still rooms can be used for meditative activities like tea ceremonies or yoga practiceThe concept draws on Etienne’s own experiences of visiting Buddhist monasteries and traditional teahouses in Japan, and the impact these experiences had on his personal well-being.
    He believes these experiences are increasingly important in a world where digital devices and social media create a constant stream of information.
    “The core aspect of the still room is to learn how to shut out the world, in order to connect on a deeper level with ourselves, a project or an experience,” he added.
    The photography is by Piet Albert Goethals. Visualisations are by Studio Corkinho.

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    Margate's Fort Road Hotel celebrates British art and seaside history

    Frieze co-founder Matthew Slotover, developer Gabriel Chipperfield and artist Tom Gidley have teamed up with Fleet Architects to turn a partially collapsed building in Kent, England, into a 14-room hotel.

    Located on the Margate seafront, Fort Road Hotel features vintage furniture, nature-informed materials and artworks by the likes of Tracey Emin, Hannah Lees and sculptor Lindsey Mendick.
    A ground-floor restaurant forms the reception of the Fort Road HotelThe building has had the same name since 1820 when it first opened as a boarding house. But it was on the verge of ruin when Slotover, Chipperfield and Gidley bought it at auction four years ago.
    London-based Fleet Architects helped the trio replan the interior, which now contains a ground-floor restaurant, a two-storey basement bar and a roof terrace offering 360-degree views of the town and coastline.
    It features artworks by Tracey Emin and Sophie von HellermannThe owners oversaw the interior design themselves. The ambition, according to Gidley, was to pay tribute to the building’s history while offering a sense of homeliness.

    “We wanted to make it feel somewhere between a house and a hotel,” he told Dezeen.
    The green tiles offer a striking contrast with the terracotta-toned floor tilesGuest rooms can be found on the building’s reconstructed first and second floors, as well as on the newly added third floor.
    The focal point of each room, aside from the bed, is a bespoke gridded vanity unit crafted from wood and inlaid with marble.
    Bedrooms are characterised by custom vanity units in wood and marbleThe aesthetic is softened by the addition of period furniture pieces, curtains in linen or felt, and a selection of vintage artworks.
    “Early on, I proposed the idea that I would simply buy pictures that I liked the look of, in the way that boarding house and small hotel owners have always done,” said Gidley.

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    This concept extends to the hallways, which are decorated with seaside memorabilia, vintage photographs, old postcards and antique maps.
    The scene changes in the downstairs spaces. Here, Gidley and Slotover have used their art-world connections to secure pieces by a range of celebrated contemporary artists.
    Bedrooms overlook the seafront and the neighbouring Turner Contemporary galleryIn the joint restaurant and reception – characterised by a herringbone-pattern floor and a bright green tiled bar – small-scale paintings by various artists hang on soft-green panelled walls.
    A corridor leading down to the basement is brought to life with a mural by London-based painter Sophie Von Hellermann, while a neon piece by Tracey Emin is one of several artworks on show in the two-level basement bar.
    “Everybody has loaned works for a variety of lengths of time, so now and again something will change,” said Gidley.
    Red tiles from Mexico feature in the bathroomsFort Road Hotel is the latest of several buildings to put Margate on the map as a hotspot for contemporary art.
    Since the 2011 opening of the Turner Contemporary gallery – designed by Gabriel Chipperfield’s father David Chipperfield – London-based artists including Emin have increasingly been relocating to the area in search of more affordable studio space.
    Ford Road Hotel’s two-storey basement bar can be accessed from the streetGidley hopes the trio’s sensitive approach to the building’s history means the hotel will be just as valued by locals as by art lovers.
    “I think we’ve created something very attractive that adds to the appeal of the town and reflects its history,” he added.
    The photography is by Ed Reeve.

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    Jan Hendzel tracks down “super special” London timbers to overhaul Town Hall Hotel suites

    Reclaimed architectural timber and wood from a felled street tree form the furnishings of two hotel suites that designer Jan Hendzel has revamped for London’s Town Hall Hotel in time for London Design Festival.

    Suites 109 and 111 are set on the first floor of the Town Hall Hotel, which is housed in a converted Grade II-listed town hall in Bethnal Green dating back to 1910.
    Each of the apartment-style suites features a living room with a kitchen alongside a bedroom and en-suite, which Hendzel has outfitted with bespoke furnishings. Like all of the furniture maker’s pieces, these are crafted exclusively from British timbers.
    Jan Hendzel has overhauled suites 109 (top) and 111 (above) of the Town Hall HotelBut for his first interiors project, Hendzel took an even more hyper-local approach with the aim of finding all of the necessary products inside the M25 – the motorway that encircles the British capital.
    “We started out with the idea that we could source everything within London,” he told Dezeen during a tour of the suites.

    “Some timbers have come from Denmark Hill, some are reclaimed from Shoreditch. And we used Pickleson Paint, which is a company just around the corner, literally two minutes from here.”
    The living area of suite 111 features green upholstery by Yarn CollectiveThe reclaimed timber came in the form of pinewood roof joists and columns, which Hendzel found at an architectural salvage yard.
    These had to be scanned with a metal detector to remove any nails or screws so they could be machined into side tables and tactile wire-brushed domes used to decorate the suites’ coffee tables.
    Rippled wooden fronts finish the kitchen in both suitesIn Suite 111, both the dining table and the rippled kitchen fronts are made from one of the many plane trees that line the capital’s streets, giving them the nickname London plane.
    “This London plane is super special because it has come from a tree that was taken up outside Denmark Hill train station in Camberwell,” Hendzel explained. “We couldn’t find timber from Bethnal Green but it’s the closest we could get.”
    The dining table in suite 111 is made from London planeFor other pieces, materials had to be sourced from further afield – although all are either made in the UK or by UK-based brands.
    Hendzel used British ash and elm to craft mirrors and benches with intricate hand-carved grooves for the suites, while the patterned rugs in the living areas come from West London studio A Rum Fellow via Nepal.
    “People in the UK don’t make rugs, so you have to go further afield,” Hendzel said. “Same with the upholstery fabrics. You could get them here but if they are quadruple your budget, it’s inaccessible.”

    Jan Hendzel explores potential of British hardwood in Bowater furniture collection

    Hendzel’s aim for the interior scheme was to create a calm, pared-back version of a hotel room, stripping away all of the “extra stuff” and instead creating interest through rich textural contrasts.
    This is especially evident in the bespoke furniture pieces, which will now become part of his studio’s permanent collection.
    Among them is the Wharf coffee table with its reclaimed wooden domes, worked with a wire brush to expose the intricate graining of the old-growth timber and offset against a naturally rippled tabletop.
    “It’s a genetic defect of the timber, but it makes it extra special and catches your eye,” Hendzel said.
    Grooves were hand-carved into the surfaces of mirrors and benches featured throughout the suitesThe coffee table, much like the nearby Peng dining chair, is finished with faceted knife-drawn edges reminiscent of traditional stone carving techniques. But while the table has a matt finish, the chair is finished with beeswax so its facets will reflect the light.
    Unexpected details such as loose-tongue joints, typically used to make tables, distinguish the Mowlavi sofa and armchair, while circular dowels draw attention to the wedge joint holding together their frames.
    Reclaimed architectural timber was used to bedside tables in room 109Alongside the bespoke pieces, Hendzel incorporated existing furniture pieces such as the dresser from his Bowater collection, presented at LDF in 2020. Its distinctive undulating exterior was also translated into headboards for the bedrooms and cabinet fronts for the kitchens.
    These are paired with crinoid marble worktops from the Mandale quarry in Derby, with roughly-hewn edges offset against a perfectly smooth surface that reveals the fossils calcified within.
    “It’s a kajillion years old and it’s got all these creatures from many moons ago that have fallen into the mud and died,” Hendzel said. “But then, when they get polished up, they look kind of like Ren and Stimpy.”
    A rippled headboard features in both suitesGoing forwards, the Town Hall Hotel plans to recruit other local designers to overhaul its remaining 94 rooms.
    Other installations on show as part of LDF this year include a collection of rotating public seating made from blocks of granite by designer Sabine Marcelis and an exhibition featuring “sympathetic repairs” of sentimental objects as the V&A museum.
    The photography is by Fergus Coyle.
    London Design Festival 2022 takes place from 17-25 September 2022. See our London Design Festival 2022 guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.

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