A New Furniture Suite for Claridge’s Hotel
In 2020, Claridge’s Hotel embarked upon the refurbishment of their Art Deco wing bringing on board many of London’s best known Interior Designers to create a unique interior concept for each floor of the wing. When Rigby & Rigby were appointed to this project to produce the design for the 7th and 8th floors, the brief included a request for a brand new bespoke suite of furniture to compliment the interior concept. The hotel wanted the rooms to reflect a new era in the hotel’s legacy with the refurbishment to encapsulate contemporary luxury. With this in mind the concept put forward explored the idea of essentialism within the luxury travel industry whilst seeking to retain the heritage of Claridge’s as an iconic institution of hospitality. We desired to provide a juxtaposition between the undeniably classic yet strategically modern creating rooms which offer the ultimate comfort for the contemporary traveller.
The colour palette and materiality took inspiration from the natural world with an emphasis on organic forms and textures. Natural grains in timbers and stones were utilised throughout the space providing depth and tactility, whilst soft hues of peach and blue reflected the warmth of the summer sky. The ultimate aim was to create an aura of tranquillity with playful touches, a welcoming and homely space offering escapism nestled amongst the rooftops of central London.
The concept for the furniture followed suit to provide luxurious comfort through ergonomic design which created pieces made for the human proportion. Fabrics, veneers, and marbles were selected to compliment the softness of the colour palette offering pops of colour and texture adding depth and intrigue. Each piece of bespoke furniture was designed to create meaningful moments of physical interaction with the scheme. Pieces were carefully placed to be framed by the architecture of the room, given the same prominence afforded to artwork or sculpture. Considered details were developed to create subtle nods to the Art Deco origins of the wing allowing the rooms to feel rooted in the history of the hotel whilst offering a contemporary style. Arched motifs and horizontal lines were created in timber elements through contrasting tones and texture evoking the patterns and proportions used in Art Deco design. Similar geometric motifs were used in the fitted joinery whilst the bespoke rugs provided an organic softness in their patterning giving contrast and breaking the linear geometries found within the architecture.
Each piece of furniture from armchairs to rugs to cabinets began as a simple sketch encapsulating an idea to then be paired with fabrics and colours which brought them to life. As an idea developed layers of detail were added with inspiration taken from heritage pieces belonging to the hotel alongside the rich design theory of the Art Deco era. Pieces were illustrated together to allow the suite to become a family of pieces, each an individual but working together as a collated composition. Under development, items were tested for comfort and durability to ensure the highest quality of finish that would withstand frequency of use. Cabinet and furniture makers were selected as craftsmen to bring a luxurious, hand finished quality to key pieces.
Some elements of the suite of pieces were selected to become jewel-like objects within the room. For the primary suites, the bar cabinet was to become the magic moment. Glass, mirror, and metallic finishes were selected to allow the piece to reflect the light, glittering under sunlight or chandelier. The motif of the cabinet doors is reminiscent of the work of Charles Rennie Macintosh – a designer considered to be “doing Deco before Deco existed” – with the geometric arches sitting astride the boundary between the organic and the geometric. The attentive care given to the detail creates a crafted piece that enhances the extravagant experience of hospitality and entertainment so long associated with the hotel.
The overall scheme comes together to balance geometric and organic forms creating a playful relationship between the architecture and the furniture suite. Colour, texture, and pattern provide depth and allow the pieces to sit comfortably between the Art Deco design heritage of the building and the new contemporary direction of these rooms. Craftsmanship and care are offered within each minute detail to define the scheme as a part of this luxury establishment. The scheme captures a distilled glamour, the essence of Claridge’s, providing a sense of the continuity of the hotel’s iconic legacy. Tranquillity and comfort reign and a quiet luxury sought by so many in a fast-paced, ever-moving, modern world has been rendered.
Check out the guest rooms and suites in the upper wing of world famous 5* luxury hotel Claridge’s designed by Rigby & Rigby – View Project