We interview ARA Design about their recent project at the Andaz, Liverpool Street.
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What was the original inspiration behind the refurbishment of 1901 Wine Bar and Private Dinning ‘Exchange’ Room?
The building was originally build in 1884 as Great Eastern Hotel by Charles Barry, the grandson of Charles Barry who designed the Houses of Parliament and had already gone through renovation process in 1988 – 1901 and recently in 2000 .
The Andaz Liverpool Street London Hotel as called today is a Grade II listed building.
It is a Victorian railway hotel and London’s railway hotels were one of the wonders of the High Victorian age.
Just to explain the background more vividly – the best known was the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras, a Gothic wonder more like a baronial castle than a hotel building; but each of the London termini once had its own hotel, from the GWR at Paddington to the Great Eastern at Liverpool Street.
Somehow we wanted to create the interior design which was very sensitive to the history and classical style of the architecture.
So yes railway, Eastern London location and classical architecture were our main inspirations.
How did you execute these inspirations in already redesigned interiors?
We used satin brass detailing and worked on restoring original mosaic floor which was a bit of a challenge. As mentioned Eastern London location and its industrial heritage influenced us to work on interiors key features.
Private Exchange Dining got its industrial/classic chandelier. This is an oversized piece with 2m diameter and almost 3m drop. We also used Timorous Beasties’ Fresco wallpaper range. We felt strongly that their textile orientated origin and design that echoes a golden age of copperplate engraving. Bar became a main feature and a classic piece with dark stained timber panelling and industrial studding detail. Fabric colour scheme was taken from English gentleman’s club: navy blues, mustard yellows and greys. Sylka carpet in Mink Velour to the lounge seating allowed creating luxurious yet warm areas.
And last but not least was Harry Gregory’s space planning. Taken fresh from the drawing board we presented more than 5 options to the client to choose the one which worked the best. It is always ones greatest pleasure to work with Hyatt and its brand commitment to excellence.