Images © Will Pryce
RPW Design has completed interior design, decorative lighting, furniture and finishes of all public areas and guest rooms of the newly opened InterContinental London Westminster. In just 11 months from appointment to opening, RPW Design has transformed Queen Anne’s Chambers, a former Government building which is now home to 256 beautifully designed rooms including 44 luxury suites and an imposing penthouse.
Welcoming and very English public areas at ground floor level have been designed to capture the traditions of the hotel’s illustrious neighbours in Westminster. Jan Wilson, owner and managing director of RPW, explains how local references were incorporated within the InterContinental Hotel Group’s brand guidelines, focusing on the very specific requirements of a property located in the heart of the government district and serving that market.
The reception marble and mosaic floor has detail references to the floor at Westminster Abbey, and motifs from St James’s Park are also used to reference the design. The theme of the hotel’s signature artwork relates to various aspects of British political life in subtle and satirical ways.
The dominant feature of the principle guest lounge is a sculpture inspired by Jan Wilson and created by the Evil Robot Designs studio which uses recycled model toys to create very individual art. The concept here is a re-creation of the House of Commons, leaving visitors and guests to decide for themselves who is represented by the various characters that are present in this surreal version of the parliamentary chamber.
The hotel’s public rooms are set to become the new destination for members of the Westminster village.
In the Blue Boar Bar and Restaurant, which has its street entrance in adjacent Tothill Street, RPW Design has created a series of public areas that feel intimate and private including secluded corners for private conversations, and a private drinking room. The restaurant with its dark wood panelling and warm tones continues that tradition, and both areas operate as standalone elements in the development.
In contrast, the Tea Lounge and Emmeline’s, named for the 19th century British political activist and founder of the suffragette movement Emmeline Pankhurst, has a soft light palette which generates a lighter, more feminine mood. Colour accents in the Tea Lounge’s soft furnishings include fuchsia and lime, reinforcing the separate character of this area.
The design of the guest bedrooms was inspired by the desire to achieve the look and feel of a luxury contemporary residential apartment. A bright and warm palette of off white with yellow highlights, lighten and invigorate spaces that are in the very heart of central London. Wood panelling has been used extensively, but this too is in a blond colour. A key feature of the guest room artwork is the contemporary Westminster streetscapes that were especially commissioned for the Hotel.
Jan Wilson is proud of RPW Design’s achievements. She comments “It goes without saying that InterContinental hotels have an international luxury appeal. Whilst the InterContinental London Westminster maintains those brand standards, it has an intimacy that sets it apart. With the travelling world demanding ever more personalised environments, we believe this is where business travellers feel most at ease.
“The InterContinental Westminster provides all the services and standards of the InterContinental brand whist still managing to achieve a very individual residential ambiance that is referenced in and unique to Westminster.”