Located in the heart of the Fitzrovia district, The London Edition marks Ian Schrager’s return to the capital after a 15-year hiatus. The property is the latest in the Edition Hotels portfolio, a brand that Ian conceived in a partnership with Marriott International, which combines the personal and intimate guest experience that Ian is renowned for with the global reach, operational expertise and scale of Marriott.
Each Edition Hotel is designed to embody the cultural experience of its city location, and the London property is no exception. Inspired by the grand traditions of Great Britain – think aristocratic English country manor and London private gentleman’s club – the hotel reminisces of days gone by with a modern twist.
Designers George Yabu and Glenn Pushelburg from international design studio, Yabu Pushelburg, were approached by Ian to work on the project following a number of successful collaborations. “We were very attracted to the idea of working in London, and excited for this to be our debut project in the city,” say George and Glenn.
“London is an international city – designing something that appeals to the English mindset with a strong heritage made for an interesting challenge. We created a gathering place for the world that speaks to the strong arts community in the city.
“The London Edition has already become a social and cultural hub. It provides a gathering place within the city that is far more accessible than the private clubs you find in places like London – you see people like Paul McCartney and Damien Hirst going there. It has a fabulous restaurant and a wonderful energy that attracts people.”
The aspects of the historic, landmark building – originally built in 1835 as five luxurious townhouses that then became the Berners Hotel – have been preserved, while the interior spaces have been reinvented to create a dynamic fusion past and present. The restoration of the original architecture played a prominent role in the project, and required a keen attention to detail – even down to the selection of paint colours, which, according to George and Glenn, required a lot of research and groundwork.
The interior was designed to complement the historic facade, which required as much thought and planning as the exterior. “We infused the restored Edwardian bones of the hotel with contemporary, pared-back furnishings and lighting,” George and Glenn explain. “The juxtaposition of those styles gives it energy and creates mood. Lighting plays up the best aspects of the architecture.”
The lobby acts as a juxtaposition between the existing restored traditional spaces and modern insertions. Inspired by American minimal artist, Donald Judd, the space features green velvet sofas, tufted khaki leather sofas and modern wingback chairs. The mirrored egg installation was created by lighting artist, Ingo Maurer.
Behind the refined Georgian exterior and majestic public spaces, are a dance club, a 24-hour fitness facility and 173 secluded, intimate and luxurious wood-panelled rooms and suites, which are akin to cabins on a private yacht.
In terms of eating and dining venues, The London Edition offers The Punch Room, a warm and comforting bar inspired by manor house dens and libraries; and Berners Tavern, the hotel’s premier 140-cover restaurant, which boasts an array of circular booths that are iconic to the Ian Schrager design aesthetic.
“This hotel has everything we like to experience when we visit London,” enthuse George and Glenn. “It has the feeling of heritage, comfort and tradition, with modern elements that add a little rush of something thrilling.”