Imagery by Niall Clutton
Goddard Littlefair has channelled the cultural history and vibrancy of East London in its design for Mondrian’s newest hotel.
Renowned for its spectacular work in entire hotel renovations, Goddard Littlefair has masterminded the interiors of Mondrian Shoreditch London’s reception and lobby, double-height ground floor cafe bar, rooftop restaurant, BiBo restaurant and guestroom refurbishment.
The hotel has been significantly refreshed in line with the upbeat and individual spirit of the Mondrian brand, while offering guests a locally rooted experience. The studio’s design research delved deep into the history of the area and the characters that create the colourful social fabric of Shoreditch.
The interiors draw widely from art and literature, too, including the traditional nursery rhyme ‘Oranges and Lemons’ – due to the hotel’s close proximity to churches that feature in the historical rhyme.
The hotel’s reception and lobby area immediately establish the brand’s playful tone, complete with significant artwork installations and reflective finishes. Behind the reception, a circular neon art piece reflects off the bronze mirror, while at high level, large-scale gilded glass panels created by Studio Peascod take centre stage and depict a rising copper sun.
Goddard Littlefair opted to retain the hotel’s original boldly-patterned floor, and has juxtaposed this with a concrete desk, patina walls and reflective surfaces to create a strong sense of space, almost disorientating to the onlooker. Expanding on this, and in line with Mondrian’s artistic spirit and a homage to well-known installation artist Yayoi Kusama, the design team has created a fully mirrored room, large enough for a small group to stand in. Globe lights circle the room, giving the viewer a sense that they are seeing themselves in infinity.
Tactile fabrics, leathers and soft linen window dressings, combined with a graphic, hand-tufted rug, soften the lobby space, and introduce warm yet fresh colourings of sage grey and dusky blue, offset by the crispness of a white linen sheer.
When it came to designing the hotel’s cafe bar and rooftop, Goddard Littlefair’s framing intention was to create multifunctional spaces that could be used for meeting, working and eating by day, before transforming into alluring evening venues.
The public spaces feature a common visual thread, but are distinct in their narrative, always drawing upon the rich history of East London. A pendant light fitting, running throughout the reception lobby and across the ground floor to Christina’s Shoreditch cafe bar, was designed as a contemporary interpretation of the gas lanterns that were used as local London street lights. Increased in scale and stacked in multiple tiers, the lanterns run through the centre of the spaces, drawing guests from the external lobby to the new bar area. This piece, along with a reception area pendant and bespoke floor lamp, was produced by Hoad & More.
Christina’s, the double-height ground floor cafe bar, showcases a new concept for Shoreditch, serving sandos and coffee during the day, and specialist cocktails made bespoke for the hotel by night.
A curved copper bar appears to transform dependent on the light, changing the ambience in the room as the day progresses. A large-scale, hand-painted mural by Fred Coppin fills the clay-rendered bulkhead above the bar, featuring a collection of objects to discover alongside Fred’s signature botanical shapes.
The rooftop restaurant, Altitude at The Curtain, is dressed with striped and festooned shade structures, and will appeal to guests and members of The Curtain alike. This area is a key asset for any London hotel, and the Mondrian rooftop is sure to be a mainstay of Shoreditch life.
“The studio’s design research delved deep into the history of the area and the characters that create the colourful social fabric of Shoreditch”
Bright and refreshing during the day, the area transforms into an ambient and chic destination serving Californian cuisine in the evening. A black-framed pergola is softened with festooned, striped fabric, and the oversized rattan pendants and cane furniture speak to relaxed living. The influence of biophilia runs throughout the space, with planting taking centre stage, curated by local planting company, Conservatory Archives. The form of foliage is translated into the fabrics and walls via an oversized mural, hand-painted by Lucy Robinson, associate at Goddard Littlefair, who led the interior design team.
Well-versed in restaurant and bar design, Goddard Littlefair’s specialist food and beverage division, Epicurean, is responsible for the design of the BiBo restaurant on the lower ground floor. Founded by 3 Michelin Star chef Dani García, the launch marks García’s first UK restaurant and British culinary concept.
The studio drew inspiration from García’s work, ethos, cuisine and origin, and dovetailed some of these influences with BiBo’s own brand identity and colour palette. Goddard Littlefair’s intention for BiBo was to be a theatrical, urban space with a lively energy for casual lunches and spirited dinners.
Globe lights cascade in ripples down the stairs leading to the impressive restaurant space. Upon entering BiBo, guests can opt to sit at casual high tables, restaurant dining, the Spanish Courtyard or at the bar.
“The studio drew inspiration from García’s work, ethos, cuisine and origin, and dovetailed some of these influences with BiBo’s own brand identity and colour palette”
In striving to brighten the space, the studio infused the design scheme with a light and natural colour palette. Light oak floors, soft, clay-rendered walls, reflective surfaces and a new lighting scheme have been introduced throughout. Subtly referencing Andalucia and complementing the brand colours of BiBo London, Goddard Littlefair included rose-coloured handmade tiles, Bordeaux red arched wall features and limed oak joinery.
Adding movement to the space, an installation of ceramic fish by Scabetti suspended from the ceiling swims through the room, celebrating Dani Garcia’s love of travel and instantly captivating guests’ attention. Polished copper walls and rafts bounce around light, fitted with dramatic, oversized rattan pendant lights.
Over the central island bar a statement mirrored raft and oversized globe light are housed within a copper rod structure – a nod to the hot air balloon which features in other BiBo restaurants globally.
Last, but by no means least, the guest room refresh embraces a luxurious, theatrical aesthetic, complete with fresh-white brick walls framing the headboard wall. Rugs inspired by painterly strokes on canvas float under beds, while the guest dining table area has been refreshed using uplifting colours and styled in a contemporary direction. The white pendant globe above the dining table connects the bedrooms to the concept running through the hotel, and the artwork selections draw local influence and inspiration, inviting witty appreciation.