The World Of Hospitality Issue 18 2016 - Page 60

60 the World Of Hospitality one-of-a-kind hotel offers a refreshing alternative for guests seeking a more personalized experience and our aim was to ensure the customer was at the heart of that proposition. This formed the foundation of our new brand ethos – ‘Stay Individual’ – which is brought to life at every touch point and across all branding materials.’ ‘We like to do things differently at the Athenaeum,” commented General Manager Jeremy Hopkins. ‘We are stylish and glamorous without pretension and our team are allowed to let their individual personalities shine through, so that the guest experience is enhanced and crafted just for them. When guests arrive we might say hello to strangers, but we say goodbye to friends.’ The work led to a re-naming of the hotel as The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences (formerly ‘& Apartments’) to stay true to the brand’s English heritage. The positioning also lay behind the offering of British classics by The Galvin Brothers on their restaurant menu for the first time. The updated identity work then led to a huge raft of graphic applications, with Kinnersley Kent Director of Graphics Kenny Sum and team overseeing the design of almost 80 individual items, from menus and coasters through to luggage tags, cocktail invitations, notepads, pencils and guest postcards. The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences Design Walk-through: Lobby and overall interiors palette Exterior façade, entrance and terrace For the newly-remodeled, double-height lobby area where the whole mezzanine galleried section has been squared off and pulled back to double the available space - the design team applied a playful interior architectural signature in the form of an eclectic mix of classic British furniture items, to reflect the hotel’s strong British heritage, mixed with contemporary and mid-century-modern European pieces. The hotel’s external appearance has been transformed, with an entirely new ground-floor-level façade offering guests spectacular leafy views out across the Royal Green Park via new floor-to-ceiling windows. An impressive new, fully DDA-compliant main entrance has been relocated to the left of the façade, directly alongside the ‘Living Wall’ and created according to a design aesthetic of ‘authentic deco’. It therefore features classic architectural details of the era, such as stepped bronzework and geometric shapes, with a pattern overlaid on the doors, along with bespoke gilded metal inlays, featuring abstracted art deco shaping. Outside the front of the hotel, a new terrace area has been created, forming one of the very few outdoor dining areas on Piccadilly in what was a relatively lowkey, but very successful, transformation of available space in the project’s earliest phase. The design team also converted an existing secondary entrance on Downs Street into a new glass box with solid doors to serve as a direct entrance for non-resident guests to the hotel’s stunning new destination bar – ‘THE BAR at The Athenaeum’. ‘We think of it as ‘mismatching’ with an educated, curated eye’, Jill Higgins said, adding that the chosen materials palette was ‘Rich, understated, high quality, indulgent and luxurious.’ The scheme features lots of contrast and texture, with high-gloss and reeded finishes and thin and elegant metal forms set against a muted and subtle colour palette, punctuated by bright and contemporary accents. Materials include mesh-within-glass and a curated rose bronze that the Kinnersley Kent Design team created in order to get the exact look and feel required for the galleried balustrade to the mezzanine. Stunning, open, metal screens create semi-private zoning between the open-plan lobby and restaurant space, whilst the columns, which are a strong feature of the space, are clad in a striking, narrow-reeded dark timber. The overall result is both playful and