Explore the latest projects from the UK’s commercial interiors industry, featuring the best of workspace, hospitality, residential and public sectors.

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Hart Hotel blends its own heritage with East London creativity

Designed in collaboration with London-based consultancy, Fabled Studio, the hotel pays homage to its heritage with bespoke furniture and thoughtfully designed spaces.

27/07/2020 3 min read

Project Team

  • Client

    Hart Shoreditch Hotel London, Curio Collection by Hilton

  • Interior Designer

    Fabled Studio

  • Architect

    5plus Architects

  • Flooring

    Bedrock Tiles, Havwoods, Minoli, Stark Carpets, Cube STM

  • Bespoke Furniture

    Fabled Studio

  • Surfaces

    Calfe Crimmings, Studio E, Rima & McRae

Located in the beating heart of East London, Fabled Studio was given carte blanche to design the new-build Hart Hotel. ‘Our challenge was to move away from the typical East London aesthetic of exposed brick walls, filament light bulbs and graffiti to create a more grown-up, well-appointed aesthetic,’ explains Fabled Studio’s Co-founder, Steven Saunders. Drawing inspiration from the area’s heritage as a centre for craftspeople and makers, the hotel design focuses on showcasing the industries that thrived there, including furniture makers, metal workers and silk weavers.

‘The brief definition was left to us to evolve, and we very much wanted to tell the more intricate and subversive stories of east London through our design. With most of our studio being resident in East London for many years, we wanted to dig deeper under the surface of our neighbourhood to tell stories that are much less told,’ says Steven.

Hart Shoreditch takes its name from one of the building’s previous occupants, The Harts, who were cabinetmakers in the 1800s. Bespoke mahogany lights have been designed to replicate cabinetmaker’s boxes and pay homage to the building’s earlier artisan life. Subtle detailing and material selection have allowed Fabled to avoid creating a relic or museum, but instead a contemporary and invigorating answer to the other offerings people have become accustomed to in the area.  ‘Something with much more gravitas, purpose and means of being than the typical trend-led interior project of today’s throwaway culture,’ adds Steven.

‘We felt very strongly in executing a new aesthetic for the East London market. With the prescribed Shoreditch-look so over-saturated in the area, we worked hard to curate and create a brand new experience,’ says Steven. ‘By taking the time to dig a whole lot deeper into the roots of East London we were able to carve a fresh and precise interior scheme that touched on stories from the locale of the previous 300 years.’

Hart Hotel Staircase featuring moon-like chandelier

Soft textures, furnishings and warm lighting guide guests through to TAVLA, the hotel’s bar, where guests and locals alike are encouraged to relax and spend time throughout the day and into the evening. Textured woven stools are mixed with lounge chairs in muted tones and softened textures, giving the space a modern, residential feel.

The ground floor restaurant, Barboun, has an ‘industrial-luxe’ aesthetic with rattan chairs and partitions. ‘The Barboun restaurant was conceived as a furniture maker’s warehouse and showroom. Handcrafted from oak and sapele timbers, we paid homage to the craft of the woodworker and so mortise and tenon, dovetail and halving joints are showcased on each piece of furniture or joinery to celebrate each material and junction fully,’ says Steven. The pared back warehouse aesthetic is finished off with an asymmetrical pale oak ceiling, replicating the beamed structure of a factory warehouse. A striking steel re-bar and copper staircase sits towards the back of the space, along with a central feature of moon chandeliers.

‘We wanted the hotel to be a social place, so we designed the ground floor lobby, bar and restaurant areas to be open plan,’ says Steven. ‘We wanted to remove the check-in desk from the main lobby space. With the desk sat within its own area, but visible to customers, it does not detract from the ambience of the convivial front of house areas, with guests dragging suitcases to and fro.’

Guests can choose from nine room and suite categories, all of which feature a soft colour palette of white and grey with burnt orange and deep green accents. ‘The materiality of the rooms is a totally new aesthetic; we are not trend-led on our design approach, moreover we let the stories we want to tell shine through and dictate the palette,’ says Steven. Predominantly contemporary in style, with copper mirror detailing and simplistic modern furnishings, the guestrooms are warm and inviting, with subtle design details throughout – such as saddle-stitched leather strapping and copper rendered marmorino textures. Copper leafed bedside mirrors are embossed with woven lace etchings in a nod to the Huguenot history of nearby Spitalfields.

‘One of the challenges to overcome was the range of different room types, devised by the project architect before we were appointed to the project,’ says Steven. ‘The hotel has 126 rooms and 39 different room types – so it almost became a residential project, with each room having different footprints, ceiling heights general details and styling. We had to find the balance of conveying the approved design aesthetic consistently to many different physical incarnations.’

Hart Shoreditch is also home to two unique meeting spaces, which have been designed to emulate the look and feel of 18th century Huguenot townhouses, synonymous with East London and its silk weaving past.

This is East London – but not as we know it.

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