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

David Collins Studio reveals its latest hospitality haunt in Chicago

Occupying two floors of the luxury St. Regis hotel, Tre Dita (and its accompanying Bar Tre Dita) is hailed as the ‘first certified Tuscan restaurant in the US’.

18/04/2024 2 min read

Interviews, opinions and profiles from industry experts

Complete experience: the radical design of Knoll

We explore how Knoll has been revolutionising how people experience office, hospitality and residential interiors since 1938.

10/04/2024 5 min read

Discover the latest and most innovative products curated by Mix Interiors.

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Discover the latest news and company profiles from the companies shaping the UK commercial interiors industry.

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In celebration of craft: seven spaces showcasing tradition and technique

From Auckland to Edinburgh, we handpick a selection of interiors that spotlight artisanal design and meticulously crafted materials.

23/02/2024

5 min read

22 Bishopsgate, Bill Amberg Studio

Freehaus celebrates heritage and diversity at The Africa Centre’s home

Sixty years after it was first established in Covent Garden as a ‘home from home’ for Africans in London, Freehaus took a nondescript 1960s office building and guided its transformation into ‘the most welcoming cultural space in London’ –  a 21st-century institution that reflects the rich heritage and diversity of the African continent and diaspora. Freehaus took on the multi-faceted challenge of intelligently representing the diverse cultures and heritages that make up modern Africa, while also creating a forward-looking space that maintains a connection to The Africa Centre’s six-decade history.

Rather than focusing on particular motifs or patterns, Freehaus identified specific areas and themes, encompassing expressed thresholds, tactile surfaces, quality of light and practices of reuse and appropriation, collaborating with interior designer Tola Ojuolape and brand designer, Mam’gobozi Design Factory. The interiors are enriched by natural clay plaster finishes, bespoke furniture and thoughtfully curated art – celebrating African craft and championing contemporary talents.

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Conran and Partners reference Māori heritage and craft at Park Hyatt, Auckland

Striking a careful balance between the urban landscape and New Zealand’s rich heritage, Conran and Partners’ approach to designing the Park Hyatt hotel was influenced by the surrounding harbour’s strong sense of place and the hotel’s close relationship to the vibrant city’s urban grain – as well as the maritime character of the area and multicultural society.

“We were mindful to preserve the local culture and values of the Māori – the sustainability approach has therefore had a very strong cultural presence,” explained the Conran and Partners team. Designed to reflect a wharenui meeting house, Māori artists and businesses were at the forefront of the design and guests are engaged with authentic, local culture from the outset. Working with the local iwi (people or tribe), large original works by Peata Larkin and woven tukutuku panels, created by artist Beronia Scott and her whānau (a complex Māori word meaning extended family or community) from the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, were commissioned to cement the hotel’s unique sense of place.

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London’s Red Room bar celebrates the art of interior design

Tucked away behind a velvet-curtained doorway, The Red Room at The Connaught hotel – the first new bar concept to open at the Mayfair institution in more than a decade – brings together female-focused artistry and intelligent design. Bryan O’Sullivan Studio’s collaboration with Maybourne Hotel Group features an eclectic mix of furniture and fine art, such as ‘‘I Am Rouge’, a never-before-seen piece in watercolour, gouache and pencil by the late French-American artist Louise Bourgeois takes centre stage above the central, Italian marble fireplace

A runway of mosaic – hand-cut and hand laid by Italian craftsmen – leads to the elegant, curved bar counter, while flanking the fireplace, are two sets of stained-glass windows in vivid reds and blues by celebrated British glass artist and painter Brian Clarke. Elsewhere, Murano glassware flecked with red and two custom-made trolleys – crafted from the same, red-veined marble as the fireplace – are supplied to decant and serve wine.

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Locke unveils its latest aparthotel inspired by Enge and Lake Zurich

To maintain its locally focused ethos, Locke worked alongside London-based design studio Sella to take inspiration from the surrounding region. The distinctive, sophisticated design language throughout the hotel rooms and common areas strived to reflect Enge’s lush landscape and cultural identity, with colourful tones, plush materials and vibrant modernist patterns paying homage to riviera aesthetics and the nearby Lake Zurich. Within the studios, bespoke decorative curtains line the walls and frame the bed in a grandiose style, creating a warm and sumptuous feel.

Bespoke timber panels wrap around the central bar in unique geometric shapes, and the lounge sits on a raised, carpeted platform overlooking the wider common area. More bespoke furniture pieces designed by Parla and Sella line the windows of the lounge and restaurant spaces, while terracotta, green and yellow velvet finishes by Yarn Collective mix with stainless steel, microcement and high gloss paints to create a vibrant, textured space. This commitment to craft continues in the kitchen, with in-house restaurant Choupette led by Head Chef Jaco Redelinghuys.

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Next-gen law: Dentons’ workspace spotlights Scottish craft

Helmed by kin, the design of Dentons’ space at No. 9 Haymarket sets out to challenge the conventional approach to design for legal practices, eschewing established design tropes set by traditional law firms in favour of a modern, intuitive and elegant experience. The materiality draws inspiration from Scotland’s abundant natural landscape through warm timbers and rich textured fabrics, balancing them against the warm tonal colour palette and strong geometry of Edinburgh’s built environment with the varied wall cladding and tiles used throughout.

“From the flow of connecting spaces to the bespoke materials featured, each aspect of the design feels hand crafted to reflect the passion and warmth of Scotland’s rich ‘makers’ heritage,” said kin’s Matt Holmes. “It was imperative to the design team that local craftsmen were used to build the space. Not only pouring years of experience into everything they did, but creating an end result that feels solid and purposeful; something that will last forever.”

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Bill Amberg Studio creates a dramatic leather installation at 22 Bishopsgate

Working with 22 Bishopsgate architects PLP ArchitectureBill Amberg Studio completed an innovative and impressive project in the heart of the City of London, demonstrating the studio’s craftmanship on a large scale as well as the versatility of leather in modern interiors. Providing a warm heart to the building, the concept was created in the tower’s ground and first floor atrium, known as ‘The Library’ – the centre point between the tower’s two entrances, which doubles as a gallery with temporary art exhibits.

The design installation comprises flat and twisted padded leather panels, which rise from the escalator soffit at ground level, twisting like a ribbon up to and within the ceiling, before returning to floor level on the opposite side of the entrance hall. A Barrisol background allows light and air into the space, while maintaining the uniform shape for both elements.

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A biophilic affair: Fred Rigby and Oliver Heath at L’Estrange

Committed to their pursuit of degrowth in the fashion industry, L’Estrange co-founders Tom Horne and Will Green enlisted biophilic design specialist Oliver Heath and British designer Fred Rigby for their store in Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross. Working alongside Heath, Rigby adopted a regenerative approach to celebrate organic craft, combining natural textures with locally sourced and repurposed materials, subtle colour accents, sensory elements and biophilia. The designer cocooned and partitioned the space using repurposed wood from London trees sourced by Fallen & Felled, who transform storm-stricken and diseased trees into hardwood timber.

Wall finishes come courtesy of Cornwall-based Clayworks’ blend of unfired clays which, when mixed with minerals and pigments, create one of the most sustainable plasters on the market. Throughout, a thoughtful selection of bespoke furniture designed by Fred Rigby and made from Fallen & Felled timber in organic, biomorphic shapes, offers soft and organic silhouettes. Also central to the space is a large Cabinet of Curiosities, custom built into a pre-existing alcove and designed to showcase brands, artists, projects and products that resonate with the brand.

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