A maritime influence is to form the basis of the design of the new Mondrian London hotel, currently being developed on the south bank of the River Thames by the Morgans Hotel Group.
Set within Sea Containers House, a building conceived by American architect and cruise liner designer Warren Platner in the 1970s as a hotel but only ever used as offices, the new 360-bedroom hotel is due to open in early 2014.
Architectural interior design practice Design Research Studio, led by Tom Dixon, in partnership with American-based Morgans, is creating a hotel that will embody the elegance of a transatlantic 1920s liner combined with a dose of 1980s post-modernism.
The main lobby will feature a giant, external and internal, copper-clad wall inspired by the hull of a ship, while the vast, 1,500sq m, ground floor area will includes two riverside restaurants and a breakfast bar.
Building on the extensive metal finishes already found in the building, a network of brass work will run throughout the hotel, edging each bedroom door and used as the basis of an oversized cocktail bar.
Bedrooms are to provide a nod to the cabins of a cruise liner, with a rich colour palette contrasting against stand-out metallic pieces following the hotel's overall theme, while bathrooms will draw on marine engineering featuring robust, exposed bolts with doors referencing the water-tight quality usually found on board a ship.
A roof-top bar, with views across the city skyline, is to be inspired by the top deck of a cruise liner. Meanwhile the spa aims to create a feeling of under-water tranquillity, taking inspiration from the cocooning nature of a submarine.
The hotel - the first Mondrian in Europe - will also feature a 61-seat screening room, to be used for TV and film premieres, which will continue the maritime theme with bold blue colours.
Morgans, which currently operates two hotels in London - the Sanderson and St Martins Lane - has Mondrian hotels in Los Angeles, New York and South Beach, Florida, with further openings planned for Doha, Qatar, and Nassau, The Bahamas.
By Janet Harmer
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