RPW Design completed the interior design, decorative lighting, furniture and finishes of all public areas and guestrooms of the newly-opened InterContinental London Westminster. In 11 months from appointment to opening, the interior design company transformed Queen Anne’s Chambers, a former government building which is now home to 256 rooms including 44 luxury suites and a penthouse.
Public areas at the ground floor level have been designed to capture the traditions of the hotel’s neighbors in Westminster. According to Jan Wilson, owner and managing director of RPW, local references were incorporated within the InterContinental Hotel Group’s brand guidelines, focusing on the specific requirements of a property located in the government district and serving that market. The reception marble and mosaic floor has detail references to the floor at Westminster Abbey, and motifs from St James’s Park are also used to reference the design. The theme of the hotel’s signature artwork relates to various aspects of British political life.
The dominant feature of the principal guest lounge is a sculpture inspired by Jan Wilson and created by the studio “Evil Robot Designs”, which use re-cycled model toys to create very individual art. The concept here is a re-creation of the House of Commons.
The hotel’s public rooms will become the new destination for members of the “Westminster Village.” In the Blue Boar Bar and Restaurant, which has its street entrance in adjacent Tothill Street, the designers created a series of public areas including secluded corners and a private drinking room. The restaurant continues that tradition, and both areas operate as standalone elements in the development.
In contrast, the Tea Lounge and Emmeline’s, named for the 19th Century British political activist and founder of the suffragette movement Emmeline Pankhurst, has a soft light palette which generates a lighter mood. Color accents in the Tea Lounge’s soft furnishings include fuchsia and lime, reinforcing the separate character of this area.
The design of the guest bedrooms was inspired by the desire to achieve the look and feel of a residential apartment. A bright and warm palette of off-white with yellow highlights, lighten and invigorate spaces. Wood paneling was used extensively, but this too is in a blond color. A key feature of the guestroom artwork is the contemporary Westminster streetscapes that were especially commissioned for the hotel.