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David Collins Studio, founded in 1985, is an award-winning interior architecture, design, and product Studio that creates internationally recognized hospitality, residential, and retail destinations from New York and Hong Kong to Seoul and the Middle East. The Studio collaborates with industry leaders as well as private clients who share its obsession with detail, craft, and refinement.
The Studio, based in London, has completed high-end interior design projects all over the world, such as The Delaunay, TAK Room, and The Connaught Bar, as well as destination hospitality interior design at Gleneagles in Scotland, hotel interior design at Mandarin Oriental Hotel Msheireb Downtown Doha, and resort interiors at The Delaire Graff Estate in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The Studio’s retail design experience ranges from London’s iconic department store Harrods to Fortnum & Mason and Pret A Manger, and it has worked with luxury brands, independent retailers, and high-street chains. Furthermore, the Studio has played an important role in the store design and expansion strategies of Alexander McQueen and Jimmy Choo.
David Collins Studio’s values remain consistent regardless of whether the project is for a restaurant, hotel, bar, residential, or retail interior design. The Studio is dedicated to artistic excellence, artisan craftsmanship, and long-term viability. A refined approach, as well as over three decades of industry experience in luxury interiors, adds value to the projects it develops. Claridge’s, The Wolseley, The Corinthia, and Nobu Hospitality are among the restaurants, bars, and hotels that have commissioned immersive interiors from the internationally renowned interior design firm.
Delaire Graff Estate is situated at the very top of the Helshoogte Pass, which winds its way up a steep incline, and looks out over some of the most spectacular scenery the Cape Winelands has to offer. Vineyards and manicured lawns cascade down mountain slopes, framed by snow-dusted peaks in the winter. At the heart of this dramatic setting stands a collection of dignified thatched buildings that appear to have graced the site for centuries. However, in its current form, this lovely location has only been around for a decade. Laurence Graff, a world-renowned diamond jeweller and art collector, purchased the Estate in 2003 and reopened it to the public in 2009 as the reimagined Delaire Graff Estate.
The dining room itself is a wonderful room, a beautiful space, but as it was, it could just as easily have been a museum or an art gallery, with no obvious connection to the restaurant they wanted, other than a bar to one side.
In a city with one foot firmly planted in the past and the other firmly planted in the future, how does a luxury hotel reflect its surroundings without succumbing to cliché? The tension between heritage and evolving tastes has rarely been as complex for the David Collins Studio design team faced with the interior design of the Le Méridien Seoul in Gangnam, a thriving creative quarter of South Korea’s 2,000-year-old capital. The creative design solution has been to forge their own path, combining two great cultural traditions in a nuanced blend of Parisian opulence – a nod to the Le Meridien roots – and strong mid-century references, drawing inspiration for decoration and materiality from traditional Korean arts and crafts.
Despite the fact that David Collins Studio has completed a number of projects in the Middle East, most notably luxury fashion and jewellery boutiques, it took one particular commission to truly inspire us about the region’s potential for design excellence. This commission was to design the interiors of Mandarin Oriental, Doha, the hotel group’s first outpost in the Middle East and a new standard in Qatar’s hospitality offering. It’s one of the studio’s largest projects to date, with 250 guest rooms, 91 of which are apartment-style residences, nine restaurants, two rooftop pools, and separate spas for men and women.
The Nobu phenomenon arrived on Park Lane in 1997, introducing Londoners to blond wood, black cod, and a welcome shout of ‘irasshaimase!’ The launch of the Berkeley Street follow-up in 2005, with its flashbulb-popping jostle of paparazzi outside and table-hopping scene of celebrities inside, cemented Nobu’s reputation as the Japanese restaurant that was as hot as a slice of jalapeño.
The new property, located just north of Oxford Street and bordering Marylebone Village, is the third collaboration between L+R Hotels and Nobu Hospitality, and the global brand’s thirteenth hotel.
Bethan Ryder on David Collins Studio’s 35-year contribution to restaurant design. Imagining the London restaurant scene without David Collins Studio is akin to imagining Paris without the influence of Georges-Eugène Haussmann. It would be less glamorous, less efficient, less fun, and unlikely to garner as much attention.
David Collins Studio honed the art of creating graceful, classically appointed dining rooms that felt timeless, replete with artisanal finishes, and infused with a sense of bygone era glamour.
The American Bar will be closed until the evening. That’s how it should be. Even in the height of summer, it is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine the rooms not softly blurring into deep shadow. It’s less of a bar and more of a well-hidden altar to the pleasures of sybaritism. If the hotel feels like the setting for a Henry James novel, this small, lovely episode feels more like a short story by James Baldwin or, perhaps, Henry Miller.
Do you remember when, around the turn of the century, hotel bars in London went from being primarily a place to meet business associates or well-to-do aunties to suddenly becoming hip? A line to enter a hotel bar? Who’d have guessed? It all started with the Met Bar on Park Lane. Ian Schrager’s St Martin’s Lane and Sanderson Hotel followed suit, helping to democratize the situation, but The Blue Bar at The Berkeley was the undisputed pinnacle of hotel bar chic in 2001. A space that was once nothing more than a hotel corridor became the place to be. The bar only had 50 seats, but the central ones were covered in lilac leather and had backs set at the perfect angle for seduction, making them the hottest in London. Arguably, the entire world. There was a party there hosted by John Galliano. Madonna was a frequent visitor.
Place yourself in front of the piece. Scan it as if you were a pioneer exploring new territory. Pay attention to the geometry. It is a work with an unusual duality; it is vast and calm, and it engulfs you in its peace. Despite this, it has precise arcs and shafts that entice you to follow it.
It is breathtakingly beautiful and nothing less.
The Tack Room is available to hotel guests. The Tack Room is a welcoming and warm haven for those who enjoy fine spirits and companionable conversation. Delicious food, excellent company, and a legendary collection of the world’s finest libations combine to create an unforgettable atmosphere. A drink by the fireside or at the timeless green marble bar is the ideal way to cap off an evening at Adare Manor, though when the drinks and conversations flow, a visit to The Tack Room can easily extend into the early hours.
SEE ALSO: Hospitality Designs by Marco Piva
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