Noticeboard - News



ALIGN CREATES WORKPLACE SCHEME FOR EDEN MCCALLUM - 11.11.16
BRIGHT IDEAS FOR BRILIANT PRODUCTS? - 25.10.16
KINNERSLEY KENT DESIGN REDESIGNS THE ATHENAEUM HOTEL - 13.10.16
HOME-FROM-HOME IN THE HEART OF PROVENCE - 12.10.16
YORKSHIRE COMPANIES PIONEER DOOR HANDLE FITTING DEVICE - 4.10.16
ALIGN CREATE THE IDEAL MIX FOR MENDELEY IN LONDON'S TECH CITY - 9.08.16
THE EAST INDIA COMPANY OPENS FLAGSHIP STORE IN EDINBURGH - 5.08.16
KINNERSLEY KENT RETAIL CONCEPT FOR HEIDI KLEIN - 10.05.16
HARDING DESIGN CREATES NEW WORKS OF ARTIQ - 3.12.15
 MET STUDIO APPOINTED AS DESIGN CONSULTANT FOR RAF MUSEUM EXHIBITION - 2.12.15
'BANDOL' OPENS, WITH DESIGN BY KINNERSLEY KENT DESIGN - 30.11.15
GODDARD LITTLEFAIR DESIGN BAR AT EDINBURGH HOTEL - 27.11.15
CREATING THE PERFECT PROVENÇALE PROPERTY - 11.10.15
GODDARD LITTLEFAIR DESIGN SOUTHBANK PLACE MARKETING SUITE -15.10.15
JO LITTLEFAIR LONDON EXHIBITS AT DECOREX FOR THE FIRST TIME - 17.09.15
ALIGN CREATE OFFICE SPACE FOR BRAND & PACKAGING DESIGN SPECIALISTS BRANDOPUS - 26.08.15




11th November 2016

ALIGN CREATES SOPHISTICATED, GROWN-UP WORKPLACE SCHEME FOR EDEN MCCALLUM IN LONDON’S WEST END

Following their multi-award-winning office project for BrandOpus and their colourful Tech City scheme for scientific-info rising stars Mendeley, workplace specialists align have now completed a very different style of project for Eden McCallum. The new scheme responds to a brief to design a 'quiet, understated and sophisticated' environment, which would serve as the new London HQ for these leading management consultants. 'After the exuberance of our last two workplace schemes, it was really interesting to engage with such a contrasting brief', commented align Director and Co-founder Gurvinder Khurana. 'The challenge was to create a suite of offices that were full of subtle statements and which met the requirement for a 'fresh, interesting, human-scale and unregimented' space.

Eden McCallum is a highly-successful and pioneering management consultancy firm, formed in 2000 by Founding Partners Liann Eden and Dena McCallum, with offices in London, Amsterdam and Zürich. Clients include a third of the FTSE 100; a third of the world’s largest private equity firms and 50 of the global Fortune 500 companies. Formerly based in offices in Kensington Church Street, the move to the new space represents a launch pad for the next stage of Eden McCallum’s corporate development.

The location for the new offices is a 8,715 sq ft single-storey space on 5th floor of a newly-redeveloped Crown Estates building, facing onto Air Street (where entrance is located) and Glasshouse Street - just minutes from Piccadilly Circus. The premises benefit from great natural light, with windows the full length of both sides, plus a sympathetic base-build delivered by the landlord’s architects, featuring limed oak and good quality architectural lighting.

Unlocking the challenge to create an unregimented workspace that worked at human-scale was all about space-planning and especially the creation of a range of different-sized meeting rooms, each with its own subtly-different design treatment. The space-plan also includes an open-plan office area with integrated meeting zones, break-out spaces and private phone booth areas for discreet conversations with clients and consultants. These are particularly important because Eden McCallum’s business model is all about offering the very best independent consultants, with only one in ten applicants making the grade, meaning discreet and rigorous interviewing plays a major role in the hiring process.

align workplace for Eden McCallumalign project for Eden McCallum - photograph Kate Berry

Overall, the scheme features a deliberate and considered choice of materials, balancing a respect for the base build detailing with the integration of the client’s needs for a human, sophisticated and warm spatial experience. 'The new scheme begins with simplicity and calm’, Gurvinder Khurana explained, 'via a neutral, off-white base palette. Interest is added by subtle interjections of texture and colour in a range of pale, oceanic blues and greens, as well as a wall of individual feature wallpaper in most of the meeting rooms, especially the smaller ones, along with some great furniture from Vitra, Eames and the Bourellec Brothers, quirky accessories and the odd touch of vintage. The flow of varied-size meeting spaces, arranged around two-thirds of the perimeter, prevents the overall environment from any feeling of regimentation.'

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Date 25th October 2016

BRIGHT IDEAS FOR BRILIANT PRODUCTS?

Want to turn your bright idea into a brilliant product? Design Council Spark is offering support and funding to help you take your idea and turn it into a smart product and brand. Up to 15 participants will join a 16-week support programme covering everything from product design and branding to business plans and receive £15k in funding. Each team will also be paired with a dedicated expert mentor to support their journey and have the chance to pitch for a share of £200k at the end of the programme. Apply by 10 January. More info here

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13th October 2016

KINNERSLEY KENT DESIGN REDESIGNS ONE OF LONDON'S MOST ICONIC HOTELS - THE ATHENAEUM HOTEL & RESIDENCES

Leading British design studio Kinnersley Kent Design has completed the multi-million-pound refurbishment of one of London's most iconic hotels - The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences - remodeling the interiors and adding new layers of warm and subtle glamour to this family-run, five-star, thoroughly-independent jewel in the heart of Mayfair.

The scope of works undertaken by Kinnersley Kent Design, one of the UK's most established and celebrated practices, includes brand strategy, positioning and identity work - undertaken in partnership with the hotel's owners and close-knit internal team - as well as external architectural works and a full interior architectural and design renovation, transforming the hotel's public spaces, from the lobby, lounge and first floor meeting areas to a spectacular new bar - 'THE BAR at The Athenaeum' - and the elegant, day-to-night restaurant offer - 'Galvin at The Athenaeum'.

Kinnersley Kent - The Athenaeum HotelThe Athenaeum Hotel entrance



Kinnersley Kent Design's Brand Director Lindie Kramers said of the agency's approach: 'Our thinking was based on the brand's core strengths - its heritage, attitude and location. Located in the heart of Mayfair, the brand is delightfully English (in all the right ways), independently-owned, with an art deco spirit. And they've always done things differently.'

The re-branding and positioning project included interviewing 20 key staff members to get a real insider feel for the hotel, as well as thorough research into the hotel's great history - especially its legendary associations with the world of film. Above all, the hotel was clearly understood, both internally and externally, to be about individuals, from the staff to the high levels of tailored service, to the character of individual guests. Even Jim, the doorman, has his own blog!

'Our repositioning strategy was based on celebrating this individuality', Lindie Kramers explained. 'This one-of-a-kind hotel offers a refreshing alternative for guests seeking a more personalized experience and our aim was to ensure the customer was at the heart of that proposition. This formed the foundation of our new brand ethos - 'Stay Individual' - which is brought to life at every touch point and across all branding materials.'

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12th October 2016

A LONDON FAMILY'S HOME-FROM-HOME IN THE HEART OF VAN GOGH'S PROVENCE

In the heart of the French countryside and near the town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, where Van Gogh painted over 150 of his most well-known works, a London family has created its perfect home-from-home. The detached house and grounds, re-modelled by David Price Design with a new extension, terraces and fun additions - including a boules pitch - feature an interior inspired by the rich colours of the Mediterranean and showcasing a wonderful, eclectic array of furnishings and accessories, variously inherited from previous owners and sourced anew by the home's new owners via local Provençale markets, Kempton Park Antiques Market in UK and from holidays further afield.

David Price Design - Provence



The owners commissioned British designer David Price of David Price Design - architecture, interiors and landscaping designers with offices both on the Cote d'Azur and much closer to hand, in Les Baux de Provence - to help achieve the major remodelling of the property and grounds that would result in the idyllic holiday home the couple, their young adult daughters and friends now love to stay in, visiting as often as they can to get away from the stresses of city life.

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5th October 2016

YORKSHIRE COMPANIES PIONEER DOOR HANDLE FITTING DEVICE

 - AME Group designs and develops JigTech for Dale Hardware
- Innovative design means builders and joiners can fit door handles in under five minutes

 Two Yorkshire companies have joined forces to create a ground-breaking device that fits door handles in less than five minutes.

 Sheffield-based product design consultancy AME Group helped develop the JigTech on behalf of Ossett-based Dale Hardware. Compared to traditional methods, the easy-to-use device saves contractors and fitters up to 20 minutes when installing a handle and latch to interior doors.

AME Group developed the JigTech product from concept through to prototyping, testing and volume manufacturing, drawing on its experience of developing tools for the DIY sector.

The innovative product incorporates an adjustable latch bore and self-centring clamp system that quickly marks out and guides the user when drilling a door. Using the jig alondside Dale’s door furniture, latch, and spacer system simplifys the installation process even further.

AME Group

“We overcame the technical challenges of the brief to create a product that is simple and efficient and can withstand the demands of everyday use. We have also created a distinctive product aesthetic unique to the JigTech brand.

“With a short timescale to develop the product from concept to manufacture, Dale Hardware has been able to bring JigTech to the market quickly. It has also managed the cost of development by continually validating the design using our in-house prototyping and low volume production facilities.”

Daniel Monaghan, joint managing director of Dale Hardware, said: “AME Group have come up with a simple but effective solution to the brief, that sets a new standard for speed and accuracy in the fitting of door handles and latches. Housebuilders will benefit from enhanced efficiency in what can be a time consuming part of the construction process.

“This is the first product in the JigTech tool range. AME Group has helped to create a unique brand proposition that can be implemented across future products.”

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9th August 2016

HIGH-TECH AND HUMAN: ALIGN CREATE THE IDEAL MIX FOR MENDELEY IN LONDON'S TECH CITY

Workspace specialists align have completed a 20,000 sq ft suite of offices that respond to a complex technical brief, at the same time as prioritising staff's ergonomic needs, for technology company Mendeley. The offices are located in the landmark AlphaBeta development in Finsbury Square, part of London's burgeoning Tech City and just across the road from the Google Campus and Amazon's new European HQ. Mendeley is a fast-growing, global, collaborative research and knowledge-sharing platform with over 3m global users. At the core of the business offer are cloud-based tools, platforms and services, designed to help scholars all over the world discover content, organise their papers and connect with other researchers, with the overall aim of making science more open, social and accessible.

The brief revolved around enabling staff to work at their optimum level, especially when coding. This meant planning for single working, working in pairs and also in both smaller and larger groups with maximum flexibility and variety, meaning staff can work seated or standing and are able to collaborate with varying degrees of privacy in sealed-off spaces, semi-private spaces or open meeting areas. Concentration and stimulation needed to be carefully balanced in a dynamic, hard-working environment where the human and ergonomic needs of staff were to be respected at all times.

The AlphaBeta development by Resolution Property brings together three properties, formerly known as Triton Court, into a single scheme and was created by architects Studio RHE International. It is comprised of nine, non-uniform storeys, arranged around a full-height atrium core. The development, targeted at digital and media companies, also features a yoga room, a basketball court and a ramp that allows cyclists to enter the building directly.

Mendeley was the first tenant to occupy the building, taking just over two-thirds of level three: 20,000 sq ft of the overall 27,426 sq ft floorplate.

align were commissioned in August 2014 to create a design scheme within the Cat A space in this iconic development, working with a base build that wasn't yet complete and with a deadline that meant taking early possession. align worked closely with main contractor Modus to deliver the project.

Visitors first arrive at the third floor level into a lift lobby area, which is bordered to the right and the left by two sets of glass doors, decorated with the Elsevier white tree logo. Two glass walls opposite feature eye-catching, full-height graphic illustrations, which are transparent enough to show the movement of figures the other side, but which also create a degree of privacy for the meeting spaces beyond. These came from Elsevier's existing image library, but were selected by align to work specifically with the space and the overall colour scheme.

The main reception space is located through the doors to the left and is centred around a bespoke, 3.2m-long desk, created by align in white Corian and inspired by the ever-evolving nature of DNA as a motif for the activity taking place in the office.

Behind reception is the first of the three main open-plan work zones. These feature large-format 1800mm-long workstations, so that two people can easily work at each if needed, divided by classic privacy and acoustic screens, clad in a grey Blazer fabric by Camira. Desking and chairs throughout the main zones are by Dutch manufacturer Gispen, who work with Reed Elsevier globally, whilst carpets here and in most meeting spaces are a dark grey: Composure by Interface, with an additional lighter grey used in the Board Room and Customer Experience Room.

The Social is the longest single space within the scheme and serves as a 'Town Hall' meeting space, as well as a general space for eating, drinking and relaxation. It overlooks the atrium directly via a full-height glass wall and is announced by two fun, bespoke installations by Argent and Sable, made of hand-painted reclaimed timber, edged with fairground-style lighting, which book-end the space with the mantra 'Eat, Drink, Code'.

align office design for MendeleyMendeley office London - photograph Gareth Gardner



A series of Copenhague tables from Hay sits down the centre of the space, with five different types of chair - and two repeated in different colour-ways. The seeming randomness of this very much forms part of the non-standard, individual and 'human' aspects of the scheme. Over by the glass atrium wall, a number of taller bar chairs and lamps are interspersed with two very domestic-scale units – cupboards from Mint Leaf with front doors made of original matchbox covers.

'The move to Alphabeta is enabling us to continue to attract top talent and work collaboratively in a fast-paced, fun environment', said Fernando Fanton, SP Global Product and Technology at Elsevier. align Director Gurvinder Khurana commented, 'This is very much a grown-up scheme, which has been designed to be extremely functional and flexible in order to enable a work culture that is highly collaborative and where togetherness and sociability are both encouraged and celebrated. It's been an absolute pleasure to work on, especially within such an exciting new building envelope.'

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5th August 2016

HISTORIC LINKS TO SCOTLAND REAFFIRMED AS THE EAST INDIA COMPANY OPENS FLAGSHIP STORE IN NATION'S CAPITAL, EDINBURGH

The East India Company, the contemporary revitalisation of one of history's most powerful and successful trading ventures, has opened a flagship store on Edinburgh's George Street, the Scottish capital's most prestigious shopping address, with all design work by leading British studio Kinnersley Kent Design.

The Edinburgh store forms just part of the ongoing projects being developed by The East India Company, together with the Kinnersley Kent Design team, ranging from branding, graphics and packaging work (including the packaging for the new chocolate range in 2015, for example) to exciting new future concepts, to be unveiled at a later stage.

'Our approach here has been to develop and mature The East India Company retail offer', explained Mick Kent, Partner at Kinnersley Kent Design, 'introducing a lighter materials palette and a more 'joyful', fresher and celebratory feel for the store interiors. We are working closely on this with the modern-day East India Company Chairman, Sanjiv Mehta - a passionate advocate for the transformative and expressive power of design.'

The six-storey building was designed in the first decade of the 20th century by J J Burnet. The storefront itself is made up of dark-stained timber and bronze-coloured, powder-coated metal, with a black overlay housing the polished brass storefront lettering, with an additional illuminated 'bus stop' sign to the left-hand side of the façade. At the top of the storefront is a striking red panel, with The East India Company marque at its centre. In line with building regulations, a lot of the existing storefront structure was retained in terms of the bulkhead, whilst Georgian-proportioned panelling, a strong identifying element for the brand, was introduced along the base of the windows and doors. Two small window-beds built into the framework feature a patterned window vinyl, taken from the family of patterns that make up The East India Company brand collateral, which are used and integrated throughout the store interiors, as well as on the company website and other graphic applications.

Kinnersley Kent - East India Company

East India Company Edinburgh - photograph Kate Berry



Two feature mid-floor display areas are distinguished by herringbone lime-washed oak flooring, inset into the overall floor treatment of speckled, light-coloured ceramic. The first is The Queen's Table, an iconic part of the store's display since the first flagship opened in Mayfair in 2010 and whose design features a shattered acrylic top and timber ball legs, inspired by a historic table Chairman Sanjiv Mehta first saw at the V&A. The second is a series of interlocking tables for tea-tasting, in the shape of the well-known paisley motif, bespoke-made with mother-of-pearl inlaid into marble tops; a pattern that has strong historical links with and is synonymous with The East India Company.

'The integration of this kind of detail is typical of The East India Company's approach', added Kenny Sum, Director of Kinnersley Kent Design. 'Both the company's history and its contemporary brand narrative of connections and fusions of the exotic east with the regal west are evoked and alluded to throughout, though never spelt out, in keeping with the brand's positioning as a retail rather than a museum-style offer.'

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10th May 2016

KINNERSLEY KENT DESIGN'S NEW RETAIL CONCEPT FOR HEIDI KLEIN PREPARES RETAILER FOR NEXT STAGE OF GROWTH

Leading British design studio Kinnersley Kent Design has created a new store concept for heidi klein - the luxury swimwear brand and holidaywear retailer - to serve as a launchpad for the business's next phase of international expansion. Formed in 2002 by Heidi Gosman and Penny Klein, heidi klein first launched its 'one-stop holiday shop' concept in its Notting Hill store in 2002, before opening a second boutique in Chelsea in 2004. The retailer currently has four stores, including St Lucia and Montenegro, whilst the wholesale arm of its business, via its own-brand 'heidi klein collection', is stocked in over 150 stores in 39 countries.

The new store concept is now trialling at heidi klein's Pavilion Road store, in Chelsea. 'Our main design evolution', explained Jill Higgins, Partner at Kinnersley Kent Design and director of the project, 'has been to move the interiors iconography away from a beach-inspired dressing towards a more refined, internationally-applicable glamour, with inspiration from the domestic interiors vernacular of a 'Hamptons House'. The store layout is therefore inspired by domestic zones: living room, bedroom, veranda and so on, which creates a more lifestyle-oriented environment and encompasses the growing breadth of the offer, including aprés-beachwear, menswear, childrenswear and a thriving accessories range.'



Kinnersley KentKinnersley Kent interior for Heidi Klein - photograph Kate Berry



The new store design is very much a key stage in the expansion of the brand. 'We set out to reinvent swimwear shopping into an exciting and enjoyable experience, while providing everything our clients desired in order to look and feel gorgeous on holiday; all under one roof,' explains Heidi.

The new, overall environment at the Chelsea store is very clean, with the product very much the star. The store needed to transport customers instantly into an oasis of calm, which it does via a space that is light and warm - and smells beautiful too. The walls, flooring and ceiling are all in white, with an accent colour of soft gold taken from the branding, plus sparing use of green palms to add freshness and vibrancy.

The strong new merchandising system contains elements that can be easily applied to smaller, concession opportunities, whilst merchandising densities reflect the premium positioning and are light in colour, underlining the transparent and bright holiday feel.


'The product is vibrant and pattern-rich' Jill Higgins explained, 'and we sought therefore to design a space that very much creates a canvas for the product, using neutral tones with texture for visual interest.'

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3rd December 2015

HARDING DESIGN CREATES NEW WORKS OF ARTIQ

Harding Design has re-branded leading art consultancy 'Works in Print' as ARTIQ, via a scope of works covering name generation and identity design, as well as printed collateral ranging from business cards, letterhead and compliment slips to marketing items such as case studies and presentation templates; digital media including a new website, event banners and email signatures and staff uniforms and vehicle livery for when ARTIQ's technicians are on site, installing new artworks for the consultancy's workplace, hospitality and private residential clients.

Harding Design was appointed to the project after winning a four-way credentials pitch in July, impressing the consultancy's interview panel with its strategic approach to the business and art market and the high-end quality of its design work.

Art consultancy Works in Print was approaching its sixth birthday, when its owners felt that the company's original name was no longer represented either the company’s current activities, nor its future ambitions and positioning. When it was first set up, the company worked mainly in the curation of photographic artworks for leading blue-chip clients in the workplace sector in the UK, where the wordplay of 'Works in Print' encapsulated the offer perfectly. However, as time went on, the consultancy expanded its scope, becoming an international enterprise, with clients in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; moving into the hospitality and high-end residential sectors and representing a wide range of established and up-and-coming artists – and the name no longer fitted.

Harding Design - Artiq



Lee Harding commented on the choice of name, saying that 'It reflects the nature of the business  - bridging the gap between the art and business worlds - and hints at ARTIQ's commitment to industry-changing research into the benefits of art.'

The new logotype was designed to combine contemporary type forms, with a light traditional touch with the addition of the serif swash. The subtle colour palette is used to bring a feel of sophistication and warmth via copper foil and warm neutrals, whilst imagery from artists that ARTIQ represent ties the brand together and helps underline the company’s support for artists.

Patrick McCrae of ARTIQ commented on the re-brand designs, 'Designing an identity that was both contemporary and timeless is a difficult thing to achieve, but Harding Design has more than managed it with an elegant and beautiful identity, which we love and which, above all, makes sense of who we are and where we're going.'

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2nd December

MET STUDIO APPOINTED AS DESIGN CONSULTANTS FOR CENTENARY PROGRAMME

The Royal Air Force Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of MET Studio as design consultants for the upcoming exhibition to mark the Centenary of the RAF in 2018.

The Royal Air Force will be celebrating its Centenary in 2018. To mark this momentous international event, the Royal Air Force Museum is undertaking an ambitious programme with the support of a grant of £4,494,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to transform our London site into a world-class National Museum that engages, inspires and connects everyone with the RAF story through exploration of its people and collections.

Thanks to National Lottery players, a series of new exhibitions exploring the first hundred years of the RAF and its future will sit at the heart of our re-landscaped site. An expanded, more diverse audience will enjoy a richer engagement with our site, collections and people-focused interpretation.

MET Studio will specifically be working on the exhibition which tells the story of the first hundred years of the RAF. Working with the Museum's exhibition development team, MET will work with the RAF on the narrative, providing 3D and 2D graphic design services as well as advising on the interactive exhibit development and visitor experiences being created for this exciting new introductory gallery, opening in 2018. MET Studio has over 30 years' experience of planning, designing and delivering museums, expos, visitor centres, exhibitions and attractions across 50 countries, combining strategic vision and insight with cutting-edge creativity to bring life to environments and experiences that truly connect with audiences.

"We are very excited to play a key part in the centenary celebrations of the RAF Museum" said MET Studio's Creative Director, Peter Karn. "There is a great opportunity to tell a wealth of inspiring personal stories from RAF history - from the pilots to the crew to the families involved, as well as showcasing it's impressive collection."

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30th November 2015

BRINGING PROVENCE & THE FRENCH RIVIERA TO CHELSEA - 'BANDOL' OPENS, WITH DESIGN BY KINNERSLEY KENT DESIGN

Bandol, a new restaurant on Chelsea's Hollywood Road, delivers the cuisine of rustic southern France from within a stunningly warm and contemporary environment - featuring copper, distressed oak, steel, concrete, brick, smoked glass and artful lighting, as well as a large central olive tree - designed by one of London's most prestigious and innovative design studios, Kinnersley Kent Design.

The intimate, 70-cover restaurant - measuring 200 sq m over two storeys - is made up of a ground floor bar and dining area, with a kitchen, customer toilets and back of house space on the lower-ground floor.  

Kinnersley Kent DesignKinnersley Kent Design for Bandol, Chelsea - photograph Kate Berry


The main architectural intervention was the creation of an enlarged wall opening between the bar and the restaurant to ensure sightlines from the entrance right through the space from the moment customers enter. A secondary intervention involved the re-arrangement of the air-conditioning in the first half of the restaurant, which allowed for a half-metre gain in ceiling height. A virtue was made of the restaurant's slim footprint by the design of a series of intriguingly zoned spaces and continued visual interest, so that there is something new to catch the eye at every stage. Cleverly-positioned, 3m x 1m mirrors on the rear right-side wall also enhance the feeling of space.

Natural light from a 2.5 x 4m skylight in the roof of the existing ground floor rear extension was supplemented via a new, large rear-side window and a glazed door. Added greenery, in the form of a climbing ivy living wall on a delicate metal trellis, plus an external bamboo plant framed by the rear door, add to the outdoor feel.

The London Evening Standard newspaper, which reviewed the restaurant on opening, summarised the space as 'so beautiful, you'll want to steal the entire look for your home.'

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27th November 2015 &

GODDARD LITTLEFAIR DESIGN 'THE PRINTING PRESS BAR & KITCHEN' AND 'BURR & CO' AT THE GEORGE HOTEL, EDINBURGH

 Award-winning hotel and hospitality designers Goddard Littlefair have designed the interiors for the brand new Printing Press Bar & Kitchen at The George Hotel, Edinburgh as well as a new coffee shop, Burr & Co. The scope of works at The George - which additionally includes the ongoing refurbishment of hotel public areas, a complete refurbishment of all guest bedrooms and the creation of new bedroom suites, due for completion in January 2016 - follows the acquisition of The George Hotel by private investment group Starwood Capital.

This project is one of four that Goddard Littlefair is involved with for Starwood Capital, forming part of its portfolio of city-centre hotels to be re-launched as a new UK hotel brand in Spring 2016.

'The creation of destination bars and restaurants is a central part of our plan to breathe new life into iconic hotels across a number of great cities' David Taylor, COO of the new company, explained. 'All the hotels, the restaurants and bars will have their own design and reflect the local character of the cities in which they sit.'

The other hotels Goddard Littlefair are working on for the Group include The Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow, covering the lobby, bedrooms, F &B offer, conference and banqueting areas; the public and conferencing spaces plus bedrooms at The Royal, York and works to The Roxburgh, Edinburgh.

Goddard LittlefairGoddard Littlefair at The George in Edinburgh - photograph Gareth Gardner

The restaurant concept has been masterminded by chef-restaurateur Des McDonald and includes the appointment of new head chef Colin Fleming, previously of the Old Court Hotel in St Andrews and Restaurant Martin Wishart in Edinburgh.

The hotel itself is formed of a series of five townhouses and is listed, which meant treading very carefully around existing surfaces and treatments. 'Our overall approach was to be highly respectful to the building's original fabric', explained Martin Goddard, 'as well as to the late Victorian insertions, ensuring a feeling of restored grandeur and creating an environment that instantly feels long-established, with a real sense of the building's naturally imposing proportions adhered to, but also added to via simple detailing and the highest-quality, authentic materials, including oak, brass, ceramics, leather, velvet, glass and marble. As in all our projects, every single item of furniture and lighting is completely bespoke and designed entirely for this particular environment, positioning and clientele by Goddard Littlefair.'

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10th November 2015

CREATING THE PERFECT PROVENÇALE PROPERTY

Down a winding road in Provence, near to the ancient town of Eygalières in the Alpilles mountains, a small unmarked track, dotted with olive trees, leads off from the road, with no sign of what lies beyond. In fact, the track leads to a stunning Provençale house set in extensive grounds; exactly the kind of property that helped create the area's reputation in the first place as a sun-kissed rural idyll and the perfect location for a holiday home, retirement home - or just a great place to spend time, relax and day-dream! The house itself, revealed at the end of the long and winding drive, stands at the centre of a 12-hectare plot, with a stunning south-facing pool to its left; a number of outbuildings to its right that also serve as guest rooms and the more manicured lines of tended olive trees on the surrounding lawns. But the property is also deceptive in some aspects, with more surprises to offer than just its low-key approach and dramatic reveal.

'The house is entirely convincing as a 200-year-old building, refurbished to modern standards', explained David Price of David Price Design, high-end residential specialists who work both in the Provence and Côte d'Azur regions, 'but in fact it was only built in the 1990s, from scratch, by a local architect on a previously-empty plot.'

David Price Design was commissioned by the property's current owners to remodel the house further, helping create an ideal holiday home that sleeps 19 people in total, through the creation of both a new interior floorplan and structure, the re-planning of the external landscaping; the refurbishment and extension of a series of guest cottages and the design and installation of a brand new pool and pool house.

When the new owner first commissioned David Price Design, the initial brief simply concerned the filling in of an existing swimming pool in the grounds, which had been carved out of rock, but was considered to be too close to the house - and creating in its stead a much larger, hotel-standard, 20m x 8m pool to the west of the house, but which was still south-facing, along with a new, dedicated pool house.

However, the project soon became much larger and went on to include the reconfiguring of the main house to suit the new owners' requirements; creating a remodelled television room and knocking through an external rear wall in order to create an extended double dining room with a seamless transition to a beautiful outdoor dining space, enhanced by a new pergola with overhanging wisteria, for summer dining.

The new pool is made of concrete and is finished in a special render to give it a particularly lovely blue-grey colouring. The pool surround is created from Perigord stone, from the west of France, covering both the 'margelle' (pool edge) and the 'plage' (the surround). An innovative technical innovation (with a triangular concrete beam) permits the pool cover and water line to be only 6cm or so below the pool edge.

The pool house, which fits into the landscape beautifully, is a three-sided building, created using local limestone, with local limestone also used for the surrounding low walls. The pool house corners are made from monolithic stone pillars, sourced from a local quarry in the area, with retained and highly defined chisel marks; very much a feature that is used locally. 'It's the kind of detail we spend a long time over' commented David Price.

A pergola is also situated between the pool and the pool house. 'Again, this was made in wrought iron by a local ferronnier or blacksmith' David Price explained, 'with a covering called a bruyère, made of woven heather, to create the most effective shade from the sun.'

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15th October 2015

GODDARD LITTLEFAIR DESIGN SOUTHBANK PLACE MARKETING SUITE FOR CANARY WHARF GROUP & QATARI DIAR

Interior designers Goddard Littlefair have designed a new Marketing Suite within the former Grade II*-listed County Hall building for developer Braeburn Estates Ltd Partnership (a joint venture between Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company). The suite will serve as the sales and marketing hub for the launch of the luxury residential offer that forms part of the new Southbank Place development.

This major new scheme (scheduled for completion in 2019) will bring high-end, riverside living (as well as integrated office and commercial space and affordable housing) to the heart of London's South Bank, with the majority of the new apartments afforded views out across the Thames to the House of Commons and the great institutions of Whitehall.

'The marketing suite heralds a new design approach', commented Goddard Littlefair Director and Co-Founder Jo Littlefair, 'with a concept that is immersive in character, giving an essence of what clients will be able to purchase and communicating an instant feeling of exclusivity.'

The six-storey County Hall building, originally designed by Ralph Knott and built using Portland stone, was opened by King George V in 1922 and added to with new North and South blocks between 1936 and '39. It is currently Grade II*-listed.

Goddard Littlefair worked alongside a heritage officer appointed by Lambeth Council on the scheme in order to ensure that all significant aspects of the original building were not only respected, but also restored to the highest possible standards - and even added to in some instances, using new features that achieve a level of seamless integration with the historic fabric of the building. The main element to be worked with and around was the site’s original timber-panelling, which was expertly restored, but could not be used structurally in any way.

'The heritage elements were an interesting - and sometimes challenging - aspect of the project' commented Goddard Littlefair Director and Co-founder Martin Goddard. 'Although we were always aware which elements were listed and had to be retained, there was inevitably more to find out once the project went on site, revealing the underlying structure and its real state-of-health!'

Goodard Littlefair

The brief to Goddard Littlefair for the Marketing Suite was to create a level of luxury detailing that would instantly communicate the quality of finishes of the final development. Almost every element of furniture and decorative lighting within the scheme has been bespoke-designed by Goddard Littlefair, which is typical of the agency's approach. The scheme's architectural lighting, particularly in the exhibition area, was created together with lighting designers DesignPlusLight.

A rich palette of colours and texture was created for the furniture and fabrics to ensure an elegant and assured final scheme. Jo Littlefair trained initially as a textile designer and her passion for fabrics very much prevails here: 'Combinations of fabrics that have a real integrity are a passion of mine, from wool fabric that drapes beautifully to the depth of tone that only comes from true silks - or leathers that have been finished to reveal the beauty of their natural skins.'

Artwork was a particular passion and interest for the client on this scheme, with many original pieces of sculpture and art forming part of the finished environment. These range from the highly contemporary work of Yi Dai (winner of the 2012 Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project) to more classic bronze sculptures, mounted on plinths.

'Our involvement in the process of art curation was extremely exciting' Jo Littlefair added. 'It was great to have a client with a passion for art and, of course, being able to show this calibre of work is another way to connect with potential clients, who often enjoy collecting art for their own apartments.'

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17th September 2015

NEW LUXURY FURNITURE & ACCESSORIES BRAND JO LITTLEFAIR LONDON EXHIBITS AT DECOREX FOR THE FIRST TIME

Jo Littlefair London, the new luxury furniture and accessories brand created by Jo Littlefair - the co-founder of successful luxury interior design house Goddard Littlefair - is exhibiting at Decorex International for the first time ever this year.

Following a soft launch earlier in the year at Clerkenwell Design Week, Decorex represents a larger-scale showcasing of Jo Littlefair London's initial 30-strong collection of bespoke furniture, together with a selection of both bespoke and curated accessories, to the British interior design and decoration market place.

Jo Littlefair - Luxury Tray set

Jo Littlefair London was set up in 2015 to create and curate the very best in contemporary classic furniture and accessories for the luxury sector. Selling directly to private clients, interior designers and decorators, the launch range embodies timeless elegance, features exquisite detailing and speaks the rich and sumptuous language of layered luxury.

As co-founder of Goddard Littlefair, Jo brings to her collection the experience of many years of working to exacting demands of high-end clients, having worked on projects all over the world for hotel brands such as Corinthia Hotels International, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and for high-end residential property developers including Berkeley Group Holdings, Qatari Diar and Canary Wharf Group.

Her insider vision informs every level of the company and its products, offering furniture that is fully customisable in terms of size and fabric finishes and which is specifically designed to fill the gaps Jo has identified in the market, as well as designing and sourcing the very best, exclusive accessories selected to work alongside the new furniture. 'For me, it's about pieces that embody luxury and have a certain solidity and presence', Jo explained, 'but which are also flexible and which complement other pieces, as well as working in a variety of spaces and at a variety of scales.'


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26th August 2015

ALIGN CREATE OFFICE SPACE FOR BRAND & PACKAGING DESIGN SPECIALISTS BRANDOPUS

align, interior architects and designers and specialists in original workplace thinking, have created a dynamic, 19,000 sq ft, three-storey suite of offices for fast-growing brand and packaging design specialists BrandOpus; a finalist scheme in the Small/Medium Commercial Project of the Year category of the 2015 MIX Magazine Mixology Awards.

Significant time at the beginning of the two-and-a-half-year project was spent working out how to optimise the space available for BrandOpus’s needs. The configuration of the ground floor studio spaces could be seen as quite fragmented and align needed to work closely with the BrandOpus team looking at the optimal flow and journey for both staff and for visitors.

align’s work around flow and journeys led to a series of collaborative workshops with the Derwent team (including Orms Architects and Arup) to finesse the original CAT A scheme to match the requirements of BrandOpus. Changes included a re-located main entrance, which was created in order to lead visitors more naturally to the reception area and also to follow the natural sweep of the road. Another major structural change was the idea of punching a huge circulation void into the floor just inside the new entrance in order to create a very clear flow down to the lower ground floor (and up to the mezzanine levels). The void would be visible from the 6m-high glazed exterior and would feature a new lift, along with a spectacular new curving stair, conceived by align and inspired by the Fibonacci sequence. This was then implemented by Orms Architects, using the same blackened steel as used throughout the base build, together with oak treads, a glass balustrade and stainless steel handrail. This allowed for slow and comfortable access to the lower-ground area and also allowed for a real sense of grandeur and arrival, as well as ensuring that plenty of natural light could percolate through into this windowless storey.

align

Once the interior architectural space plan had been resolved, the align team moved onto the development of the design concept from the brief given by BrandOpus, which was to create a true ‘home from home’, with a collaborative atmosphere: a space which didn’t feel like a traditional office and where creativity and the easy flow of people, information and communication were promoted.

The domestic vernacular really kicks in on the lower ground floor – for clients as well as staff. As visitors descend, they are greeted at reception by BrandOpus staff from a bespoke, mirrored silver desk, with a series of shallow timber drawers along the top to echo a domestic piece of furniture. Scale is played with throughout, with a slight Alice-in-Wonderland feel and includes a gigantic ‘house plant’ at the foot of the stair, where the final spiral of the Fibonacci is detailed in polished stainless steel and inlaid into the oak, micro-parquet end-block flooring. The surrounding arrival area is in a vivid blue carpet tile and features an eclectic mixture of furniture, from leather wingback seating to classic Vitra chairs, arranged around a cow-hide rug. The back wall features library-book wallpaper by Rockett St George, whilst a bespoke wall storage unit houses three desk spaces for staff or visitors to sit, work or read at.

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