ARTIQ curates collection for Marriott Heathrow
Leading art consultants ARTIQ have curated show-stopping art collections for both the conference, banqueting and event spaces and the bedrooms of the London Heathrow Marriott Hotel, with the former area going on to win the European Hotel Design Award for ‘Event Spaces’, where judges commented on its ‘fresh and more grown-up approach to the conception of mixed-use function spaces, working successfully as a business and social venue.’
For both sets of spaces, the art curation brief was to push the boundaries of safe, clichéd hotel art, creating location-specific, unusual and thought-provoking collections that were the antithesis of abstract paintings or black and white local landmark photography. The art strategy was created collaboratively in direct consultation with both the client and the lead designers of each relevant area – EPR Architects for the conferencing, banqueting and event space and Anita Rosato Interior Design for the bedrooms.
Conference, Banqueting & Event Space
The brief was this award-winning space – which successfully opened up the existing footprint of the hotel’s first floor and extended it into adjoining, under-used back of house areas – was to find and select images that made users of the banqueting or meeting spaces ‘think or laugh’.
ARTIQ interpreted this challenge to be about form as well as content and so the dominant images visitors to the space first see take the form of fish-eye 360° photographic images, printed directly onto aluminium circles and which feature big, aerial shots of cities, parks and spaces all over the world, reflecting both travel and the international business demographic that uses the spaces. Humour is added via a series of prints of ‘allegorical realist’ artworks by Kevin Sloan, featuring animals alongside human artefacts, with an absurdist edge, aimed at lightening the mood of people having formal meetings.
Sasha Stupar of EPR Architects commented on the overall scheme and on the art collection’s place within it: “The subtle Interior design theme is inspired by the project’s location. Influences of Heathrow and the close associations of travel are incorporated into the design without being overt; such as the layered design on the carpet which use the shapes formed by the airport runway as inspiration for the pattern. Feature materials and accessories that link back to the ‘vintage’ age of travel are showcased in all spaces and have been introduced into signage, furniture, accessories, etc. A colour scheme of rich browns, steel blues, and polished copper cultivates a welcoming atmosphere which is also enhanced by the carefully selected artwork. We have worked closely with the client and ARTIQ to select the most appropriate pieces that reflect our vision for intelligent and meaningful art.”
For the bedrooms, ARTIQ worked with Anita Rosato of Anita Rosato Interior Design to select artworks by Claire Brewster. Claire’s delicate, textural work uses vintage maps as a medium, featuring themes of flight and transition that perfectly complement the nuances of vintage travel that form part of the hotel’s overall re-design.
Anita Rosato said: “The rooms at London Heathrow Marriott were given a light, contemporary, but impactful touch. Central to the scheme were the large-scale artworks supplied by ARTIQ, whose content, whilst relevant, was not over-obvious. The artworks are thought-provoking, whilst also instilling a real sense of calm.”
The re-design of one of London’s most popular hotels was overseen by Hamilton Hotel Partners, the hotel’s asset manager, with project and cost consultants TowerEight. Daniel Ward, Project Manager for Tower Eight, commented on the art curation: “The artworks at Heathrow Marriott are fantastic and compelling. In fact, they’ve been such a success that we ended up asking for additional artworks to be included in the scope. We also amplified the impact of those pieces guests first see on arrival via additional lighting, which really sets the scene. The mixture of interesting and gripping pieces, coupled with humour, provides the perfect artistic balance (and sometimes distraction!) for modern day conference facilities.”
Patrick McCrae, MD of ARTIQ, commented on the scheme: “This was a great project and a pleasure to be involved both with the owners and the designers to create collections that were anything but run-of-the-mill, with a real injection of humour in the events spaces too.”
Photos: Alastair Lever