The newly opened nhow London is located in the thriving area between Hoxton, Islington and Shoreditch. Only minutes from Silicon Roundabout, the high-tech hub around Old Street, the location offers access to leisure and business facilities, as well as easy travel to all London’s main attractions.
nhow London’s 190 brand-new rooms set over eight floors are designed to combine traditional British icons with unconventional contemporary style, and the hotel plays homage to both the area’s industrial past and technological future. Most rooms have a view over the street or the hotel’s courtyard and others offer additional privacy thanks to frosted windows.
Guests can begin their day with a continental breakfast as well as an a la carte option, enjoy delicious dishes at the hotel’s restaurant, and stay for a drink at the nhow bar or terrace. The contemporary British pub restaurant and bar is an avant-garde dining concept with a unique design. It features gold bell lights, as well as ever-changing LED images which appear on its central pillar, while tables highlight London’s Cockney rhyming slang. Networking and workspaces are available in the public areas, including the lobby, and the hotel offers a gym furnished with cardio exercise machines and complimentary towels. Colourful textures meet contemporary art in the hotel’s rooms.
Designed by architecture and interiors studio, Project Orange, they blend punk and high-tech styles to unique effect. There is a choice of double rooms, twin rooms, superior rooms, superior access rooms, seven junior suites and the penthouse suite. Guests can unwind in their bathroom’s rain-effect showers, and enjoy a good night’s sleep on the hotel’s comfortable mattresses.
nhow is a brand that surprises and inspires its guests by offering them an unconventional experience, which is unique to each hotel’s location. nhow London is part of the exciting new development 250 City Road. London- based Project Orange is responsible for the interior design, taking on the theme ‘London reloaded’. Throughout the hotel, bold and fresh design takes inspiration from traditional British icons, such as the Royal Family, London landmarks and the underground. All have an unconventional and contemporary take, with stand-out features including a Big Ben rocket sculpture in the lobby, tables featuring cockney rhyming slang and oversized gold bell lights, a reminder of the city’s famous church bells.Colourful textures confront contemporary art in the rooms, creating an unforgettable version of London. Punk meets high tech style, while graffiti appears alongside unconventional images of past monarchs. With a nod to the future, Henry the robot will be on hand to ensure newly arrived guests have an enjoyable stay.
Vivid storytelling captures the ‘London reloaded’ concept which is interpreted though a radical series of theatrical vistas. The public areas are fluid spaces connected though a narrative that transforms familiar London icons into dramatic and playful installations. Working through computer modelling the integration of artwork was critical to the design experience. Once complete Project Orange collaborated with the Jealous Gallery and Print Studio in Shoreditch to turn the ideas into a reality. The Gallery gathered together a range of artists and makers who took on the commission.
Anchored to the ground but leaning at thirty degrees, in the hotel lobby Big Ben is blasting off into space with a cloud of acid yellow bubbles. The piece provokes a visceral reaction as its precarious trajectory points skywards fusing past, present and future. Four city suit jackets hang above reception on bespoke wire mannequins containing a light source. The traditional dark fabric has been overprinted with a white urban texture and adorned with a patchwork of silk cuttings. These punkish garments are a nod to a city in flux; a disruption of the old order.
Behind reception seven screens, arranged in a seemingly random order, create a backdrop of constant interest. A series of films were made that are journeys through London that offer the guest a curated experience of the city. As guests approach the lift lobby they are greeted by a luscious pair of red lips surrounded by gold leaf, celebrating ideas of beauty, fashion and the feminine.
Seven structural columns have been clad in industrial OSB board and painted by three street artists in a hyper-graphic manner. An eclectic series of vibrant icons from chandeliers to toast sit over strongly rendered backgrounds. The idea is to bring the urban streetscape into the body of the building, celebrating the local. Conceived of as a spectacle, a timber framed interior corner fragments and explodes across the ceiling plane. The construction references the traditional building of London, before the Great Fire. At the heart of the installation is a linear fire place, where flames are generated by firing beams of LED lights through mist. The effect recreates the cosiness of a fire in an ecological way. Five neon words (Glow, Warm, Spark, Heat and Flame) invite guests into the snug.
Within the restaurant the central circular column is wrapped in a chunky LED curtain. A series of commissioned short films and sequences are screened throughout the day. The sense of constant movement is a draw to those outside. The restaurant is seen as an abstraction of a London pub or public house where it is traditional to find a dart board. Here the board has been supersized, and the bull nose replaced with a screen displaying kissing lips. This surreal statement brings a smile to the viewers as well as sense of surprise.
Outside the meeting rooms a massive ‘Old Street’ Monopoly card hangs on the wall introducing a new signature acid green colour to the board.Within the meeting rooms a series of Op Art pieces have been painted directly onto the walls, referencing vibrant 1980’s wallpapers and retro computer games graphics, the pattern is a repeat of the letters ZZZ, a playful comment on rest and relaxation experienced at a hotel.
Behind the bed in every room is a specially-designed concrete texture with the outline of the Queen’s head being sprayed by the artist. Each one is unique as the jewellery in the crown has been hand finished. Over each bedroom desk there is a ‘London’ slogan that speaks of graffiti and street art – welcoming the guest. A series of slogans and provocations are fly posted onto the walls reflecting the billboards visible from the dramatic V shaped corner windows. In the ground floor staircase a large illustration imagines the skyline of London in the future. The recognisable outlines of the Gherkin, Walkie Talkie and St Paul’s are interrupted by a towering vertical recycling facility, a product of London’s growing population.
The nhow brand takes its inspiration from the cities in which its hotels are located. nhow hotels are designed by some of the most creative minds of the moment, including Foster+Partners, OMA (founded by Rem Koolhaas), Karim Rashid, Sergei Tchoban and Matteo Thun. nhow hotels are places of inventiveness occupying one single space and offering a version of tourism that differs from the standard. The aesthetic of nhow hotels is unexpected, iconic, inspirational and surprising. The nhow experience is unique for each guest, but always manages to create the ‘wow’ factor. Located in key urban areas undergoing a transformation, nhow hotels are becoming landmarks for self-discovery, experimentation and creativity.
OPERATOR: Nhow Hotels
ARCHITECTURE/INTERIOR DESIGN: Project Orange
SUPPLIERS: Furniture: O’Donnell Furniture Makers; Tom Dixon; Decorexi; Kartell; Morgan; The Contract Chair Company; Jimmie Martin; Timothy Oulton; Rhubarb; Duresta; Rockett St George; Gallotti & Radice; I&JL; Jim Lawrence; Mambo Unlimited Ideas; House of Hackney; The Loving Chair Company; George Smith; Pinch Goddard; Molteni & C; Ercol; F&P Interiors; Howe; Tirolo; Moormann; Montbel Rose; Protocol; Taylor’s Classics; Chesterfield; Vitra; Kettal; Indian Ocean; Magis; Deadgood; Benchmark; Dedon; Moooi; Surfaces: Formica; Fabrics: Sunbury Design; Skopos; Timorous Beasties; Andrew Muirhead; Dedar; Kvadrat; Lighting: Chelsom; Anglepoise; Jielde; Flos; Buster + Punch; Karman; Italamp; Twentytwentyone; Chantelle Lighting; Carpet: Brintons Rugs: Floor Story; Artwork: Jealous Gallery.