RPW Design Unveils Their Latest Project: Fairmont St Andrews, Scotland

Posted in Projects on 21 November, 2016

RPW Design, one of the world’s leading hospitality interior design practices, is thrilled to showcase its extensive refurbishment of the five-star resort, Fairmont St Andrews. The highly anticipated refurbishment was revealed in early September and included a complete re-design of the hotel’s Atrium, incorporating a bespoke 60m long ceiling sculpture by award winning artist George Singer, a new restaurant and the Kittock’s Den Bar.

Elizabeth Lane, Director of Projects, said: “It is a wonderful opportunity to be part of the revival of this hotel property, which simply has a breath-taking location that we have made a focal point in the renovation. We are extremely happy to be working with Kennedy Wilson and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts on this project.”


The creative process behind RPW Design’s renovation has been influenced by the history and landscapes of St Andrews, with upholstery and fabrics selected from revered Scottish companies such as Andrew Muirhead and Bute Fabrics. Bute, based on the Isle of Bute off west coast of Scotland provided a number of richly textured fabrics in the scheme influenced by the islands scenery. The company and the island share a unique family history as the 5th Marquess of Bute set up the company in 1947 to provide employment for returning servicemen and servicewomen.

Observing the scale of the atrium, which is roughly 60m long and 15m high, with full height windows on one side overlooking the North Sea coast, RPW knew this would be the most challenging area in the hotel to re-design. To transform this voluminous space into a more inviting and human-scaled space, a mixture of natural hued finishes was introduced to the surfaces, including bespoke carpet, timber floors of different patterns and a rich earthy green wall colour and bespoke printed velvet wall drapes. The introduction of eclectic furniture styles and arched decorative lamps, created a softer more inviting atmosphere.

Inspiration for the design concept was drawn from the rich and varied landscape surrounding the property. The surrounding fishing villages also created a great starting point for the textures, patterns and themes within the carpet designs and artworks.


Furthermore, a focal point of the renovation is the artwork ‘Zephyr’, the sculpture RPW developed in conjunction with George Singer. An organic, swirling ceiling sculpture, imitating the movement of the water in the North Sea, it is a focus point and adds an element of wonder and beauty. According to George Singer, “Zephyr is designed to reflect the crashing waves, the flocks of starlings, the long wind-blown grasses, the spring blossom, the shoals of fish, the rolling hills, the clouds and the sheer energy, beauty, and dynamism of the east coast of Scotland.”

The Atrium

Perfectly complementing this, a pair of contemporary velvet wall hangings, inspired by the varying landscape of St Andrews in a painterly manner have been developed and printed by Timorous Beasties in Glasgow, the avant-garde Scottish artistic fabric and textile designers with degrees from the Glasgow School of Art. These have been installed in the double heighted reception space to give a sense of locality and authenticity as soon as guests enter the hotel, and are seen as a contemporary take on old Scottish castle tapestries. A natural colour palette, layered earthy textures and an eclectic furniture collection create a relaxed, inviting atmosphere in the lounge as well as linking the interior with the views of the coastal landscape beyond the full height window at the north end of the Atrium.

The restaurant

Following through into the restaurant, dramatic lighting and refined materials with a colour scheme of pine and sage greens and hints of golds create a sense of quality throughout the space. Also giving the restaurant its own identity while still being part of the entrance space. A mix of finishes includes the timber floor, seascape-inspired carpet design, bronze antique mirror on the walls and wall drapery.

Soft gold velvet wall drapes hang above the banquettes and bespoke printed screens with seaweed designs grow up from the base of the drape in an organic fashion both softening the architecture of the space and giving a sense of intimacy. In addition to these, the bespoke restaurant curtain screen, and fabric design is based on the moving sand dune grasses at West Sands beach in St Andrews, dividing the restaurant from the breakfast buffet area in the evenings.

Kittock’s Den Bar

RPW’s aim was to create a more inviting and warm lobby area. This was achieved by removing the dividing wall between the reception and bar area and creating a new coffee bar.  The copper coffee bar, displaying fresh pastries and juices draws people into the space and the high table encourages communal working or drinking within the lobby area. A mix of timber floor and carpet, with its design based on aerial views of the beautiful River Tay estuaries, creates warmth and definition to the different seating areas.

As well as a revised layout, Kittock’s Bar has drawn on nautical elements found in the nearby River Tay estuaries and surrounding fishing villages, to create a comforting atmosphere for drinking and dining.

John Keating, General Manager at Fairmont St Andrews, said: “This renovation has been a huge undertaking across the hotel; I’m extremely proud and excited to see the public areas looking so resplendent, they’ve already made a huge difference in opening space and the feel has been well received. The refurbishment is part of a wider investment throughout the resort over the next 12 months, which will ensure Fairmont St Andrews remains one of Scotland’s leading luxury hotels, from the interior and exterior surroundings, to our personalised service.”

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