W HOTEL, LONDON
Monday 06 Jun 2011

 

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In February 2011, the UK's first, (Starwoods 40th) W Hotel opened at the core of London's entertainment district, Leicester Square the previous site of the Swiss Centre building. MBLD carried out the lighting design for all of the interior public areas spaces, Spa, W suites, Wow suites and Wow Apartments.

The building architects Jestico & Whiles, and developers McAleer & Rushe MBLD we were brought on board quite late in the design process and with a cloud of the recession looming overhead everyone was cost conscious to the extreme. So from MBLD's point of view this meant that we did not have a typical 5Star budget and far, far from it.

So, our first conundrum, how to deliver a 5star contemporary hotel, the first W in the UK to be as original as possible, on a fast track programme, satisfy the high expectations of the W team and everyone involved and fit this into an aggressive budget.

Interior designers Concrete already had a strong vision of how the interior narrative was to unfold throughout all of the public areas and suites. What we wanted to do was help underscore this narrative and try to create more cinematic experiences that would link together but stand out in their own right. Every single space had to be unique and we developed a good dialogue with Concrete to bring the concept to life.

W as a hotel brand aims to reflect the surrounding environment and the British culture. The brand tells us it is not about arriving but making an entrance that counts. The entrance area is announced with the signature ‘W' LED sign and the lobby is a huge mirror ball sculpture that disappears into the ceiling and re-appears on the 1st floor wrapping into the welcome (reception) area. Lighting the mirror balls is achived using narrow beam AR111 lamps and IGuzzini heads mounted within horizontal wall troughs. We trialled this using LED's but these were rejected by Concrete and a lot more ‘sparking' was required, however with black floors and black walls this was never going to be very strong no matter how much we projected onto the mirror balls.

The arrival on the first floor is a continuum of this, there is combination of Modular track and spot and LED to all of the ceiling coffers with custom purple and gold led from Cooper Lighting with RGB floor recessed uplighters. The principle focus being the mirror balls allowing the ‘spark's of light to project everywhere but then we take this away as the sculpture moves to the lounge and the sparking stops. The one element that we thought might be a problem was a continuous back lit glass wall that joins all of the spaces together and with the types of spaces and the possible differences in lighting levels needed. The complete wall dims as one with separate circuits for the upper and lower strips

The spaces are designed to be more formal at the beginning and become less formal and more intimate as you move through the spaces. The change from day to night is kept simple, by day there is no colour light, then by night al of the coloured light is used to create more of a club like feel and the all areas kept very moody and intimate. The member club lounge uses a large internally lit shade that fills the double height void and simple touches of accent to the window shears and signature plate display are used. Here we had to use AR111 again for the height; LEDs simply were not strong enough or narrow enough.

The W Bar, is less formal again, with an enormous Chesterfield sofa underlit with continuous gold LED that is reflected in the painted gold led ceiling, here we let the two central fires be the heart of the bar surrounded by a raft of candles.

Between this space and the next is the screening room a small 38 seat cinema that uses custom made Light Graphix warm white LED wall channels that criss-cross creating hoops of light that have a programmed sequence fade to off as a pre-movie scene.

Moving on the from screening room this leads into the Ignite operated WYLD bar on the corner of the building overlooking Leicester square, this comes alive after 9pm in Erco projectors are mounted on the concrete columns to light a 2m diameter mirror ball whilst red led create accents to underlit glass tables and ceilings. In this space we used the projectors and ILIGHT dimming system to project varying degrees of ‘sparking' The early scenes have maximum projections and animation which casts directly into the corner of Leicester Square and becomes less intense later in the evening. The seating is bounded by using ‘vintage' cracked fibre optic drapes at the window line.

The Spice Market restaurant with three Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten has two main ambient sources. One is from custom made 3w LED bronze wok pendants produced by Frandsen Design and the second is the LED back lit decorative columns. The column lights are brighter in the daytime and in the evening the these are dimmed down just illuminating from below and the ceiling woks and display shelves are allowed to stand out.

There is also a small Spa called Away, these areas were kept as simple as possible, treatment rooms have very subtle colour tones to match the treatments offered.

With all of the interior areas our aim was to keep the lighting as minimal and as simple as possible and carry out as many trials and site mock-ups as possible to make sure that LED brightness, and colour temperature was correct and consistent which leads to ensuring a successful design.Interior Design: Concrete

Lighting Design: MBLD
Lighting Designers: MBLD Rob Honeywill, Magdalena Gomez

Luminaires
Modular - Fontana Arte Lampara + MO6 track
Lucent lighting - Prospex soft trimless gold reflector.
Light Graphix - Screening room, custom LED channel.
Mike Stoane Lighting - Baby Badger, Bay, Dichrow Remote
La Conche/Frandsen/Oldham - Custom fabric shade to members lounge, Spice Market LED woks, wonderful rooms, suites, and Wow Suites, fabric pendants
Cooper lighting - LED striplight.
XAL - Meeting room custom Mino100 T5, Nano 3. Sasso Up
IGuzzini - Trimmer Spot
Viabizuno - Scarica
Erco - Eclipse
ACDC - Magna LED
Mayer - Mini Gobo projectors
Lighting control: ILIGHT
Lamps: Cooper lighting LED striplight all areas, Osram MR16, AR111
Lucent lighting - Prospex soft trimless gold reflector.
Light Graphix - Screening room, custom LED channel.
Mike Stoane Lighting - Baby Badger, Bay, Dichrow Remote
La Conche/Frandsen/Oldham - Custom fabric shade to members lounge, Spice Market LED woks, wonderful rooms, suites, and Wow Suites, fabric pendants
Cooper lighting - LED striplight.
XAL - Meeting room custom Mino100 T5, Nano 3. Sasso Up
IGuzzini - Trimmer Spot
Viabizuno - Scarica
Erco - Eclipse
ACDC - Magna LED
Mayer - Mini Gobo projectors
Lighting control: ILIGHT
Lamps: Cooper lighting LED striplight all areas, Osram MR16, AR111

 

 

 

 

Maurice Brill Lighting Design

www.mbld.co.uk