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The South Place Hotel, London, UK
Monday 14 Jan 2013
The South Place Hotel is restaurant group D&D London's first hotel. The 7000 sq m hotel features 80 rooms, three bars and two restaurants, and is housed in a seven-storey building designed by architects Allies and Morrison, and built by owner and developer Frogmore. South Place opened just off Moorgate in September 2012, bringing a thoroughly East End buzz to the City.
The hotel's interior, designed by Conran and Partners, is heavily art-focussed; over 100 original works - mostly by London artists - hang on the walls. Key installations include a six-storey steel sculpture by Grace & Webb, which hangs above the 'secret garden' bar on the first floor terrace, and Zemer Peled's spectacular ceramic installation, which was constructed by the artist on-site after she won the inaugural South Place Hotel Art Prize.
Nearby No. 49 Moorgate was the site of a 1920s Soviet spy ring - a fact referenced in the names of the hotel's meeting and dining rooms. The residents' games room, Le Chiffre - named after the poker-playing villain in Casino Royale - features eye-catching backgammon panelling, and a bookcase full of spy novels. Next door, Kuryakin - named after the fictional Russian spy - has a spectacular red interior.
The bedrooms offer counterpoint to the theatre of the public spaces. Decorated in muted palettes, the focus is on the quality materials, intelligently-designed furniture and, again, the art on the walls - every room features a unique, carefully-curated selection. Suite 610, the seventh-floor penthouse, features work by Tom Gallant, Adam Ball and Dan Hillier - not to mention the City panoramas outside the windows.
In 3 South Place, the ground floor restaurant and bar, the pop art creations of John Vincent Aranda are paired with concrete tables and globe terrariums, creating a space that is unashamedly cool. Angler, the seventh-floor fish restaurant, is a very different proposition: a gleaming fine dining space, with an intricate mirrored ceiling and white linen tablecloths. The contrast between the two epitomises the design concept behind South Place: a confluence of East End edge and City polish.