Graphic design consultancy Webb & Webb has produced more than 50 hand-made signs in nickel-plated cast bronze, as part of the £60m refurbishment of London’s exclusive £400-a-night Connaught hotel.
The Connaught, which opened in London’s Mayfair in 1897, is having its historic stairwell, stone griffins and fireplaces restored. There will also be a new wing with a grass roof to help reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint.
Interior designer Oliver Laws has been appointed to create an interiors scheme, while architect Michael Blair is drawing up architectural plans. The refurbishment programme will be a ‘respectful’ one, according to Stephen Alden, chief executive of Maybourne Hotel Group, which owns the Connaught.
Webb & Webb senior designer James Webb describes the experience of helping put the finishing touches to the Connaught as ‘one of those jobs that only comes around every 50 years.’
Webb & Webb has worked with signage group Wood & Wood to produce the signs, each of which is hand-cast, engraved and filled with enamel sourced to match the paint on the hotel’s walls – a hue called White Tie, by paint specialist Farrow & Ball. Bespoke lift and fire exit signs and hand-painted gold door numbers were also part of the brief.
An embellished version of the Felix font has been used for the majority of the work, to match documents found in the hotel’s archive, including original room plans and wine lists.
‘The unit price of each sign means it’s possibly the biggest signage job in London this year,’ says Webb. ‘It’s the kind of thing we’ll never get to do again, unless perhaps they decide to refurbish Claridge’s or the Ritz.’
Webb & Webb was commissioned following a recommendation.