AJC beds down Howard hotel look

The £16m revamp of Swissotel’s London property, The Howard will be completed within the next fortnight, concluding a project that has been worth more than £100 000 to the interiors group AJC Design.

An 80-cover restaurant will be opened on 9 October, complementing the 40-seater gentleman’s club-style Temple Bar that is already open, while two new-build floors of 18 penthouse suites open on 23 October.

AJC Design’s refurbishment of the public areas and 177 bedrooms was unveiled in February.

The first phase involved curbing the excesses of the original design, says AJC Design managing director Alison Clark.

‘The existing design was largely modelled on the Brighton Pavilion. There was plenty of over-the-top plasterwork and ornate detailing that didn’t go with the 1970s exterior of the building,’ she says. ‘AJC Design’s brief was to take away the worst of that and transform it into a contemporary international five-star hotel.’

Some aspects of the original interior were retained, including the marble columns, and modern features like sandblasted glass windows added.

Clark describes the design style as ‘contemporary classic’, but also ‘warm and comfortable’.

With the bedroom suites, the aim was to make the ‘window walls’ as prominent a feature as possible. This meant keeping a ‘walk-around’ space between dividing walls and the windows, so as not to lessen the impact of the views of the Thames, says Clark.

The restaurant is arranged around a courtyard garden, designed by Mark Gregory of Landmark, who was commissioned by the consultancy.

AJC Design was appointed to the project without a pitch.

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