Bruges switches Silken Group on to his bright ideas

Lighting designer Jason Bruges is undertaking a design project for the forthcoming London-based luxury hotel and apartment complex run by the Silken Group. The company is behind the £50m Puerta America Hotel in Madrid, scheduled to open next month.

It is ‘early days’, but the work is likely to be ‘very exciting’ and could involve installations or an overall lighting scheme to work across the development as a whole. The hotel, located in the old Citibank House building, at the intersection of the Strand and Aldwych, has been designed by architect Foster and Partners and will comprise a café, restaurant, 90 apartments and a five-star hotel with 170 bedrooms (DW 3 February). It is expected to open in 2007.

Bruges is currently carrying out a feasibility study to look at the various ‘design’ possibilities that could be implemented.

He is one of the first designers to benefit from the development, which represents the group’s first UK venture as it seeks to ‘build the best hotel in London’.

The architect is also collaborating with consultant Claude Engle on lighting, but there may be other opportunities for designers from different disciplines to get involved as the scheme evolves.

The concept is to zone the hotel and apartment accommodation vertically over 14 levels, with the hotel contained within a new external Portland stone façade and the apartments situated within the existing Grade II listed façade of the Marconi House site. An 11-storey atrium will create a focus for the collective activities of the hotel.

Bruges worked on the Madrid-based Puerta America Hotel, creating two installations: a ‘memory wall’ (pictured) with LED screens that show motion and body mass, and a ‘flock wallpaper’ that reacts to passers-by with a sequence of interactive functions using fibre-optics.

Bruges wanted to show how hotel lobbies and corridors should not be considered as cold and forgotten places.

Luxury Hotels from the Silken Group

• The Silken Group currently has 26 hotels located across Spain but has embarked on a growth strategy, which will see it add ten new hotels to its portfolio within the next two years.

• The Puerta America Hotel in Madrid has been designed by 18 of the world’s leading architects and designers, including Ron Arad, Zaha Hadid and David Chipperfield.

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