Warm metallics, sensuous curves and rich colours bring a shot of Twenties glamour to the Mondrian London
BY CLAIRE BINGHAM
Set on London’s South Bank, thrilling new hotel the Mondrian London is the latest UK offering from the US-based Morgans Hotel Group (think Miami’s Delano, the Hudson in New York and the Sanderson, London). Interiors are by Brit design talent Tom Dixon, who has brought 1920s cruise ship glamour and sculptural, contemporary design to the former 1970s Sea Containers House, conveniently located minutes from Tate Modern and the Oxo Tower.
Returning the former office to its original intended use as a luxury hotel, Dixon describes the architecture as ‘a bit like a ship.’ He adds: ‘We’ve emphasised this by mucking about with the top line of the building to make it feel more like a transatlantic cruise liner that’s just docked.’ Designed by US architect Warren Platner in 1978, Sea Containers House will be the first Mondrian outpost outside the United States.
‘Platner is best known for creating the ill-fated Windows on the World restaurant at the top of New York's Twin Towers and a very famous wire chair for Knoll,' explains Dixon. ‘He also designed for Stena Sealink – so you could say he's a naval interior designer.’
Needless to say, design plays an important role in this opulent 359-room hotel. On arrival, guests are greeted by a mighty burnished copper hull, that sprawls from the exterior and forms the reception desk inside. In the cocktail-toting Dandelyan bar (top picture), retro bubble-gum-pink leather-upholstered banquettes sit alongside a chunky emerald-green marble bar. Curved cabin-like walls feature in the chic guest rooms, the sleek bathrooms are fit for any Hollywood starlet, and the basement plays host to the opalescent agua Bathhouse & Spa.
Inspired by the golden age of travel and produce from nearby Borough Market, Sea Containers restaurant will dish up delicious contemporary English and American fare, backdropped by river vistas. The Dandelyan bar specialises in modern botanical cocktails, drawn from the British countryside and crafted by award-winning Ryan 'Mr Lyan' Chetiyawardana. But, best of all, is the Art Deco-style rooftop bar, with a magnificent view across the Thames, described by Dixon as ‘a bit Titanic’. If you’re wondering where to catch us for sundowners, that’s where we'll be!
The Mondrian London opens on 30 September 2014
20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD