Design studio Kinnersley Kent Design, which has studios in both London and Dubai, has completed the multi-million-pound refurbishment of one of London’s most iconic hotels – The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences – remodeling the interiors and adding new layers of subtle glamour to this family-run hotel.
The scope of works undertaken by Kinnersley Kent Design included brand strategy, positioning and identity work, as well as external architectural works and a full interior architectural and design renovation, transforming the hotel’s public spaces, from the lobby, lounge and first floor meeting areas to a new bar and all-day dining restaurant.
Speaking of the design approach to the project, Jill Higgins, partner at Kinnersley Kent Design, explains: “Above all, we were looking to open the hotel up in terms of light, space, circulation and visibility. The building’s original art deco nature has also been brought back to life by replacing the ground floor elevation with an elegant bronze façade with brass details referencing the 1930s modernist style.”
Kinnersley Kent Design’s brand director Lindie Kramers says that the re-branding project included interviewing 20 key staff members to get a real insider feel for the hotel and subsequently designing almost 80 individual items, from menus and coasters through to luggage tags, cocktail invitations, notepads, pencils and guest postcards.
“Our repositioning strategy was based on celebrating this individuality,” explains Kramers. “This one-of-a-kind hotel offers a refreshing alternative for guests seeking a more personalised experience and our aim was to ensure the customer was at the heart of that proposition. This formed the foundation of our new brand ethos – ‘Stay Individual’ – which is brought to life across all branding materials.”
Lobby and interiors palette
For the newly-remodeled, double-height lobby area – where the whole mezzanine galleried section has been squared off and pulled back to double the available space – the design team mixed classic British furniture items with contemporary and mid-century European pieces.
“We think of it as ‘mismatching’ with an educated, curated eye,” says Higgins, adding that the chosen materials palette was “rich and understated”.