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11th April 2019

Istoria Group commissions Martin Parr to shoot new board as part of major rebrand

Bristol creative business Blue Flint Group has re-branded under a new name - Istoria Group - and has commissioned world-renowned, Bristol-based documentary photographer Martin Parr to photograph its seven-strong board, in celebration of the re-launch. The strategic business re-brand has been undertaken to ensure that Istoria Group - already a multi-million pound business and a highly successful, independently-owned collective of five creative and innovation companies, including exhibition, events and experiences company Ignition; interiors and branding agency Phoenix Wharf; strategic communications agency Caroline; children’s book publishers I am a Bookworm and pioneering innovation platform Solverboard - is ready for the next ambitious stage of its growth at a regional, national and international level.

'We can now offer clients access to a raft of specialist talent, based in a single, collaborative office', Sam Rowe explained. 'Our point of difference is that we have shared processes and systems throughout the group, so that clients can decide if they want to work with a single specialist agency - on a shop, restaurant, re-brand, event or exhibition, for example - or else liaise across the group via a single point of contact for all of their creative and design needs.'

The business favours a direct and honest way of working with a highly personable approach and the commission of Martin Parr is a perfect embodiment of this. 'We're great fans of Martin Parr's portraiture and of the frank and wryly humourous edge he brings to his work', Sam Rowe, CEO of Istoria Group, commented, adding that 'The commission also reflects our belief in Bristol as a centre of world-class creative talent'. Istoria Group, which is based in Bristol's Paintworks, is located only a few hundred metres from The Martin Parr Foundation, which the photographer opened in 2017 to preserve his archive and legacy and to showcase and archive the work of other new and established photographers.

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22nd March 2019


Amidst the increased competition and growing hospitality industry in Manchester, The Lowry Hotel is upping the 'luxury stakes' once again. Manchester's premier five-star hotel, The Lowry Hotel, has revealed the first look at its newly renovated Presidential Suite, designed by Goddard Littlefair and the largest both currently available or planned in the city at 2,228 square feet .

The penthouse suite, famous for its VIP guests, will cost £4,000 per night. The renovations totalled £700,000 and include a complete reconfiguration and redesign of the space, an enlarged dressing room and a new bespoke marble bathroom. The suite also includes a fully equipped kitchen, large bathroom with a double steam shower and free-standing bath, super king size bedroom, a walk-in dressing room and lounge plus a dining room for up to eight people. There is also an additional second bedroom and with adjoining bathroom.

The Lowry Presidential suiteGoddard Littlefair designed Lowry Presidential Suite - photograph Gareth Gardner

Renowned interior designers Goddard Littlefair, Interior Designers of the suite, commented on the inspiration behind the design: "This was a special and prestigious project for us, showcasing the first of our new designs for The Lowry Hotel. We drew inspiration from Manchester's industrial history and in particular from cotton, weaving and the city's industrial forms, geometry and heritage, including the shape of Trinity Bridge over the River Irwell, directly outside the hotel. We were also inspired by Lowry's own colour palette, as the artist famously kept to a base palette of only five colours, mixing them to achieve tonal shades that nonetheless stayed within a distinctive overall range.

"The new design has a residential feel, with light and bright tonal colours used for the walls, curtains and carpets, offset by darker joinery, geometric-patterned fabrics used for cushions and curtain trims for added visual interest. Colours range from rich bronzes and burnt oranges to off-whites and textured blue-greys. Special joinery features include four sets of double screens around the living and dining areas to help zone the space and a bespoke dining table for eight with a feature veneer inset pattern.

"The bedrooms and bathrooms feature timber slatted walls, which mirror on the opposite wall, whilst the bathroom also has feature walls in luxurious, richly-veined marble. The main bedroom features a bespoke, contemporary version of a four-poster bed, in a room where the colours become softer, more muted and restful. The stunning dressing room, with a large, anthracite velvet ottoman at its centre, is dominated by a tiered feature light, made of threads and inspired by Manchester's cotton production history."

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15th March 2019


For their second project for an Australian financial services group, workspace specialists align were briefed to design 13,745 sq ft of new working, meeting, presentation and break-out space across 1.5 storeys at their client's City of London offices in order to meet a period of sustained growth and house three divisions of the company, totalling around 150-170 people.

align had previously worked on an office interiors scheme in Reading for the same client, before being instructed to create this new Cat A and Cat B scheme, where the brief was to include integrated, but differentiated, zones that worked within the overall building environment with a pronounced accent on biophilia, agile working and staff wellbeing.

The client's Head of Infrastructure Technology and Business Services - EMEA, commented on the project: 'Our objective here was not to just fit-out the space in line with the rest of the building, but to use people-centred design to challenge our thinking and create a number of new inspiring spaces. We aim to create and manage high performance work environments and client spaces that are a consistent representation of our global brand and our spaces are managed to the highest possible standard, reflecting our culture and aspirations.'

City of London Workspace designed by align - photograph Adam Woodward

The scope of work mostly covered the building's 8th floor, where general workspaces are located, along with a staff kitchen/pantry; a large presentation and townhall space (which can also be used for other purposes, eg yoga classes); five meeting rooms and a large breakout area with an indoor-outdoor feel ('The Terrace'). The multi-use presentation area was deemed particularly important to the success of the project and is able to be combined with The Terrace area, with a folding wall between the two, in order to allow large-scale events to be held there. The scheme also encompassed a number of private working booths, as well as a more relaxed work/meeting area on the storey above, on the building's 9th floor.

The existing building has a strong statement core, including a red feature staircase created by the scheme's original architects. This new design project needed to acknowledge and talk to this dominant feature. This was achieved via the occasional and well-judged uses of red throughout - from red lines, for example, within a grey carpet from Shaws Carpets used in corridor areas, that also echo the staircase's angled geometry, with Fegerhold lights directly above further matching the carpet insert angle.

A striking red feature was also used on the building's 9th floor, in the form of a rectangular feature wall area, which is clad in individual, red Muratto tiles in 3D off-centre pyramid shapes, angled once again to mimic the stair. This idea is continued along a narrow galleried seating area on the same floor, where the tiles this time are arranged as wall art in a series of alternating 4 or 6-tile portrait-format rectangles, accompanying a 6-person meeting space.

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2nd November 2018


Goddard Littlefair has completed the restoration of Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, re-injecting golden age glamour into one of Europe's most beautiful hotels to appeal to today's cosmopolitan, sophisticated traveller. Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, situated just above Dubrovnik old town, was originally built in the 1890s and went on to serve the great Mediterranean cruise liners docking in the city in the early 20th century. Then called 'The Grand Hotel Imperial', with a French Riviera feel and the glamorous cachet of an international clientele, the hotel was a roaring success for many decades, but, during the Yugoslav war, it was shelled and then used to house refugees. The hotel was subsequently brought back to active life in 2005.

'When we were first commissioned', commented Martin Goddard, Director and Co-founder of Goddard Littlefair, 'the hotel was already very well established and incredibly popular, with a wonderful location overlooking the old fort and the Adriatic, right on the edges of Dubrovnik's historic old centre. Whilst it had been majorly refurbished in 2005, costly building works meant that the interiors weren't the main priority at that time and were primed therefore for a completely new treatment.'

Imperial Hilton DubrovnikHilton Imperial Dubrovnik - photograph Gareth Gardner

Goddard Littlefair was initially commissioned towards the end of 2016 for a phased set of redesign works, with the first two now completed and including the reception and lobby, The Lobby Lounge, The Imperial Bar, The Executive Lounge, all connecting and guest-room corridors and all of the hotel's 149 standard and executive rooms and 9 suites. A refurbishment of the hotel's existing restaurant, Porat, on the lower-ground floor, will follow in late 2019.

The brief to the design team was to unlock the true potential of the four-storey hotel's spectacular location, architecture, reputation and history. 'Our inspiration' Martin Goddard commented, 'lay in bringing back the romance of the hotel's former glories and layering glamour into each individual space by means of a Riviera palette, soft detailing, a 1920s yachting influence and a subtle evocation of the hotel's original elegance, whilst at the same time balancing that with clean and contemporary lines.'

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15th October 2018


Manchester-based architecture and interior design practice 74 has completed a major project to extend and remodel a Grade II-listed, two-storey, Victorian brick building in a semi-rural location in Englefield Green, just outside Egham. The repurposed 453 sq m building - Hox Haus - will serve as the central focus, clubhouse and social amenity for Hox Park student campus, newly-created by developers Moorfield Group for students attending Royal Holloway, University of London.

The new campus is located within a larger, 67-acre mixed-use site, owned by Royalton Group. Its Surrey location, near Runnymede, where Magna Carta was once signed, lent the site its name: Magna Carta Park. The Hox Park campus is one aspect of an overall masterplan for the site that also includes affordable and luxury housing, as well as an Audley Senior Living village.

The vision for Hox Haus was to encompass a number of important practical, social and unifying functions for its student users, including serving as a welcome point and gatehouse; parcel pick-up area; workspace for single study or group study and a downtime amenity with TV and games lounges, offering video-gaming booths, pool and table football. The building will also serve as the campus hospitality hang-out, offering free soft drinks, tea points and vended snacks and has also been flexibly designed for easy reconfiguration as a special event space, with moveable furniture and built-in bar points able to house pop-up catering.

Architecturally, Hox Haus is a stylish, eye-catching and dynamic 2-storey building that seeks to blend its original Victorian brickwork with two new glazed 'light box' interventions, creating a light-filled and largely transparent overall space that brings the outside in, references the building's semi-rural location and offers a warm, comfortable and relaxing home-from-home for students.

The two new interventions constitute a double-height, 44 sq m gatehouse to the building's east elevation and a 35 sq m, covered terrace section on the first storey, offering views over the whole campus. The terrace extension sits behind the parapet of an existing ground-floor extension, making it subservient to the host building. Both new interventions are clad or semi-clad (at first floor level for the gatehouse) with bronze-coloured, 4.6m-high, anodised aluminium fins. The fine, hard surfaces of the glazing and metal fins create a striking and elegant contrast to the rough-textured and robust solidity of the original structure, adding refinement and reflectivity to the building as a whole.

Hox House - SurreyHox House by 74 - photograph Ed Kingsland

Royalton Group initially invited 74 to produce a site analysis document exploring the building's further development potential, before private equity real estate fund manager Moorfield Group went on to commission 74 to develop an integrated vision. Moorfield Group had previously appointed the practice to create the interior look and feel of the three distinct student bedroom typologies within the student accommodation blocks - a modern 499-bed development, designed by Studio Partington Architects.

'The brief for Hox Haus evolved gradually from the outset', David Holt, Founder and Director of 74 explained. 'Whilst we were initially brought in to look at the interiors of the student accommodation - a speciality of the practice - we were then engaged to explore the potential of this unloved building and, by determining the need for an appropriate amenities provision for the student body, were able to rescue it from decay and provide a much needed focal point for this large-scale, semi-rural student accommodation development.'

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14th September 2018


Emma Gullick, Associate Creative Director of Bristol-based designers Phoenix Wharf, is to give a talk on 'Liquid Retail: How brands can meet unpredictable, ever-changing consumer needs and behaviour' on the opening day of Kind und Jugend 2018, the leading European show for the infant and child retail market, which takes place in Cologne from 20th - 23rd September.

The 'Liquid Retail' presentation, to be given at 1330h on Thursday 20th September, will consider the need for retailers to be as agile and flexible as possible to capitalise on our hyper-connected, real-time culture, where individual brand experiences are king. Emma Gullick will cite great, future-facing examples from retailers round the globe, ranging from top-end fashion brands to global giants Amazon and IKEA, in a presentation that merges best-practice examples, current statistics and personal insights, underscored by the Bill Gates maxim that 'We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.'

Also at Kind und Jugend, Phoenix Wharf will be showing off its design credentials in the form of two exhibition stands for British companies Elvie and Vital Baby. Both commissions are brand-new this year and follow the success of a stand created at last year's event by Phoenix Wharf for the award-winning Gro Company. For both showcases, Phoenix Wharf collaborated with award-winning sister agency Ignition, also based in Bristol, with a second US office in Indianapolis. The new designs will incorporate Ignition's beMatrix modular kit for the 20 sqm Elvie stand, with a mixture of modular and bespoke kit for the larger, 66 sqm Vital Baby stand.

Phoenix Wharf

For British independent Elvie, the brief was to create a stand to unveil and showcase an exciting brand-new product (still under wraps until launch day), which builds on the brand's first great success story, the award-winning Elvie Trainer kegel exerciser, which, it was announced last month, is now to be offered to women on the NHS. Gwyneth Paltrow's 'Goop' website and John Lewis are amongst the many high-profile stockists of the product. In addition, Elvie is also shortlisted for the Kind und Jugend Innovation Award 2018 in the 'World of Kids Care' category. The winners will be announced on 20th September in Hall 11.1.

The design for the new Elvie showcase will communicate a cool and clean feel, brought to life by stunning lifestyle imagery, used at full height across an angled, 4-part rear wall. A single block colour - the brand's own 'Celeste', a soft blue-green - will be used for both the welcome stand and for a 'pick me up' product focus stand. The rear wall also includes a 'product hero' section, in full view of the main aisle, with product displayed on illuminated shelving. The stand's flooring is in clean white, with white also used for the stools behind the greeter stand. A warmer timber finish is used for the seating and meeting area, furnished with a white circular table and a cluster of grey felt stools.
Elvie, Stand G012, Hall 11.2

Established, UK-based, baby accessories brand Vital Baby briefed Phoenix Wharf to create a completely new concept for its large-scale 2018 stand, aimed at attracting new international distributors and retailers for its extensive product range. Phoenix Wharf, who designed not only the stand but all graphic elements, building on the brand's existing logo, advised on a simplified approach, with category breakdowns and single examples of items on display, located within a well-segmented stand that offers a clear journey and a variety of presentation methods. Product areas range from teethers and soothers, bottle and breast feeding, tableware and accessories to bathing, food preparation and healthcare, with stand-out features including a 'new innovations hub', with a playful curved archway entrance and an eye-catching Perspex ceiling section with inset products on strings.

The welcome area features a cut-out section in the shape of a cloud (a brand motif), as well as products displayed on vertical strings, whilst the orange of the brand identity is used for a series of dotted lines to direct visitors across the grey vinyl flooring. Further colour changes in the flooring denote product plinth and general circulation areas. Custom graphic walls feature key hero products, whilst pendant lighting above the various round and square product plinths, set at different heights, highlight and illuminate merchandise. The stand also has a kitchen area to aid demonstration of baby food preparation equipment, as well as a meeting room and innovation hub for new product development presentations.
Vital Baby, Stand G040, Hall 11.2

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20th August 2018


Leading shared workspace provider Central Working has launched a new co-working hub for innovation and enterprise within Grosvenor Britain & Ireland's new Eccleston Yards development, on the boundaries of Belgravia and Victoria in central London. With interiors by Kinnersley Kent Design, one of London and Dubai's most prestigious design studios, the new hub anticipates the needs of the modern startup community with an all-inclusive hospitality-first approach.

Central Working Victoria is the anchor tenant of Eccleston Yards, which brings together food, fashion, retail, co-working and wellbeing. Central Working Victoria is designed to host over 500 entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes within a refurbished Victorian electrical substation. Catering for a group that rarely conforms to a nine-to-five routine, a chill out room is available to provide rest and relaxation, as well as a 70-seat auditorium to accommodate visiting lecturers from the tech and creative industries. The 25,000 sq ft space is split across three levels, and features flexible work areas including drop-in desks, private offices, phone booths for private calls, a members' lounge, and a variety of meeting spaces from boardrooms to huddle rooms.

Central Working Victoria is one of the latest sites designed by Kinnersley Kent Design in partnership with Central Working. Other recently completed sites including Reading and Slough, with more coming soon.

In line with Central Working's service-led approach, Kinnersley Kent Design's concept for Victoria puts social hospitality at the heart of the experience with a central members' lounge and kitchen. By planning the layout according to the overarching creative strategy, the designers housed the 500 desks required in a way that breaks up the vast space and creates interesting new sightlines throughout the building, introducing outdoor views and daylight from every angle.

Kinnersley Kent - Central Working VictoriaCentral Working Victoria shared workplace

Central Working Victoria feels welcoming and creative, combining high-level service with a comfortable atmosphere that is more domestic than workplace. The core colour palette is built around sophisticated shades of blue, ensuring a seamless feel across the old and new areas of the building without making the space too uniform. The colour palette varies in different rooms, from greens to greys and blues, helping to demark the different zones. Accents of yellow - ranging from lemon to burnt ochre - are peppered throughout, adding personality and reinforcing the stylishly eclectic look and feel.

The interior design celebrates the architecture of the Victorian industrial building, highlighting architectural nuances by juxtaposing original features with modern interventions. Prior to the redesign, most of the historic aspects of the building were hidden behind boards and layers of plaster. The designers brought the building's character to the fore, revealing its original brickwork and glazed tile arches.

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6th July 2018


align has designed a striking, elegant and highly-contemporary workspace scheme for a financial services company client, with a unique 18th century visual twist. The client is based in a central London building with a Grade I-listed façade and a new-build structure directly behind and the new project specifically relates to the redesign of one entire floor. The scheme had to be delivered in three phases, with staff moving round the space to allow working to continue throughout.

'The client's business had grown substantially when the need arose for this redesigned work floor', align Director and Co-founder Nigel Tresise explained, 'with the existing layout proving not only overcrowded, but spatially disjointed.'

A flowing and open floorplan was a key tenet of the brief. The remit was to incorporate three closed meeting spaces; a small number of private offices; a series of open collaboration spaces and a kitchenette/tea-point area, incorporating additional seating and meeting space. The 18th century twist came in links between the building and a great eighteenth-century portrait and landscape painter. The brief given to the award-winning workspace design team was to introduce some connection to the painter in the scheme, but without fighting against the essentially modern structure of the building, nor creating anything pastiche.

align office interior

In order to create this painterly connection, align suggested a graphic route, using some of the painter's works in the form of floor-to-ceiling matt translucent film, applied to the glass walls of the three meeting rooms and one office, as well as informing the meeting room naming strategy. After identifying options from the painter's landscape work for this, the design team proceeded to apply for copyright from a number of leading galleries to use the chosen images, including Tate Britain and the National Gallery, ending up with the right to use four paintings. These then informed the names of two of the meeting rooms.

Further aspects of the brief given to the designers were to incorporate plenty of fresh, green planting and to reference the company's branding colourway by injecting bold splashes of colour throughout. The brief also asked for British suppliers and products to be used, wherever possible.

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28th June 2018


Pigsty, a new neighbourhood restaurant and bar on Bristol's Gloucester Road, has opened for business, with all interior design and graphics on the scheme created by Bristol-based hospitality and retail specialists Phoenix Wharf. The 100-cover space, aimed at families, couples and group diners, offers high-quality dishes based around good quality, local produce and the company's own pork products from The Jolly Hog - all prepared with taste, flair and heart and served in a fun, stylish and contemporary environment. Pigsty also includes a bar with a takeaway area, offering cooked and fresh Jolly Hog sausages and bacon. The interior concept mixes town-and-country via old and new industrial elements, butcher's shop tiling (some dating from around 1920, from an original pork butcher on the site), plus warm green herringbone timber and playful pink-grouted green ceramic tiling and graphic slogans.

Phoenix Wharf PigstyPhoenix Wharf Interior Design for Pigsty, Bristol - photograph Franklin and Franklin

Pigsty has a large, glazed shopfront with five tall fold-back windows, set with a green herringbone timber surround. The logo, in white, plus the snout-and-ears brand mark sit over the door and are also used for the projecting sign, whilst gold-painted lettering directly over the entrance doors introduces key brand messaging - 'Home of the Hog'.

Inside, the layout includes an open kitchen to the rear, underlining a feeling of transparency and adding theatre, with the surround to the kitchen pass clad in a green ceramic tile with striking pink grouting. To the right of the space is the bar area, where people can drink and also grab a quick burger, whilst the main restaurant houses various seating zones to cater for all-comers, including two rows of booths and smaller freestanding tables down the centre and in the window area, which seat two of three people and can be combined as needed, offering the operator maximum flexibility. The rear seating area by the kitchen features a number of taller, group-dining tables, as well as bar-height stool seating and further free-standing tables.

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20th June 2018


Hans' Bar & Grill, a new neighbourhood restaurant in Chelsea's Pavilion Road, has opened for business and features a striking, contemporary interiors scheme created by leading hospitality and F&B designers Goddard Littlefair. The new venue, conceived of by the team behind Chewton Glen, Lygon Arms, Cliveden and 11 Cadogan Gardens, will offer an exciting new extended café-bar space and restaurant, including a newly-covered former courtyard space, within the 11 Cadogan Gardens hotel, and is set to appeal to a wide range of day-to-night guests.

Hans' Bar & Grill was named in honour of Cadogan family ascendant Sir Hans Sloane, one-time physician to the royal family and President of The Royal Society, as well a celebrated natural historian, whose incredible collection of specimens and artefacts led to the founding of The British Museum. Both London's Sloane Square and Sloane Street were named in his honour.

The new 106-cover restaurant encompasses 18 covers within the café-bar area, directly inside the Pavilion Road entrance; 46 covers in a covered courtyard area, forming part of the main restaurant, plus a further 42 covers in the dining area of the main hotel building. A further private dining space, 'The Curio', inspired by Sloane's love of adventure and discovery, can seat a further 16 guests and is located directly opposite the internal restaurant entrance.

'We're very excited about the opening of our first London restaurant project', Goddard Littlefair Co-founder and Director Jo Littlefair commented. 'As a design studio, we've built an extensive portfolio of residential developments in London and an extensive portfolio of hospitality projects outside the capital, so it's great now to have a completed restaurant project in the same city we work, eat and play in - and also to have been able to do it for such a prestigious client and in such a great location.'

The first café-bar space is located within a converted former mews garage on Pavilion Road, where it sits alongside other converted garages to either side to form a new suite of upmarket, independent boutique retailers, from barbers and cheesemongers to specialist purveyors of wine and bread. Architectural works on this, as well as the courtyard refurbishment, were carried out by ReardonSmith Architects.

The restaurant has a contemporary classic feel, with traditional wood panelling to the walls in a fresh and light grey paint finish (alternating with antiqued bevelled glass panels), plus skirting and a dado rail, as well as restored fireplaces, linking it in feel to the overall hotel, which Goddard Littlefair has also revamped. This space features a furniture mix of dark green banquettes with a fluted leather finish, whilst all loose furniture, similarly bespoke-made for the project, is in grey leather or else a mix of mohair and leather in light green or dusky orange, with dark timber frames.

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23rd February 2018


GW+Co are proud to announce that they have won two awards in the prestigious Design Business Association (DBA) Design Effectiveness Awards. GW+Co received the awards for their work with international lighting manufacturer Zumtobel Group, picking up the Gold Award in the Electronic and Electrical Equipment category.

The design work for Zumtobel Group's 'THORNeco: Meet the family' project was judged to be so successful that it also scooped the International Export Award, which is presented for the most effective piece of work undertaken by an agency for an overseas client.

GW+Co Principal Gilmar Wendt said, "We used branding as a differentiator, to humanise what can be seen as a transactional commodity. We helped Zumtobel Group achieve 300% sales growth in just three months, and a website conversion rate of 2.3 times the benchmark. All this for a project that was initially called an 'ugly duckling' by our clients. With effective design, we turned it into a powerful brand."

Deborah Dawton, Chief Executive of the Design Business Association, said: "Design uniquely cuts to the heart of every business it touches. It closes the gap between business risk and market success. So when it comes to our nation’s competitiveness, infusing design universally into business should be a priority in order to drive long-term growth and economic advantage for the UK. The DBA Design Effectiveness Award winners prove why."

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9th February 2018


Lenco International, a leading global Design Agency based in Grantham, UK, today announced the launch of its new brand, symbolised by the introduction of a new logo and visual identity that signifies its momentum and evolution.

"The launch of our new brand kicks off a new era at Lenco that speaks to who we are as a company and is a direct reflection of our brand values we deliver to our clients - dynamic, modern and bold," said Len Levick, CEO. "We are proud that our brand will now illustrate how far Lenco has come in its 28-year history. We’ve evolved from a small Design Consultancy company in the UK, to an international business serving a wide range of our clients' development and design needs."

Lenco has produced designs for signage, wayfinding and branding for the majority of the cruise industry, as well as luxury hotels, tourist destinations and shopping centres.

The entire rebrand, including the website, has been done in house, with all members of staff making a contribution. It celebrates the passion the staff feel for the company and was completed under the direction of new Creative Director Derek King. The new logo maintains the iconic wave, tipping the hat to the majority of their clients, but in a fresh and contemporary way. "We have given ourselves a bit of TLC, and brought our brand, website and look up to date. We wanted to display our skills, by demonstrating what we are capable of" explained new Creative Director Derek King, who has worked for some of the stellar London agency. Derek's has worked for some impressive clients including Cathay Pacific, McLaren, Jaguar, Nintendo, Shell, De Beers, Vodafone, Coca-Cola and Dolce & Gabbana. His expertise, determination and leadership mean that Lenco can now offer a range of services that are broader than just signage. His addition to the team, which include designers from a variety of different disciplines, means they can provide customers with designs for all marketing collateral.

For more information on the Lenco Brand Launch, visit

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15th January 2018


Multi-award-winning interior design studio Goddard Littlefair has just completed a £25m, top-to-toe transformation of The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square, formerly The Roxburghe Hotel. The new hotel joins the PRINCIPAL family of stand-out, city-centre hotels, each with its own unique treatment and personality, entirely appropriate to its historic building envelope and location.

The remit for Grade II*-listed The Principal Edinburgh Charlotte Square covered a complete revamp of all the hotel's public spaces, including the reception, lounge areas, ballroom and meeting rooms, plus the stunning central 'Garden' all-day dining area. All of the hotel's 181 rooms and 18 suites, plus linking lobbies and corridors, were also completely redesigned.

The final element of the scheme was the creation of an exciting new bar and restaurant offer - BABA, a new destination hotspot for Edinburgh, masterminded by the culinary team behind hit Glasgow restaurant Ox and Finch and featuring a Levantine-inspired design feel and menu.

Goddard LittlefairGoddard Littlefair at The Principal in Edinburgh - photograph Julian Franklin

The BABA bar has its own street entrance, which signals the unique identity of the space within. A specially-commissioned mural of the 'host', Mr Baba, based on a vintage photograph, provides the backdrop to the bar counter. Elements of this image re-occur within the restaurant and across BABA's brand collateral.

The bar itself has been refurbished with a re-finished, dark-stained, timber bar front and re-used zinc bar top, replete with the signs of ageing and character from its previous life. A new gantry above the bar counter has been constructed using mesh cages and scaffolding poles to provide storage for glassware. Contemporary bar stools now allow guests to sit at the bar counter. The bar ceiling is painted in a rich teal tone, with multiple antique framed mirrors attached to it, reflecting the activity beneath. A new, poured concrete floor has been decorated with a stencilled repeat motif, whilst the aubergine leather backrests on the bar banquettes, hung from scaffolding poles, plus a bank of reclaimed cinema seats, provide all-important contrast in the space.

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8th December 2017


Workplace specialists align have completed a dynamic, highly-functional and client-sensitive workspace project for global creative agency Spark44, located over two storeys of The White Collar Factory, the major new office and retail campus on Old Street Roundabout, described by developers Derwent London as 'one of our most ambitious projects to date'.

Located on the 11th and part of the 12th floors of the building, the design approach for the new Spark44 London office, which is uniquely dedicated to fulfilling creative projects for Jaguar Land Rover, sought to achieve a balance between respect for the new building's proportions and base-build materiality; the specific needs and usage patterns of the agency's London team and the over-riding brand principles of Spark44, including the incorporation of the mantra 'Be Bold. Be Brave. Be Honest' and a high-impact colour palette of red, grey, white and black.

align Spark 44 align - The White Collar Factory

Technology was a key consideration throughout the process, driven from a desire to facilitate and support growth and change within the company over the coming years. In order to create a workspace that would be future-proofed as much as possible, the design solution fully encompassed an agile working philosophy. Although there are 234 desks in the final scheme, a further 96 work-points have been incorporated over both levels to allow for and actively encourage agile working. Wifi is accessible across both floorplates at all times to support this.

On Level 11, a large screen in reception creates an agency feel as soon as visitors exit the lift. The screen is driven from a 90" touchscreen in the 'town hall' Stage area, located within the main working space, running all the presentations shared across the screens in the open-plan area. A 12th floor projector allows for presentations and announcements to be unified throughout the office if required, with the 11th floor always the focus of companywide meetings and presentations.

Because of the global nature of the Spark44 business, a lot of thought was given to AV capability, with all AV equipment integrated into the stepped area created around 'The Stage'. AV and microphones for presentations are wireless, so that staff can just press the ON button and start speaking (or, indeed, sing karaoke if the occasion demands it!).

All the meeting rooms are fully cable-managed, reinforcing the feeling of a neat and cable-free environment and there are linked-in touch panels for control of the TV. In the boardroom, sensors pick up on when a folding wall dividing the room into two smaller rooms is open, automatically triggering screen-mirroring in the two spaces. All office areas and the kitchen/ reception are also zoned for playing music. This adds to the overall feeling of a unified office and the music automatically sets a tone when people arrive at reception.

Milind Raval commented on the design approach: 'align were fantastic to work with because they came in and they sat with us; they listened to what we wanted and came back and gave us ideas. They sat and watched our staff in action, so they saw what people were doing, how they were using the space and then they gave us a plan that could not only look good, but was also very functional.'

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21st November 2017


House of Fraser (HoF) and leading British design studio Kinnersley Kent Design have launched the retailer's first-ever green department store at Rushden Lakes, a unique shopping experience in Northamptonshire that blends fashion, leisure and nature.

The much-anticipated department store marks several firsts for House of Fraser - it is the British retailer's first out-of-town format, first ever sustainable store, and its first full UK store opening since 2008.

The project has been shortlisted for Best New Store at the Retail Week Awards 2018, announced on the 20th of November 2017.

The stunning new store is BREEAM compliant, with a 50% reduced Carbon Footprint compared to existing HoF stores of a similar size, thanks to its energy efficient design and operations.

The interior marks a lighter, brighter feel for the retailer. The concept, created by Kinnersley Kent Design in collaboration with HoF's team, connects with the beautiful natural setting while embracing the industrial elements of the 'big box' out-of-town shopping format.

Boasting a champagne bar and restaurant, coffee shop, and over 50 premium and high street brands over two storeys, the new HoF has true destination appeal. Highlights include a striking 160-square foot Living Wall at the heart of the store that consists of nearly 2,000 plants, and bespoke artworks created by local artists.

To help raise awareness and support protection of the local Nene Wetlands nature reserve, HoF has partnered with The Wildlife Trust BCN to help customers feel more connected to nature. The Trust is providing HoF customers with experiences and activities such as guided walks around the lakes, wildlife gardening and children's craft activities.

David Blakeney, Director of Store Development at HoF, said: "House of Fraser at Rushden Lakes is green, local and relevant to how customers shop today. Working with our long-standing design partner Kinnersley Kent Design, we have created something more than an ordinary department store. The team has done a great job collaboratively - we're delighted with our new green flagship and the store is trading well above expectations."

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11th November 2016


Following their multi-award-winning office project for BrandOpus and their colourful Tech City scheme for scientific-info rising stars Mendeley, workplace specialists align have now completed a very different style of project for Eden McCallum. The new scheme responds to a brief to design a 'quiet, understated and sophisticated' environment, which would serve as the new London HQ for these leading management consultants. 'After the exuberance of our last two workplace schemes, it was really interesting to engage with such a contrasting brief', commented align Director and Co-founder Gurvinder Khurana. 'The challenge was to create a suite of offices that were full of subtle statements and which met the requirement for a 'fresh, interesting, human-scale and unregimented' space.

Eden McCallum is a highly-successful and pioneering management consultancy firm, formed in 2000 by Founding Partners Liann Eden and Dena McCallum, with offices in London, Amsterdam and Zürich. Clients include a third of the FTSE 100; a third of the world’s largest private equity firms and 50 of the global Fortune 500 companies. Formerly based in offices in Kensington Church Street, the move to the new space represents a launch pad for the next stage of Eden McCallum’s corporate development.

The location for the new offices is a 8,715 sq ft single-storey space on 5th floor of a newly-redeveloped Crown Estates building, facing onto Air Street (where entrance is located) and Glasshouse Street - just minutes from Piccadilly Circus. The premises benefit from great natural light, with windows the full length of both sides, plus a sympathetic base-build delivered by the landlord’s architects, featuring limed oak and good quality architectural lighting.

Unlocking the challenge to create an unregimented workspace that worked at human-scale was all about space-planning and especially the creation of a range of different-sized meeting rooms, each with its own subtly-different design treatment. The space-plan also includes an open-plan office area with integrated meeting zones, break-out spaces and private phone booth areas for discreet conversations with clients and consultants. These are particularly important because Eden McCallum’s business model is all about offering the very best independent consultants, with only one in ten applicants making the grade, meaning discreet and rigorous interviewing plays a major role in the hiring process.

align workplace for Eden McCallumalign project for Eden McCallum - photograph Kate Berry

Overall, the scheme features a deliberate and considered choice of materials, balancing a respect for the base build detailing with the integration of the client’s needs for a human, sophisticated and warm spatial experience. 'The new scheme begins with simplicity and calm’, Gurvinder Khurana explained, 'via a neutral, off-white base palette. Interest is added by subtle interjections of texture and colour in a range of pale, oceanic blues and greens, as well as a wall of individual feature wallpaper in most of the meeting rooms, especially the smaller ones, along with some great furniture from Vitra, Eames and the Bourellec Brothers, quirky accessories and the odd touch of vintage. The flow of varied-size meeting spaces, arranged around two-thirds of the perimeter, prevents the overall environment from any feeling of regimentation.'

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Date 25th October 2016


Want to turn your bright idea into a brilliant product? Design Council Spark is offering support and funding to help you take your idea and turn it into a smart product and brand. Up to 15 participants will join a 16-week support programme covering everything from product design and branding to business plans and receive £15k in funding. Each team will also be paired with a dedicated expert mentor to support their journey and have the chance to pitch for a share of £200k at the end of the programme. Apply by 10 January. More info here

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13th October 2016


Leading British design studio Kinnersley Kent Design 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 warm and subtle glamour to this family-run, five-star, thoroughly-independent jewel in the heart of Mayfair.

The scope of works undertaken by Kinnersley Kent Design, one of the UK's most established and celebrated practices, includes brand strategy, positioning and identity work - undertaken in partnership with the hotel's owners and close-knit internal team - 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 spectacular new bar - 'THE BAR at The Athenaeum' - and the elegant, day-to-night restaurant offer - 'Galvin at The Athenaeum'.

Kinnersley Kent - The Athenaeum HotelThe Athenaeum Hotel entrance

Kinnersley Kent Design's Brand Director Lindie Kramers said of the agency's approach: 'Our thinking was based on the brand's core strengths - its heritage, attitude and location. Located in the heart of Mayfair, the brand is delightfully English (in all the right ways), independently-owned, with an art deco spirit. And they've always done things differently.'

The re-branding and positioning project included interviewing 20 key staff members to get a real insider feel for the hotel, as well as thorough research into the hotel's great history - especially its legendary associations with the world of film. Above all, the hotel was clearly understood, both internally and externally, to be about individuals, from the staff to the high levels of tailored service, to the character of individual guests. Even Jim, the doorman, has his own blog!

'Our repositioning strategy was based on celebrating this individuality', Lindie Kramers explained. 'This one-of-a-kind hotel offers a refreshing alternative for guests seeking a more personalized 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 at every touch point and across all branding materials.'

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12th October 2016


In the heart of the French countryside and near the town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, where Van Gogh painted over 150 of his most well-known works, a London family has created its perfect home-from-home. The detached house and grounds, re-modelled by David Price Design with a new extension, terraces and fun additions - including a boules pitch - feature an interior inspired by the rich colours of the Mediterranean and showcasing a wonderful, eclectic array of furnishings and accessories, variously inherited from previous owners and sourced anew by the home's new owners via local Provençale markets, Kempton Park Antiques Market in UK and from holidays further afield.

David Price Design - Provence

The owners commissioned British designer David Price of David Price Design - architecture, interiors and landscaping designers with offices both on the Cote d'Azur and much closer to hand, in Les Baux de Provence - to help achieve the major remodelling of the property and grounds that would result in the idyllic holiday home the couple, their young adult daughters and friends now love to stay in, visiting as often as they can to get away from the stresses of city life.

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5th October 2016


 - AME Group designs and develops JigTech for Dale Hardware
- Innovative design means builders and joiners can fit door handles in under five minutes

 Two Yorkshire companies have joined forces to create a ground-breaking device that fits door handles in less than five minutes.

 Sheffield-based product design consultancy AME Group helped develop the JigTech on behalf of Ossett-based Dale Hardware. Compared to traditional methods, the easy-to-use device saves contractors and fitters up to 20 minutes when installing a handle and latch to interior doors.

AME Group developed the JigTech product from concept through to prototyping, testing and volume manufacturing, drawing on its experience of developing tools for the DIY sector.

The innovative product incorporates an adjustable latch bore and self-centring clamp system that quickly marks out and guides the user when drilling a door. Using the jig alondside Dale’s door furniture, latch, and spacer system simplifys the installation process even further.

AME Group

“We overcame the technical challenges of the brief to create a product that is simple and efficient and can withstand the demands of everyday use. We have also created a distinctive product aesthetic unique to the JigTech brand.

“With a short timescale to develop the product from concept to manufacture, Dale Hardware has been able to bring JigTech to the market quickly. It has also managed the cost of development by continually validating the design using our in-house prototyping and low volume production facilities.”

Daniel Monaghan, joint managing director of Dale Hardware, said: “AME Group have come up with a simple but effective solution to the brief, that sets a new standard for speed and accuracy in the fitting of door handles and latches. Housebuilders will benefit from enhanced efficiency in what can be a time consuming part of the construction process.

“This is the first product in the JigTech tool range. AME Group has helped to create a unique brand proposition that can be implemented across future products.”

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9th August 2016


Workspace specialists align have completed a 20,000 sq ft suite of offices that respond to a complex technical brief, at the same time as prioritising staff's ergonomic needs, for technology company Mendeley. The offices are located in the landmark AlphaBeta development in Finsbury Square, part of London's burgeoning Tech City and just across the road from the Google Campus and Amazon's new European HQ. Mendeley is a fast-growing, global, collaborative research and knowledge-sharing platform with over 3m global users. At the core of the business offer are cloud-based tools, platforms and services, designed to help scholars all over the world discover content, organise their papers and connect with other researchers, with the overall aim of making science more open, social and accessible.

The brief revolved around enabling staff to work at their optimum level, especially when coding. This meant planning for single working, working in pairs and also in both smaller and larger groups with maximum flexibility and variety, meaning staff can work seated or standing and are able to collaborate with varying degrees of privacy in sealed-off spaces, semi-private spaces or open meeting areas. Concentration and stimulation needed to be carefully balanced in a dynamic, hard-working environment where the human and ergonomic needs of staff were to be respected at all times.

The AlphaBeta development by Resolution Property brings together three properties, formerly known as Triton Court, into a single scheme and was created by architects Studio RHE International. It is comprised of nine, non-uniform storeys, arranged around a full-height atrium core. The development, targeted at digital and media companies, also features a yoga room, a basketball court and a ramp that allows cyclists to enter the building directly.

Mendeley was the first tenant to occupy the building, taking just over two-thirds of level three: 20,000 sq ft of the overall 27,426 sq ft floorplate.

align were commissioned in August 2014 to create a design scheme within the Cat A space in this iconic development, working with a base build that wasn't yet complete and with a deadline that meant taking early possession. align worked closely with main contractor Modus to deliver the project.

Visitors first arrive at the third floor level into a lift lobby area, which is bordered to the right and the left by two sets of glass doors, decorated with the Elsevier white tree logo. Two glass walls opposite feature eye-catching, full-height graphic illustrations, which are transparent enough to show the movement of figures the other side, but which also create a degree of privacy for the meeting spaces beyond. These came from Elsevier's existing image library, but were selected by align to work specifically with the space and the overall colour scheme.

The main reception space is located through the doors to the left and is centred around a bespoke, 3.2m-long desk, created by align in white Corian and inspired by the ever-evolving nature of DNA as a motif for the activity taking place in the office.

Behind reception is the first of the three main open-plan work zones. These feature large-format 1800mm-long workstations, so that two people can easily work at each if needed, divided by classic privacy and acoustic screens, clad in a grey Blazer fabric by Camira. Desking and chairs throughout the main zones are by Dutch manufacturer Gispen, who work with Reed Elsevier globally, whilst carpets here and in most meeting spaces are a dark grey: Composure by Interface, with an additional lighter grey used in the Board Room and Customer Experience Room.

The Social is the longest single space within the scheme and serves as a 'Town Hall' meeting space, as well as a general space for eating, drinking and relaxation. It overlooks the atrium directly via a full-height glass wall and is announced by two fun, bespoke installations by Argent and Sable, made of hand-painted reclaimed timber, edged with fairground-style lighting, which book-end the space with the mantra 'Eat, Drink, Code'.

align office design for MendeleyMendeley office London - photograph Gareth Gardner

A series of Copenhague tables from Hay sits down the centre of the space, with five different types of chair - and two repeated in different colour-ways. The seeming randomness of this very much forms part of the non-standard, individual and 'human' aspects of the scheme. Over by the glass atrium wall, a number of taller bar chairs and lamps are interspersed with two very domestic-scale units – cupboards from Mint Leaf with front doors made of original matchbox covers.

'The move to Alphabeta is enabling us to continue to attract top talent and work collaboratively in a fast-paced, fun environment', said Fernando Fanton, SP Global Product and Technology at Elsevier. align Director Gurvinder Khurana commented, 'This is very much a grown-up scheme, which has been designed to be extremely functional and flexible in order to enable a work culture that is highly collaborative and where togetherness and sociability are both encouraged and celebrated. It's been an absolute pleasure to work on, especially within such an exciting new building envelope.'

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5th August 2016


The East India Company, the contemporary revitalisation of one of history's most powerful and successful trading ventures, has opened a flagship store on Edinburgh's George Street, the Scottish capital's most prestigious shopping address, with all design work by leading British studio Kinnersley Kent Design.

The Edinburgh store forms just part of the ongoing projects being developed by The East India Company, together with the Kinnersley Kent Design team, ranging from branding, graphics and packaging work (including the packaging for the new chocolate range in 2015, for example) to exciting new future concepts, to be unveiled at a later stage.

'Our approach here has been to develop and mature The East India Company retail offer', explained Mick Kent, Partner at Kinnersley Kent Design, 'introducing a lighter materials palette and a more 'joyful', fresher and celebratory feel for the store interiors. We are working closely on this with the modern-day East India Company Chairman, Sanjiv Mehta - a passionate advocate for the transformative and expressive power of design.'

The six-storey building was designed in the first decade of the 20th century by J J Burnet. The storefront itself is made up of dark-stained timber and bronze-coloured, powder-coated metal, with a black overlay housing the polished brass storefront lettering, with an additional illuminated 'bus stop' sign to the left-hand side of the façade. At the top of the storefront is a striking red panel, with The East India Company marque at its centre. In line with building regulations, a lot of the existing storefront structure was retained in terms of the bulkhead, whilst Georgian-proportioned panelling, a strong identifying element for the brand, was introduced along the base of the windows and doors. Two small window-beds built into the framework feature a patterned window vinyl, taken from the family of patterns that make up The East India Company brand collateral, which are used and integrated throughout the store interiors, as well as on the company website and other graphic applications.

Kinnersley Kent - East India Company

East India Company Edinburgh - photograph Kate Berry

Two feature mid-floor display areas are distinguished by herringbone lime-washed oak flooring, inset into the overall floor treatment of speckled, light-coloured ceramic. The first is The Queen's Table, an iconic part of the store's display since the first flagship opened in Mayfair in 2010 and whose design features a shattered acrylic top and timber ball legs, inspired by a historic table Chairman Sanjiv Mehta first saw at the V&A. The second is a series of interlocking tables for tea-tasting, in the shape of the well-known paisley motif, bespoke-made with mother-of-pearl inlaid into marble tops; a pattern that has strong historical links with and is synonymous with The East India Company.

'The integration of this kind of detail is typical of The East India Company's approach', added Kenny Sum, Director of Kinnersley Kent Design. 'Both the company's history and its contemporary brand narrative of connections and fusions of the exotic east with the regal west are evoked and alluded to throughout, though never spelt out, in keeping with the brand's positioning as a retail rather than a museum-style offer.'

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10th May 2016


Leading British design studio Kinnersley Kent Design has created a new store concept for heidi klein - the luxury swimwear brand and holidaywear retailer - to serve as a launchpad for the business's next phase of international expansion. Formed in 2002 by Heidi Gosman and Penny Klein, heidi klein first launched its 'one-stop holiday shop' concept in its Notting Hill store in 2002, before opening a second boutique in Chelsea in 2004. The retailer currently has four stores, including St Lucia and Montenegro, whilst the wholesale arm of its business, via its own-brand 'heidi klein collection', is stocked in over 150 stores in 39 countries.

The new store concept is now trialling at heidi klein's Pavilion Road store, in Chelsea. 'Our main design evolution', explained Jill Higgins, Partner at Kinnersley Kent Design and director of the project, 'has been to move the interiors iconography away from a beach-inspired dressing towards a more refined, internationally-applicable glamour, with inspiration from the domestic interiors vernacular of a 'Hamptons House'. The store layout is therefore inspired by domestic zones: living room, bedroom, veranda and so on, which creates a more lifestyle-oriented environment and encompasses the growing breadth of the offer, including aprés-beachwear, menswear, childrenswear and a thriving accessories range.'

Kinnersley KentKinnersley Kent interior for Heidi Klein - photograph Kate Berry

The new store design is very much a key stage in the expansion of the brand. 'We set out to reinvent swimwear shopping into an exciting and enjoyable experience, while providing everything our clients desired in order to look and feel gorgeous on holiday; all under one roof,' explains Heidi.

The new, overall environment at the Chelsea store is very clean, with the product very much the star. The store needed to transport customers instantly into an oasis of calm, which it does via a space that is light and warm - and smells beautiful too. The walls, flooring and ceiling are all in white, with an accent colour of soft gold taken from the branding, plus sparing use of green palms to add freshness and vibrancy.

The strong new merchandising system contains elements that can be easily applied to smaller, concession opportunities, whilst merchandising densities reflect the premium positioning and are light in colour, underlining the transparent and bright holiday feel.

'The product is vibrant and pattern-rich' Jill Higgins explained, 'and we sought therefore to design a space that very much creates a canvas for the product, using neutral tones with texture for visual interest.'

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3rd December 2015


Harding Design has re-branded leading art consultancy 'Works in Print' as ARTIQ, via a scope of works covering name generation and identity design, as well as printed collateral ranging from business cards, letterhead and compliment slips to marketing items such as case studies and presentation templates; digital media including a new website, event banners and email signatures and staff uniforms and vehicle livery for when ARTIQ's technicians are on site, installing new artworks for the consultancy's workplace, hospitality and private residential clients.

Harding Design was appointed to the project after winning a four-way credentials pitch in July, impressing the consultancy's interview panel with its strategic approach to the business and art market and the high-end quality of its design work.

Art consultancy Works in Print was approaching its sixth birthday, when its owners felt that the company's original name was no longer represented either the company’s current activities, nor its future ambitions and positioning. When it was first set up, the company worked mainly in the curation of photographic artworks for leading blue-chip clients in the workplace sector in the UK, where the wordplay of 'Works in Print' encapsulated the offer perfectly. However, as time went on, the consultancy expanded its scope, becoming an international enterprise, with clients in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; moving into the hospitality and high-end residential sectors and representing a wide range of established and up-and-coming artists – and the name no longer fitted.

Harding Design - Artiq

Lee Harding commented on the choice of name, saying that 'It reflects the nature of the business  - bridging the gap between the art and business worlds - and hints at ARTIQ's commitment to industry-changing research into the benefits of art.'

The new logotype was designed to combine contemporary type forms, with a light traditional touch with the addition of the serif swash. The subtle colour palette is used to bring a feel of sophistication and warmth via copper foil and warm neutrals, whilst imagery from artists that ARTIQ represent ties the brand together and helps underline the company’s support for artists.

Patrick McCrae of ARTIQ commented on the re-brand designs, 'Designing an identity that was both contemporary and timeless is a difficult thing to achieve, but Harding Design has more than managed it with an elegant and beautiful identity, which we love and which, above all, makes sense of who we are and where we're going.'

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2nd December


The Royal Air Force Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of MET Studio as design consultants for the upcoming exhibition to mark the Centenary of the RAF in 2018.

The Royal Air Force will be celebrating its Centenary in 2018. To mark this momentous international event, the Royal Air Force Museum is undertaking an ambitious programme with the support of a grant of £4,494,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to transform our London site into a world-class National Museum that engages, inspires and connects everyone with the RAF story through exploration of its people and collections.

Thanks to National Lottery players, a series of new exhibitions exploring the first hundred years of the RAF and its future will sit at the heart of our re-landscaped site. An expanded, more diverse audience will enjoy a richer engagement with our site, collections and people-focused interpretation.

MET Studio will specifically be working on the exhibition which tells the story of the first hundred years of the RAF. Working with the Museum's exhibition development team, MET will work with the RAF on the narrative, providing 3D and 2D graphic design services as well as advising on the interactive exhibit development and visitor experiences being created for this exciting new introductory gallery, opening in 2018. MET Studio has over 30 years' experience of planning, designing and delivering museums, expos, visitor centres, exhibitions and attractions across 50 countries, combining strategic vision and insight with cutting-edge creativity to bring life to environments and experiences that truly connect with audiences.

"We are very excited to play a key part in the centenary celebrations of the RAF Museum" said MET Studio's Creative Director, Peter Karn. "There is a great opportunity to tell a wealth of inspiring personal stories from RAF history - from the pilots to the crew to the families involved, as well as showcasing it's impressive collection."

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30th November 2015


Bandol, a new restaurant on Chelsea's Hollywood Road, delivers the cuisine of rustic southern France from within a stunningly warm and contemporary environment - featuring copper, distressed oak, steel, concrete, brick, smoked glass and artful lighting, as well as a large central olive tree - designed by one of London's most prestigious and innovative design studios, Kinnersley Kent Design.

The intimate, 70-cover restaurant - measuring 200 sq m over two storeys - is made up of a ground floor bar and dining area, with a kitchen, customer toilets and back of house space on the lower-ground floor.  

Kinnersley Kent DesignKinnersley Kent Design for Bandol, Chelsea - photograph Kate Berry

The main architectural intervention was the creation of an enlarged wall opening between the bar and the restaurant to ensure sightlines from the entrance right through the space from the moment customers enter. A secondary intervention involved the re-arrangement of the air-conditioning in the first half of the restaurant, which allowed for a half-metre gain in ceiling height. A virtue was made of the restaurant's slim footprint by the design of a series of intriguingly zoned spaces and continued visual interest, so that there is something new to catch the eye at every stage. Cleverly-positioned, 3m x 1m mirrors on the rear right-side wall also enhance the feeling of space.

Natural light from a 2.5 x 4m skylight in the roof of the existing ground floor rear extension was supplemented via a new, large rear-side window and a glazed door. Added greenery, in the form of a climbing ivy living wall on a delicate metal trellis, plus an external bamboo plant framed by the rear door, add to the outdoor feel.

The London Evening Standard newspaper, which reviewed the restaurant on opening, summarised the space as 'so beautiful, you'll want to steal the entire look for your home.'

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27th November 2015


 Award-winning hotel and hospitality designers Goddard Littlefair have designed the interiors for the brand new Printing Press Bar & Kitchen at The George Hotel, Edinburgh as well as a new coffee shop, Burr & Co. The scope of works at The George - which additionally includes the ongoing refurbishment of hotel public areas, a complete refurbishment of all guest bedrooms and the creation of new bedroom suites, due for completion in January 2016 - follows the acquisition of The George Hotel by private investment group Starwood Capital.

This project is one of four that Goddard Littlefair is involved with for Starwood Capital, forming part of its portfolio of city-centre hotels to be re-launched as a new UK hotel brand in Spring 2016.

'The creation of destination bars and restaurants is a central part of our plan to breathe new life into iconic hotels across a number of great cities' David Taylor, COO of the new company, explained. 'All the hotels, the restaurants and bars will have their own design and reflect the local character of the cities in which they sit.'

The other hotels Goddard Littlefair are working on for the Group include The Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow, covering the lobby, bedrooms, F &B offer, conference and banqueting areas; the public and conferencing spaces plus bedrooms at The Royal, York and works to The Roxburgh, Edinburgh.

Goddard LittlefairGoddard Littlefair at The George in Edinburgh - photograph Gareth Gardner

The restaurant concept has been masterminded by chef-restaurateur Des McDonald and includes the appointment of new head chef Colin Fleming, previously of the Old Court Hotel in St Andrews and Restaurant Martin Wishart in Edinburgh.

The hotel itself is formed of a series of five townhouses and is listed, which meant treading very carefully around existing surfaces and treatments. 'Our overall approach was to be highly respectful to the building's original fabric', explained Martin Goddard, 'as well as to the late Victorian insertions, ensuring a feeling of restored grandeur and creating an environment that instantly feels long-established, with a real sense of the building's naturally imposing proportions adhered to, but also added to via simple detailing and the highest-quality, authentic materials, including oak, brass, ceramics, leather, velvet, glass and marble. As in all our projects, every single item of furniture and lighting is completely bespoke and designed entirely for this particular environment, positioning and clientele by Goddard Littlefair.'

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15th October 2015


Interior designers Goddard Littlefair have designed a new Marketing Suite within the former Grade II*-listed County Hall building for developer Braeburn Estates Ltd Partnership (a joint venture between Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company). The suite will serve as the sales and marketing hub for the launch of the luxury residential offer that forms part of the new Southbank Place development.

This major new scheme (scheduled for completion in 2019) will bring high-end, riverside living (as well as integrated office and commercial space and affordable housing) to the heart of London's South Bank, with the majority of the new apartments afforded views out across the Thames to the House of Commons and the great institutions of Whitehall.

'The marketing suite heralds a new design approach', commented Goddard Littlefair Director and Co-Founder Jo Littlefair, 'with a concept that is immersive in character, giving an essence of what clients will be able to purchase and communicating an instant feeling of exclusivity.'

The six-storey County Hall building, originally designed by Ralph Knott and built using Portland stone, was opened by King George V in 1922 and added to with new North and South blocks between 1936 and '39. It is currently Grade II*-listed.

Goddard Littlefair worked alongside a heritage officer appointed by Lambeth Council on the scheme in order to ensure that all significant aspects of the original building were not only respected, but also restored to the highest possible standards - and even added to in some instances, using new features that achieve a level of seamless integration with the historic fabric of the building. The main element to be worked with and around was the site’s original timber-panelling, which was expertly restored, but could not be used structurally in any way.

'The heritage elements were an interesting - and sometimes challenging - aspect of the project' commented Goddard Littlefair Director and Co-founder Martin Goddard. 'Although we were always aware which elements were listed and had to be retained, there was inevitably more to find out once the project went on site, revealing the underlying structure and its real state-of-health!'

Goodard Littlefair

The brief to Goddard Littlefair for the Marketing Suite was to create a level of luxury detailing that would instantly communicate the quality of finishes of the final development. Almost every element of furniture and decorative lighting within the scheme has been bespoke-designed by Goddard Littlefair, which is typical of the agency's approach. The scheme's architectural lighting, particularly in the exhibition area, was created together with lighting designers DesignPlusLight.

A rich palette of colours and texture was created for the furniture and fabrics to ensure an elegant and assured final scheme. Jo Littlefair trained initially as a textile designer and her passion for fabrics very much prevails here: 'Combinations of fabrics that have a real integrity are a passion of mine, from wool fabric that drapes beautifully to the depth of tone that only comes from true silks - or leathers that have been finished to reveal the beauty of their natural skins.'

Artwork was a particular passion and interest for the client on this scheme, with many original pieces of sculpture and art forming part of the finished environment. These range from the highly contemporary work of Yi Dai (winner of the 2012 Louis Vuitton Young Arts Project) to more classic bronze sculptures, mounted on plinths.

'Our involvement in the process of art curation was extremely exciting' Jo Littlefair added. 'It was great to have a client with a passion for art and, of course, being able to show this calibre of work is another way to connect with potential clients, who often enjoy collecting art for their own apartments.'

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17th September 2015


Jo Littlefair London, the new luxury furniture and accessories brand created by Jo Littlefair - the co-founder of successful luxury interior design house Goddard Littlefair - is exhibiting at Decorex International for the first time ever this year.

Following a soft launch earlier in the year at Clerkenwell Design Week, Decorex represents a larger-scale showcasing of Jo Littlefair London's initial 30-strong collection of bespoke furniture, together with a selection of both bespoke and curated accessories, to the British interior design and decoration market place.

Jo Littlefair - Luxury Tray set

Jo Littlefair London was set up in 2015 to create and curate the very best in contemporary classic furniture and accessories for the luxury sector. Selling directly to private clients, interior designers and decorators, the launch range embodies timeless elegance, features exquisite detailing and speaks the rich and sumptuous language of layered luxury.

As co-founder of Goddard Littlefair, Jo brings to her collection the experience of many years of working to exacting demands of high-end clients, having worked on projects all over the world for hotel brands such as Corinthia Hotels International, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Starwood Hotels & Resorts and for high-end residential property developers including Berkeley Group Holdings, Qatari Diar and Canary Wharf Group.

Her insider vision informs every level of the company and its products, offering furniture that is fully customisable in terms of size and fabric finishes and which is specifically designed to fill the gaps Jo has identified in the market, as well as designing and sourcing the very best, exclusive accessories selected to work alongside the new furniture. 'For me, it's about pieces that embody luxury and have a certain solidity and presence', Jo explained, 'but which are also flexible and which complement other pieces, as well as working in a variety of spaces and at a variety of scales.'

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26th August 2015


align, interior architects and designers and specialists in original workplace thinking, have created a dynamic, 19,000 sq ft, three-storey suite of offices for fast-growing brand and packaging design specialists BrandOpus; a finalist scheme in the Small/Medium Commercial Project of the Year category of the 2015 MIX Magazine Mixology Awards.

Significant time at the beginning of the two-and-a-half-year project was spent working out how to optimise the space available for BrandOpus’s needs. The configuration of the ground floor studio spaces could be seen as quite fragmented and align needed to work closely with the BrandOpus team looking at the optimal flow and journey for both staff and for visitors.

align’s work around flow and journeys led to a series of collaborative workshops with the Derwent team (including Orms Architects and Arup) to finesse the original CAT A scheme to match the requirements of BrandOpus. Changes included a re-located main entrance, which was created in order to lead visitors more naturally to the reception area and also to follow the natural sweep of the road. Another major structural change was the idea of punching a huge circulation void into the floor just inside the new entrance in order to create a very clear flow down to the lower ground floor (and up to the mezzanine levels). The void would be visible from the 6m-high glazed exterior and would feature a new lift, along with a spectacular new curving stair, conceived by align and inspired by the Fibonacci sequence. This was then implemented by Orms Architects, using the same blackened steel as used throughout the base build, together with oak treads, a glass balustrade and stainless steel handrail. This allowed for slow and comfortable access to the lower-ground area and also allowed for a real sense of grandeur and arrival, as well as ensuring that plenty of natural light could percolate through into this windowless storey.


Once the interior architectural space plan had been resolved, the align team moved onto the development of the design concept from the brief given by BrandOpus, which was to create a true ‘home from home’, with a collaborative atmosphere: a space which didn’t feel like a traditional office and where creativity and the easy flow of people, information and communication were promoted.

The domestic vernacular really kicks in on the lower ground floor – for clients as well as staff. As visitors descend, they are greeted at reception by BrandOpus staff from a bespoke, mirrored silver desk, with a series of shallow timber drawers along the top to echo a domestic piece of furniture. Scale is played with throughout, with a slight Alice-in-Wonderland feel and includes a gigantic ‘house plant’ at the foot of the stair, where the final spiral of the Fibonacci is detailed in polished stainless steel and inlaid into the oak, micro-parquet end-block flooring. The surrounding arrival area is in a vivid blue carpet tile and features an eclectic mixture of furniture, from leather wingback seating to classic Vitra chairs, arranged around a cow-hide rug. The back wall features library-book wallpaper by Rockett St George, whilst a bespoke wall storage unit houses three desk spaces for staff or visitors to sit, work or read at.

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