The New York City-based practice brings some fresh air to an otherwise personality-free building
Urban Villa London is a rare boutique hotel / aparthotel hybrid in west London. Since aparthotels are rarely synonymous with design culture, the primary challenge for Grzywinski+Pons was fostering a unique design atmosphere. And adding to the difficulty was the antiseptic atmosphere of the residential tower in which the hotel is located.
To uncover every shred of the building’s hidden potential, the multidisciplinary American architecture studio took an onion-like approach to the design. Peeling back layer after layer, they revealed character-enhancing structural elements that began to shape the hotel’s overall industrial design aesthetic.
The private guest rooms left less room for structural maneuvering than the ground floor, so the architects focused on designing custom furniture and integrating finishes that were compatible with the overall ambiance.
As for the ground floor public space, the architects called upon England’s long tradition of public houses where the innkeeper doubled as barman, creating a reception area that is also a full bar. Vertical gardens add texture to the space, breaking up the high ceilings with warm elements.
Also in the lobby, a cafe offers opportunities for privacy or socialization with large communal tables and more intimate spaces tucked between screens. Best of all, the interior is a design enthusiast’s dream with favorites from Discipline and Schneid mingling perfectly with the bespoke design theme.