Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

Design Field Notes

Places & Faces

Mondrian London by Tom Dixon

This September, the hotly anticipated 359-room Mondrian London at Sea Containers, opens to guests, complete with stand out interiors by Designer Tom Dixon.

Although initially intended to be a luxury hotel when it was designed by the acclaimed 20th-century US architect Warren Platner in 1978, Sea Containers House actually became offices.  Now, the landmark building takes on a new life, as the third UK outpost of the US-based Morgan’s Hotel Group.

When transforming the interiors, British designer Tom Dixon and his Design Research Studio took their cues from the golden age of transatlantic travel.

“The building is a bit like ship,” adds Dixon. “We’ve emphasised this by mucking about with the top line of the building to make it more like a cruise liner. It feels like a transatlantic liner that’s just docked.”

His design work here encompasses a restaurant, bar and lounge overlooking the river, a basement spa, a crafted midnight-blue screening room with brass detailing and 359 bedrooms each with a calm, cabin-like quality.

The rooftop bar and the dramatic reception hall, featuring a sweeping copper-clad hull that holds the reception desk, are the stand-out spaces. Nautical influences, including a collection of model ships in the lounge salvaged from the building before work began, are spread throughout the hotel.

“Our proposal was really about trying to find the best of America and the best of Britain and applying them in one space,” Dixon says. “The more we developed that narrative, the more fun we had, and it justified the idea of an American hotel in London.

“I am atypical as a designer in as much as it’s not the only thing that I’m interested in,” Dixon tells the Telegraph. “Design was never a thing on its own for me – it exists as a catalyst that affects other worlds. Really, design is my hobby, and I’m very fortunate to have my hobby as my profession. And it’s fantastic to have a hobby that you can ‘monetise’. It has always astounded me that I have the ability to make something I fancied and then somebody else might want to buy it.”

Read more on the

Mondrian London

Sea Containers House
20 Upper Ground

Beth F

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