Jaime Hayon designs the new exquisite art’otel Battersea Power Station
Its inspiring and colourful interior design was carried out by the artist Jaime Hayon, giving it its unique personality linked to art and design, capable of generating a creative enveloping atmosphere.
Address: Electric Boulevard SW11 8BJ Londres (UK)
The art’otel Battersea Power Station is the art’otel brand’s first opening in the UK. The brand was originally created by a group of avid art collectors and entrepreneurs at the beginning of the nineties. This launch is in addition to those of hotels in Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest and Cologne, each one associated with an artist, some of which are very renowned. In this case, the artist chosen was the great Jaime Hayon.
“Hayon is a passionate and internationally acclaimed artist whose original designs reflect the distinctive energy of the art’otel brand.” Boris Ivesha, PPHE Hotel Group
A four-star hotel where art is the main protagonist
This hotel with 164 rooms is located within the Battersea Roof Gardens, in a new building designed by Foster + Partners that is a key part of the new Electric Boulevard: a group of buildings made up of houses, offices and a new pedestrian high street that is sits southwards of the iconic power station.
As soon as you set foot in art’otel London Battersea Power Station, we come across the “The Dreamer” a sculpture by Jaime Hayon the function of which, as well as being decorative and aesthetic, is to welcome every guest and to act as a prelude to a unique hotel experience, that merges art, design and hospitality.
Once inside, you begin to feel immersed in a living work of art, where playful surrealism is the main protagonist, thanks to the photography, the furniture, the drapes, the designer objects and the thousand and one small details that decorate this designer hotel that is so unique.
“Hayon’s magic touch is everywhere.”
One of the iconic spaces is the main lobby. It is a true gem and a very inviting space, which can be used both for relaxing and working or even for meetings. It has a fascinating cabinet of curiosities in red that takes up the entire wall. In it, there are pieces – vases, sculptures, earthenware, etc…- by Hayon himself as well as by other artists and artisans from all over the world. It is in this space, that the photographs by Klunderbie requested by Hayon stand out in all their glory.
Another precious element is the desk where you check in and the elegant brass elevators, that are the perfect preamble to access the different floors.
Regarding the rooms, it is worth mentioning that they are very comfortable, ample, with a fun, cutting-edge interior design that is characterised by a palette that combines pastel colours with other deeper, bolder colours. Each room presents custom art by Hayon on the walls. Because although art’otel Battersea Power Station is a luxury hotel, they have managed to avoid the bling and have focused on luxury in the true sense of the word: art, quality design and exquisite details.
Infinite details together with photographs by Klunderbie
As well as for the art and design of Jaime Hayon– who, thanks to being so prolific, has designed everything from tables, chairs, light fittings, many furniture items, pictorial artwork, vases, engravings, sculptures in different sizes, to drapes and carpets, among other kinds of pieces- the hotel is also remarkable for the perfect combination of his universe and the photographs by Klunderbie. Their very beautiful and stunning surrealist portraits play with British iconography and magic, creating a hypnotic aesthetic that will make you feel as if you are in an enormous art gallery…
A project with an enveloping interior design
As we mentioned, Jaime Hayon has managed to “hayonise” the hotel and turn it into a sophisticated playground for lovers of art, design and creativity.
The interior design rubs off on the mood of the hotel, a design that is so suggestive, exuding joy, playfulness, excitement… inspired in the new life of this cultural district and this London borough, as well as in the history and heritage of the power station.
Another space that also has Jaime Hayon’s stamp on it is the Tozi Grand Café restaurant. The main features here are the large and striking tapestries that hang from the ceiling, made to measure in the Netherlands with recycled yarn. They surround part of the stunning circular room conceived as a theatrical space, and that also acts as an art gallery for the hotel. Tozi is where they offer breakfast à la carte for guests and visitors, and where, in the evenings and for brunch, it is a restaurant that specialises in Italian cuisine.
“The theatrical ambience extends throughout the public spaces of the hotel.”
The cherry on the top for art’otel Battersea Power Station
As well as the 360º views of London, the Joia restaurant led by Portuguese chef Henrique Sá Pessoa, with two Michelin stars in Lisbon, and the rooftop bar on the 16th floor, art’otel has a heated infinity pool and a jacuzzi that is simply wonderful. Specially thanks to its amazing views of London’s skyline and the chimneys of the power station.
The neighbourhood around Battersea Power Station
The truth is that it has many attractions.
On the one hand, there is the advantage that the hotel is right opposite the new Battersea Power Station shopping complex, that includes shops, restaurants and the Chimney #lift109 experience that will allow you to be taken up to the top of the Northeast chimney that is 109m tall, and from which you can contemplate stunning panoramic views.
We share with you some information on visits and the different activities organized by Lift 109 through this link. It really is worth getting to know the history of the power station and going up to the top. There are always surprises.
To add to it all, the area of Battersea Power Station is very well connected. Both to the airport and to the rest of the city, thanks to the new stop on the Northern Line that is only a five-minute walk away. There is also a river bus that enables you to visit many of the main monuments and cultural hotspots of the city.
Battersea Park is also close by and, after a really pleasant stroll along Chelsea Bridge, you can reach the other side of the river and discover Chelsea, as well as other boroughs.
An interview with Jaime Hayon
A few days ago, and following our stay at the London art’otel, we chatted with Jaime Hayon, who has won numerous accolades such as the ELLE Decoration International Design Awards, has been named one of the top 100 creators in the world and one of the most influential people of the last decade by Wallpaper* magazine, and is also considered a visionary and one of the most creative icons according to Times magazine, something we also endorse. Come on in and read…
How did the interior design project for the new Art’otel London come about?
The project began in a peculiar way, as the hotel was considered in one of the first stages of the comprehensive project that, as you well know, restructures practically a whole borough of London, including the connection of the Tube to Victoria station.
I loved the proposal, as it laid out a very open artistic project with a high-quality gastronomical concept. Additionally, it included a complete gym and comfortable rooms for people who, like us, work and travel all over the world. That’s why I thought I could bring something interesting to the project combining good design with exclusive pieces of art.
Did you take into account the unbeatable location in the renovated Battersea area?
Of course, I took this aspect into account, as the energy of Battersea in London is one of the most amazing, aesthetically speaking. Wooow!!! You are taken aback when you see it! The neighbourhood itself is new and has a different kind of energy, literally.
“The idea was to create a district that was lively and, above all, different to what the city of London has to offer.”
To do so, I sought to create something modern, but that was also reminiscent of this buzzing city, and that reflected the globalisation of the English culture through travelling.
For instance, the bookcase in the lobby entrance created with objects from all over the world is a good example.
What were your main sources of inspiration?
Inspiration emerges from the search for aesthetic elements that break away from the typical hotel atmosphere with artistic pieces of furniture… A surprise here and a surprise there…
“The design of this space is like creating a movie scene. Every time a door opens, a very different chapter appears.”
Both the English world and the English culture have been the basis for creating an elegant aesthetic of contrast, with comfort, although aesthetically it reminds me more of Italy in the fifties, because of the vibrant colours and the use of good quality materials such as the walnut wood, that contrasts against fabrics such as velvet and leather, as well as furniture pieces specifically designed for the space. Like, for example, the disc lamps in the lobby or the check-in module with mirrors and legs.
We wanted to discover something new, something that hadn’t been seen before, through a mix of materials, images and textures, with the aim of creating a space that makes you feel different. That’s why in this project, everything is in the details.
What can you tell us about the colour palette chosen for this design hotel, where art is so omnipresent?
“As a painter and a designer, I have tried to think of the colour palette as if it were a pictorial composition, where the same shades are repeated in different details to create harmony and balance.”
As I mentioned, there is a little inspiration in the Italy of the fifties, returning occasionally to navy blue, turquoise, and reddish tones, as well as to the colour of wood, that contrasts with the textures and also a touch of pattern here and there. It’s a sophisticated harmony that is easy to achieve, but also easy to distort, so it’s essential that it is measured with precision.
As well as the colours and the number of details and art and design elements, the beautiful photographs by Klunderbie stand out. What was their statement and what curiosities can you reveal about them?
I asked them to do something related to London, travelling and England’s culture.
From the start, I have worked as the artist and designer of the hotel, taking care of the artistic direction of all the elements within the decorative space.
“The photographs by Klunderbie have been of great importance in achieving that touch of humour and English sophistication that transports us to the ambience in which we find ourselves.”
They are sophisticated images that work with the colours of the space, creating contrasts that transport those who visit the hotel to a unique dimension, with a touch of surrealism and illusion. Thus, you find yourself in a magical space, with special furniture and constant details, but through the images, we are transported to another world where we see the space from another angle, with a humour that only they can manage to create. Magnificent work.
At Hayon studio, you have been in charge of the conceptualisation and interior design of absolutely all the areas in the hotel, from the lobby, the communal spaces, to the rooms and the two restaurants. Were you given free rein to be able to create such a unique and inspiring universe?
You never have total freedom when it comes to a hotel, as there are always many aspects to consider, from budgets to maintenance matters that need to be adequate for all parties and that need to be agile and functional. But the owners wanted something special and they know that, with us, they can jump out of the plane because the parachute will always open, ha ha
“We have tried to break the rules at all times and make the hotel feel like a home.”
We mean that it has to be a great hotel but with the distinctive features of a small boutique hotel, and that our guests feel special and comfortable, while everything runs like clockwork. And also that guests discover new things all the time. It has been a challenge, but I think we did it and we’re happy about that.
Talk to us about the furniture and the light fittings. Which ones were designed ad hoc for this hotel?
When we create the space, there are always a lot of things we make to measure. For example, at the entrance, there is a yellow sculpture that was created specially, it represents a dreamer that looks deep into space. On an architectural level, with both the doors and the railings, many of the arches and all the decorative elements, we always tried not to buy them but to make them bespoke. The same applies to some of the lamps such as the red lamps we see in the lobby, as well as all of the furniture that we find in the lift area and in the different restaurants and communal areas, they are all bespoke.
We are not your typical designers of spaces, we are artisans and designers of furniture pieces to the millimetre and, above all, artists. We create everything with perfection, meticulously trying to get every last detail to make sense, be it the curves, the shadows they project or the feminine forms that adapt to the space.
We can see this in the special, fine brass shelves we find in the lobby, in the great cabinet with objects from all over the world in red tones to the left or the check in area with a magical desk created with mirrors and table legs from different parts of the world. A unique work of art… A design art work.
“We have put a lot of love into this space and it shows. We always try to do something unique for our clients and that is what makes us different, and above all, it makes me proud of my team.”
The rooms are really inviting, and as well as having all been designed by Hayon studio, each of them also has your pictures in it. As well as decorating the space, can they be purchased?
The rooms are utterly important, especially because we seek to offer comfort to our guests. I think that is the most relevant aspect of a hotel. I also consider that it is very important to have a combination of colours that provides a warm atmosphere.
I’m not sure if any of the artwork in the rooms can be purchased, but initially, they were placed there to complement the ambience of the room.
Having completed the project, what is your connection to the hotel?
My participation in the hotel, as with any other project we carry out with the studio, consists of continuing with the artistic direction in the selection of elements that will be incorporated over the course of time.
“The beauty of these projects is that they are so delicate that they are similar to a complete work of art, that always needs our dedication and care for it to continue to be special.”
We will, therefore, continue to contribute to the improvement of the hotel over time and to keep making the quality and the service better. We never consider a project to be finished, there is always room for continuing to improve. And we’ll be there.
(*) Photos by Cecilia Camacho.