This Nineties hotel has had a major refurbishment, with Forme UK setting out to meet the heightened expectations of the modern-day traveller.
Client: COMOJO UK
Interior architect: Forme UK
Size: 7000 sq m
Duration: 18 months
Words by Emily Martin
Images by Martin Morrell
Forme UK has completed a refurbishment and fit-out of reception, lobby and guest rooms, as well as the addition of nine new suites and two penthouses, in London's Metropolitan by COMO, luxury hotel. First opening in 1997 'The Met' embraced a contemporary aesthetic, which remains an important signature of the hotel.
Forme UK has been responsible for the design of the hotel's interiors for the past 10 years, adding a spa facility, events spaces, gym and redesigning the Met Bar, among other spaces, encompassing key criteria. 'Our challenge was to refurbish the hotel to meet the expectations of today's guests in terms of design, technology and comfort, while retaining the ethos of The Metropolitan,' says Forme UK's design director Linzi Coppick of the design studio's latest completed phase. It was also challenged to reconfigure the hotel's 10th floor to accommodate the penthouses.
The penthouse suite
The lobby features a low-level fire feature with a clear, glazed back providing views to the outside to create what the designers term as a 'relaxing ambient feature'. A new reception desk sits regally in front of an alcove panelled in two-tone, distressed leather. The desk features a light-toned stone fascia with bespoke tiles by Giles Miller, with lighting enhancing the textured effect.
The Como suite
Forme UK sourced an eclectic mix of contemporary furniture from the UK and Italy for comfort and purpose. Hyde Park, which the hotel overlooks, influences the colour palette of the new design scheme, encompassing shades of green and berry and complemented by rich walnut timber in both burr and crown.
High-back chairs are strategically positioned along with large retro-style, solid-walnut hoops that hang from the ceiling to subtly divide the area into more individual spaces. On the floor Lush tamarind-green carpets are inset in natural Italian Radica stone.
The Como suite
Along with the refurbishment of the existing guest rooms, located on floors 2 to 10, Forme UK has cleverly created suites with separate sleeping and lounge areas from larger, awkward-shaped rooms. On entering a typical guest room, the 'wardrobe' hanging area is revealed behind a crafted sliding tambour door. This space-saving feature gives guests easy access to the wardrobe and their cases without open doors restricting access. Artwork in the form of a backlit fret-cut panel, featuring an abstract design inspired by Hyde Park's organic forms, is used to conceal services in guest rooms or as sliding screens in suites.
The guest rooms have a vibrant barley colour offset against the neutral tones and dark timber, which give a zesty and a spring-like ambience.
The Metropolitan Suite
In each room a king-size bed sits on a timber base with a barley-coloured headboard in a dark walnut frame, capped with an oyster-toned leather. In the Met Park and City rooms an oversized window seat, fully upholstered in dark brown chenille, creates a chaise longue-like feature from which views of Hyde Park or the city can be enjoyed. It also converts into a single bed for extra occupancy. Other rooms feature a large sofa.
Forme UK has introduced fresh palettes of natural hues and textures in the guest rooms. This includes the use of American walnut, sycamore, pale and dark timbers in all of the rooms and suites. All in-room technology, from air conditioning to roller blind controls, is designed to operate intuitively at the touch of a button on a single console.
A junior city suite
'The reconfiguring of two 10th floor suites has created a significantly better experience for the guest,' says Coppick, with the original configuration entitling only one of the two lifts going to the 10th (top) floor. 'As part of the refurbishment we have extended the second lift, enhancing circulation and mitigating confusion.'
The 10th-floor Como Suite now includes a pantry offering catering facilities and a super-size bedroom with dressing room. The penthouse has a raised bedroom with a separate dressing area and lounge, complete with dining area and desk space. All top-floor bathrooms have been refurbished with Japanese-style WCs, rainfall showers set against back-painted glass, lacquered joinery and double vanity units. Opulent furnishings by Morgan Furniture and Italian firm Porada, along with bespoke, specifically designed accessories and handmade Indian rugs are set against pale timber floors and tactile upholstery in denim tones.
A junior city suite
Says Coppick of the refurbishment: 'Its serene, urban aesthetic is both contemporary and timeless. It has a natural luxury, which exudes quality and a sense of calm and wellbeing while incorporating "state of the art" technology. Selected materials have longevity and are easily maintainable, and create a holistic balance between work and relaxation.'