The Mandrake Hotel, London, UK

The Mandrake Hotel is located in the heart of Fitzrovia, one of the most vibrant and diverse areas of London. The hotel extends across two buildings, previously used as offices, connected by a series of balustrades and a hanging garden opening onto a central core. The design team undertook a deep intervention in order to create a unique environment, articulated across several experiences and still perceived as a whole unique exceptional entity.

The actual name of the hotel refers to the officinal plant, Mandrake, and to its metaphorical values and oneiric and medicinal properties. This leitmotif is articulated across the whole project, in order to immerse the customers in a synaesthetic, embracing new experience. In this instance, the light plays a fundamental role in emphasising the perception of the space, creating focal points and cutting out discrete shadows of mysterious and sensual pockets of darkness.

The “journey of light” begins from the entrance. A very discrete and quite dark tunnel, dramatically lit by a rhythm of pools of light and uplights. The tunnel represents a cathartic initiation to the Mandrake experience. At the end of the tunnel, the real oneiric experience begins. The lobby is lit with an astonishing candle chandelier. Accent lighting is provided to the immense art collection of the hotel. Emphasis is created onto the two bars and adjacent restaurant, by focusing the light onto key elements of the space and revealing the artworks. Luminaires have been masterfully integrated within the joinery in the whole hotel, in order to have the most discreet and contained lighting experience possible.

Going up to the upper floors, where the guest rooms are, another masterpiece artwork is revealed in the lift. This piece, several metres long has been created for and installed within the lift core, and carefully illuminated from within the lift core itself.

The above vernacular and principles have been extended to the guest rooms, the suites and the monumental penthouse.

Operator: Pistache Hospitality Group
Project Manager:
Cushman & Wakefield
Architect: Manalo & White
Interior Designer: Tala Fustok / Culture in Architecture
Services Engineers: Yes Engineering
Photography: Courtesy of The Mandrake Hotel