London’s Bankside Hotel recently opened in the British capital’s vibrant South Bank neighborhood. The boutique style hotel is a part of Marriott’s Autographic Collection hotels and is independently owned and designed with unique artistic style. Bankside Hotel features artwork throughout its communal space and guest rooms. Each part of the open air hotel space is meant to inspire those interested in culture and art. There are even spaces where guests and visitors can unite to create and learn about art. The hotel offers a unique gallery to expose up and coming artists. The founders of Bankside Hotel hope that this new concept in hotel space will inspire up and coming artists and anyone interested in art and culture. Here is why London’s Bankside Hotel is an incubator for new artists.
Located on the sight of a former supermarket, Bankside Hotel is the dream of film and set art director, Dayna Lee. Lee has been active in the film industry since 1990. She worked on films including “Boogie Nights” and “Dances with Wolves”. She is also an artist and designer in her own right. Lee imagined a boutique style hotel filled with artwork that also would serve as inspiration to aspiring artists and appeal to those interested in culture, art and food. Located in the culturally vibrant community of London’s South Bank, the hotel is close to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the National Theatre, the Tate Modern, the Borough Market and the hottest restaurants in the city. The hotel’s exterior is like an installation piece in itself. The six story hotel makes a statement with its concrete and glass exterior. The building sits pleasantly like a piece of mid century art in a museum.
When you step inside Bankside Hotel, the space is open and airy. Dayna Lee did everything she could to incorporate the Bankside Hotel with its South Bank neighborhood. She commissioned British artisans and craftsmen to create the exterior and interior of the hotel. There are illustrated tiled murals by London ceramicist Laura Carlin. London based designer, Malgorzata Bany, created a series of side tables that sit throughout the hotel. The Galvin Brothers created large wooden tables where artists, locals and guests can meet and socialize. Although artwork and installations can be viewed throughout the hotel, Bankside Hotel’s statement piece is a large metal and leather rocking horse. Lee commissioned Timorous Beasties to create a magnificent large textured backdrop for the piece.
Dayna Lee partnered with Contemporary Collective and created the Maker in Residence Program. This offers up and coming artists to showcase their latest works. Contemporary Collective is an online gallery and will help curate and manage the space on the first floor of Bankside Hotel. Maker in Residence has featured collaborations by urban landscape painters Andrea Tyrimos and Luke M. Walker. Helen Gorrill created three portraits for the program including Mona Lisa, Shakespeare and architect Sir Christopher Wren. The program features a series of cultural events throughout the year including artists coming in to discuss how they create their works of art.
Other spaces in Bankside Hotel offer visitors a chance to interact with each other and with artists. The hotel has a library with an outdoor terrace meant for socializing and observing artwork. There are four meeting and event spaces in the hotel including Whitebox which features a blank canvas where guests can contribute to creating their own setting. There are many areas throughout the hotel meant for socializing and discussing art.
Restaurant and Bar
Bankside Hotel is home to Art Yard Bar and Kitchen which blends in seamlessly with the rest of the hotel. The restaurant and bar are decorated with eclectic artwork and features geometric patterns and installations. Chef Lee Streeton (Brown’s Hotel and 45 Jermyn Street) serves a menu perfect for the best foodies. The restaurant and bar are meant to be a place where locals, artists and guests can gather and take in the incredible surrounding artwork.
Guest Rooms and Suites
Bankside Hotel has 161 guest rooms and 7 guest suites. Each is decorated in unique style. All are luxurious with mid century modern décor and hand picked furnishings. Seating is plush and comfortable. Guest rooms and suites feature gray fabrics and tanned kid leather furnishings. Each has unique artwork. Even the vending machines at Bankside Hotel are unique. Located throughout the six story hotel, vending machines supply items meant to pamper. They include items like Charlotte Tilbury face masks, CDB hemp oil drops, Tom Ford’s Velvet Orchid perfume and Fever Tree tonic to mix your favorite cocktail.