AHEAD Awards winner renovates historic prison into a luxury hotel

Architect Mark Bruce of EPR Architects describes how the studio created a luxury hotel in the shell of an 18th century London prison in this video produced by Dezeen for the AHEAD Hospitality Awards.

NoMad London is located in the Grade II listed Former Bow Street Court and Police Station in Covent Garden, London. It is the first foreign outpost of the American hotel brand NoMad.

NoMad is a luxury hotel in central London

The project was named the winner in the Hotel Conversion category at the AHEAD Europe 2021 awards.

The AHEAD Awards celebrate outstanding hotel projects from around the world and are divided into four different regions: Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia and the Americas.

“The interpretation of luxury is a really interesting subject, especially when you approach a project like NoMad London,” Bruce told Dezeen. “How do you turn a district court and a police station that had prison cells into a luxury environment?” “

The historic inhabitants of the prison included the Kray Twins, Oscar Wilde and Emmeline Pankhurst.

Vintage interiors take inspiration from the building’s historic past

“From an architectural point of view, we worked really hard on how the building was laid out,” Bruce said.

“Where the hotel’s main door now serves as an entrance to a courtyard, where all of the accused are said to have been brought.”

“Now you walk into a beautiful lobby and the first thing you see is this three story atrium. “

The atrium is the central space of the hotel

The central bedroom has been transformed into a dining room in the shape of a glass dome. Each floor is landscaped with overhanging plants and painted a soft sea foam green.

“You get a real sense of energy from the buzzing and chattering and clicking. It just creates the beating heart of the hotel,” Bruce said.

Interior design studio Roman and Williams arranged the space, creating eclectic and vintage-inspired interiors.

“[Roman and Williams] brought this superb layering of rich materials, from the beautiful new wood wall panels to exquisite wallpapers in truly theatrical colors, ”said Bruce.

Bold interiors breathe new life into the Grade II listed structure

The historic Magistrate’s Court has been renovated into a formal ballroom, with murals painted by French artist Claire Basler. Rustic tableware and classic art pieces create a secluded atmosphere.

Other spaces, like The Fireplace Room, feature custom hand-painted wallpaper on a velvet upholstery in jewel tones.

Roman and Williams used rich, jewel-toned wallpapers in many of the rooms

“It was organized in a way you rarely see in a hotel – it was organized in a way that makes you feel like you are stepping into your fantastic home,” Bruce said.

Images courtesy of AHEAD.

This video was produced by Dezeen for AHEAD as part of a partnership. Learn more about the content of the Dezeen partnership here.

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