I was recently commissioned, in association with Project Pictures, to photograph the new Devlin Hotel in Dublin.
Pure Fitout are the craftsmen behind the project, and have sourced and manufactured nearly every feature of the hotel – from the 40 rooms, to the timber panelled rooftop restaurant and bar, art deco cinema, bronze-finished Americana Bar and Moroccan tiled bathrooms. The firm collaborated with renowned designers, O’Donnell O’Neill Design Associates, and Lawrence & Long Architects to complete the first new-build project for Press Up Entertainment Group.
My brief contained the usual long list of external and interior photographs but also requested that I capture the unique playful /edgy and stylish design of the space, from the “Feck Off – Don’t Disturb” signs to the art throughout. You see the Devlin Hotel is pitched as the coolest hotel in Dublin if not Ireland! It has everything great about Ireland, past present and future.
After reviewing the plans / drawings and some photos taken during construction, and discussing the key design elements I was afforded a two day shoot photographing late into the night and early on the second day. I requested a cherry picker to capture the feature roof top restaurant bar with the Dublin skyline.
The Devlin enjoys a wonderful location at the centre of Ranelagh, just south of the central city. It is in the heart of Ranelagh’s bustling main street with good connections to the city centre and airport. As such the hotel describes itself as a “community hub” and “more than a hotel” where you can stay as a resident or just enjoy the public spaces. Head in and relax in the café and bakery with space to meet friends or hot desk. Make use of the excellent concierge service to connect with a wide range of city offerings. Take in a movie at the 42-seat subterranean cinema, with its 1950s-style seating, leather trim, popcorn machine, food offerings and two daily screenings. Sample the spacious, light-filled Americana Bar on the ground floor for fresh, modern cocktails, and all-day bites. Or dine in the rooftop restaurant, “Layla’s”, with 180 degree views of Dublins skyline and a terrace for al fresco dining.
Don’t get me wrong this 40-room hotel is compact so there is no spa, fitness centre, garden or even parking. The hotel rooms have “Everything that you need and nothing that you don’t”. Standard rooms are on the modest side, but smart design – in particular cunning fenestration – removes any sense of lack of space. There's comfort and a decided sense of style. The techy mod cons (Nespresso machines, Smeg fridges, and Dyson hairdryers) also impress. A range of rooms are on offer: triples include bunk beds. Bathrooms are sleek and high quality, with rainforest showers and Moroccan tiles.
The Devlin ticks all the boxes, with excellent fittings and finishes. There are five specialist timbers featuring throughout the hotel, including the intricate Iroko panelling of the Americana Bar, pitch pine ceilings in Layla’s restaurant and walnut burl to the free standing case goods throughout the hotel’s interior.
Over 160 pieces of original paintings and prints hang on the walls, including work by Dorothy Cross, Cian McLoughlin and Eva Rothschild, as well as emerging artists like Alan Butler, Leah Hewson and Eve O’Callaghan. A bespoke Tracey Emin neon piece hangs above reception that says “I Came Here For You”.
The Devlin hotel has already been shortlisted for several awards including the RLI Interior Excellence Category 2019. My photographs have also helped it to be featured in the a whole host of publications including the Daily Telegraph, Irish Times, Independent, Hotel Owner Magazine.
The idea of the workplace has changed dramatically in recent years. No longer just a physical setting, done right, the workplace can contribute to enhanced employee health and wellbeing, create a sense of community and improve pride in a place of work.
I was tasked to photograph the new International Quarter London building, which is a joint venture between Lendlease and LCR, designed specifically as the new headquarters for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Sitting within a 22 acre site that connects seamlessly to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the emerging Cultural and Education District, IQL is in the heart of Stratford. Combining workplace design expertise, Stratford’s green open spaces and outstanding transport connectivity, FCA staff will also have access to a range of facilities including an onsite gym, large roof terrace and 200-seat auditorium.
The new building was designed by world-acclaimed architects, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, to emulate the very latest thinking behind progressive ways of working. With the health and wellbeing of its occupants at the very forefront, it boasts stunning views of the City of London, as well as innovative design features. A key feature of the building is the atrium which has been designed as an open working environment. There are different work settings within the atrium for people to either work together or on their own.
The building has achieved the highest environmental rating for materials used. Innovative Closed Cavity Facade cladding monitors the position of the sun and adjusts the blinds accordingly, working with multi-service chilled beams to keep temperatures comfortable in the building without compromising on maximising natural light for its occupants from the floor to ceiling windows. 100% fresh air is circulated throughout the building, forming a healthy and stimulating environment to work in.
Around 6,300 employees are now established at IQL with the FCA and Unicef moving their headquarters to the development over the summer. They join TfL who moved to their new building, 5 Endeavour Square, in September 2017. Construction of the third commercial building is in progress, with space there pre-let to Cancer Research UK and British Council. Together they shall bring around 2,400 further staff to IQL when they move in late 2019 and early 2020 respectively.
Earlier this year I was commissioned by CallisonRTKL to photograph the new Outlet Village in Dubai. Whenever embarking on any such project there is always a lot of organisation to ensure coming away with the best set of pictures. I like to speak to the creative team involved with the design of the building, to discuss the particular features that they want me to capture. I believe that it is important to understand the design concept behind the architect’s vision in order to relay it in the pictures. I have a similar conversation with the marketing team to establish the images that they require and where they will be using them. We can then determine a schedule for the photography taking into account capturing it at sunrise, during the day, and at night, for both the external architectural shots and the interior photography. I also liaise with the shopping mall management and security in advance of the photography to make sure that everyone is on board. And I always like to ask if they have a cherry picker to photograph from!
The Outlet Village is an indoor retail destination developed by Meraas that offers a value shopping experience in a distinctive and stunning environment. The architecture is inspired by the picturesque medieval Italian hill town of San Gimignano, located in Tuscany. Bringing together a striking design inspired by a rich past with an innovative approach to construction, The Outlet Village harmonises architectural history with contemporary lifestyle and invites visitors to explore the contrast between old and new. Located adjacent to Dubai Parks and Resorts and within easy reach of Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well as Al Maktoum International Airport, The Outlet Village is set to emerge as an iconic and must-visit destination for visitors and residents.
Spanning over actual 25,000 square feet with a projection to expand shortly by adding 3 million square feet of space bringing its total retail square footage to 4.5 million by 2018, making it the largest luxury outlet shopping destination in the UAE.
Adding another dimension to Dubai’s rich retail landscape, The Outlet Village currently houses over 125 luxury retail brands including three department stores, international dining and a plethora of brands such as Galeries Lafayette, DKNY, Dunhill, Armani, Lanvin, Coach, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Roberto Cavalli, Carolina Herrera, Ermenegildo Zegna, Hugo Boss and many more.
The launch of The Outlet Village is part of Meraas’ commitment to build on the Dubai Fashion 2020 strategy, helping to diversify the city’s retail infrastructure and bolstering Dubai’s position as an evolving fashion capital of the world. The retail mix of prestigious high-end fashion and consumer brands within The Outlet Village is perfectly matched to the tastes of sophisticated UAE residents and visitors.
Once visitors have wandered around The Outlet Village’s stunning paved walkways and perused a selection of fabulous stores, they can relax in one of the elegant Piazzas which boast a variety of eateries.
Complimentary Tourism Shuttle Buses are also available to transport visitors to The Outlet Village from selected hotels and popular tourist destinations.
I recently photographed The Minster Building in London, which is the latest financial district property to be transformed. It now offers a rejuvenated, premier environment showcasing Grade A facilities, as well as nurturing a much sought-after work/life balance.
Originally built in 1992 to designs by GMW Partnership, The Minster Building has an incredibly striking pink marble neo-gothic façade. BuckleyGrayYeoman are behind the recent redevelopment, as commissioned by Greycoat Real Estate and Ivanhoe Cambridge, which involved shifting the original entrance on the corner of Mincing Lane and Great Tower Street.
A new 30 metre long boulevard leads directly to the reception where there was once the longest run of escalators in Europe. These have now been removed and replaced with an eight-storey central atrium, around which the offices are arranged. The new atrium sets the tone and material palette for the rest of the development, with curved glazing, textured jesmonite panels, marble and bronze combining to create an opulent, airy and uplifting ambiance.
It is not often my brief includes the suggestion to look up and listen, but it is understandable when entering the space. Throughout the entrance and reception, the walls are hand-finished in nearly 2,000m2 of Armourcoat’s polished plaster together with over 600m2 of the company’s Acoustic Plaster System applied to the ceilings. Designed to optimize the acoustics of interior spaces, the Acoustic Plaster system offers an elegant marble based plaster finish while allowing sound energy to pass through the surface. The zero VOC system, which consists of 80% recycled material, achieves class '0' fire rating and a class 'A' Noise Reduction Coefficient rating.
The Minster Building has already attracted some cool new tenants that include The Third Space, which will open its first luxury health club in the square mile, a Crussh juice bar to be near the reception, and Brewdog, whose space will feature a 10 hectolitre brewing facility.