My photography of the Minster Building in London is featured in this month’s “The Local Project” Magazine. The photos are part of an article about the value of “Acoustic Refinement” in commercial, hospitality and domestic spaces.
Inhered with a dynamic sense of refinement, Armourcoat Acoustic Plaster System balances effective sound absorption with a smooth and even finish. Installed exclusively by Bishop Master Finishes, the innovative product forms an effortless means of elevating acoustic solutions in commercial, hospitality and domestic spaces.
The system sees a recycled mineral wool-composite panel installed onto a standard taped and jointed ceiling, finished with a seamless layer of Armourcoat Acoustic plaster that allows sound to permeate through and be absorbed by the panel behind.
Published three times a year, The Local Project print periodical showcases the latest architecture and celebrates extraordinary design to an inspired community.
I was commissioned by the architects CallisonRTKL to photograph the new Thames Quarter residential building in late August. The brief was to capture the building with blue skies during the day and dramatic skies in the early evening. There was a concern that we had missed the summer and a dilemma as to whether we should wait till the spring of 2022.
Autumn can be one of the best times of the year for interesting skylines. I worked with the architect for vantage points and monitored the weather to achieve the set of photos required.
The Thames Quarter Building has 315 apartments spread across the building’s 12-storey and 23-storey sections, which provide a variety of amenity spaces. The residents have access to a gym / wellness studio, an in-house cinema, communal lounge areas, dining rooms, landscape upper-level terraces and a tech hub workspace area. CRTKL delivered the concept design and planning submission for a build-to-rent development in close proximity to Reading railway station.
Travel is one of the industries that has suffered the most during the global pandemic. The consequential ripples of placing restrictions on international movement has been far and wide. I photograph for a stable of corporate clients, editorial magazines, and charitable organisations around the world. I supply photography for various architects, designers, and hotel resorts.
Among those industries reacting to the restrictions on travel is the hotel sector. Hotel designers and architects are reworking existing projects and approaching new ones from a different perspective.
It is essential to understand and adapt to consumers’ changing behaviours for the future. Innovation in uncertain times comes down to flexibility and technology. Organisations need to supply environments that can evolve with the changes of our health concerns and that suit the users’ requirements.
Early indications are that business travel will decline and hotels will have to facilitate a wider range of guest that require different amenities. Hotels will need to appeal to everyone with a safe and secure environment which is welcoming. Lobbies are increasingly being transformed from designer furniture showrooms to the “home from home” spaces that attract overnight guests and local people alike. “Hybrid hotels” already offer hospitality services and facilities such as day spars and in-house cinemas in conjunction with their restaurants adapting to daytime coffee to evening meals for local guests.
Interior spaces will evolve to be designed where social distancing is not directed by Perspex screens and floor markings! Architects will need to consider their choice of materials and its viral surface retention qualities. Biophilic design will also have an important place, to purify the air and to create a sense of wellness.
Hotels will have to do more with less which is where Smart technology will reshape the way in which we use hotels. Contactless hospitality will mean the mobile check in and keyless entry to the rooms, as well as remote ordering at the restaurant. Technology amounts to a touchless interface, which is part of social distancing.
Other benefits offered by new technology are density and opt-in temperature monitoring, self-cleaning surfaces, and high-caliber air filtration systems. Hotels are even collaborating with medical organisations to offer hygiene excellence standards.
Maximising hotel roof designs can provide additional space for terraces or sky lounges, while also satisfying functional needs, such as thermal mass and biodiversity.
The hotel industry has always adapted to behavioural changes and embraced new technology. The pandemic has challenged the industry to react and reinvent itself where the resulting benefits will extend beyond hotel guests to local communities and the wider built environment.
When photographing hotels, there are several factors to consider, from capturing the architecture within its location, to the design of the interior space, and the ambience created by the lighting and design features. As with all architecture, interior, and lifestyle photography it is important to work with the design and marketing team to achieve the required photography.
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.