Designed by Yabu Pushelberg, this dreamy destination draws from the creativity and drama of surrounding Leicester Square.
By Rachel Gallaher
Photographed by Henry Bourne
As published in GRAY magazine No. 62
The Green Room—a private club/event space at the Londoner, a new Yabu Pushelberg-designed hotel in London’s Leicester Square—captures the mix of elegance and whimsy found throughout the property.
London’s West End theatre district has been entertaining the masses for centuries. So, when George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, founders of Toronto- and New York-based design studio Yabu Pushelberg, were tapped to design a hotel in Leicester Square, they looked no further for inspiration than the surrounding neighborhood.
A floor dedicated to guest amenities includes the hidden Whiskey Room, the Y Bar, and the Drawing Room lounge (seen above). The ceiling mural is by artist En Viu.
“Leicester Square’s rich history was the driving force behind the Londoner’s design,” Yabu says. “Drawing from the outspoken and theatrical, we designed the Londoner as an ode to performance. Layers of sky-high and subterranean programming bloomed with characters that echoed Leicester Square’s extroverted, playful, and alluring voice.”
A metallic moon-head created by artist Andrew Rae hangs in the lobby of the Londoner.
The design for each area of the 350-room hotel was inspired by an archetype of a theatre production’s cast and crew: The entry is the cinematographer, the ballroom is the publicist, and the relaxed watering hole, Joshua’s Tavern, is the gripsman. From the whimsical lobby, where guests are greeted by a custom, floating, metallic moon-head created by artist Andrew Rae, to the elegant Green Room (the hotel’s private club), which is wrapped in arched wood panels and filled with velvet-upholstered seating, the spaces throughout the property sur- prise and delight; a subdued palette and high-end materials unite them with a sense of sophistication.
The Y Bar is wrapped in wood paneling. As the sun sets, vivid illusions appear by way of gestural symbols and characters, which emblazon the walls through artfully backlit red veneer applied as visual effect to the wood paneling.
“The Londoner was designed for guests to riff off the atmosphere of their surroundings and engage in constant dialogue with the richly unique colors, textures, scents, and sounds that each venue has to offer,” Pushelberg says. “We wanted to teleport guests into a world where they can comfortably express who they want to be at that very moment.”