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Interior Architects London, Woolf interiors are award winning Interior Architects based  in London. 
We specialise in Interior Architecture, Commercial Refurbishments, Retail Design and  Hospitality Design 

Pierre Frey at Focus 2016

"Looking in the past, is not a backward vision"

These were the words spoken by archive specialist Sophie Rouart from Focus 2016, Chelsea. WOOLF were treated to a presentation showing some of the incredible pieces collected by Pierre Frey that are meticulously documented and protected in Pierre Frey’s Paris showroom.

WOOLF have been in quiet admiration of Pierre Frey for many years. This family owned business was founded in 1935 starting with only printing single coloured fabrics. It was only once a client suggested that Frey print an artist’s design, that the company started to evolve. Rouart displayed many incredible pieces that have since been either re-created, or used as inspiration for a new idea. For example, she delicately laid out a hand embroidered curtain from the 16th Century that has been the source of inspiration for a woven wallcovering. She also displayed the versatility that Pierre Frey offer as a client wished to re-create a pattern using metallic beads.

It is this sense of history that WOOLF are inspired by the most, as these pieces represent an outstanding heritage and a true appreciation of styles and designs that have come before. It is here where the company have taken these patterns and prints that are hundreds of years old and used them in a new way, creating unique collections that hold a history, with a modern twist. They let the ‘clients be the creators’ as Rouart so elegantly put, showing once more Frey’s adventurous flare, giving everyone a chance to create a piece of history.   

The extraordinary way in which these fabrics are preserved and then often re-designed in a different colour, design or for a contrasting purpose can also be reflected in how the business has been passed down from one generation to the next. Pierre Frey pride themselves on tradition but are not afraid to look towards the future, which is clear from their fast growing collections. It is not a company, but a home.

2016 round up from Woolf

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 Our favourite showroom of 2016

 WOOLF loves the David Gill Gallery. The King Street showroom showcases such an exciting and interesting array of designers. Take a look at their unusual and splendid pieces. 

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 Read about WOOLF awards 

shortlisted in two categories ...

 

 Outstanding London design shows in 2016

 

 WOOLF attended great design shows and trade fairs this year. PAD London and Masterpiece presented inspirational work and showcased top international designers. 


 Favourite supplier of 2016

 Woolf have been collaborating with the extraordinary Fameed Khalique to produce beautifully embroidered dégradé fabrics for our upcoming tailored Deco inspired interior. 

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 Dubai connecting with WOOLF

 WOOLF have been collaborating with an established Dubai based contractor and joinery manufacturer. They have been working on our 90% bespoke made project in Belgravia.


 Moscow connecting with WOOLF

 WOOLF has designed a unique development for a private client. The prestigious St Nikolas is located on one of the oldest streets in Moscow parallel to the Kremlin in Red Square.

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Leading industry voices of 2016

WOOLF have asked three leading industry professionals to give us their perspective on design and architecture in 2016. Their expertise are wide ranging and their experience covers property acquisition, consultancy, development, project management and international design press media.

 

Peter Mackie - Property Vision Senior Partner- Acquisition and consultancy

"As the market has become more discerning, the need for great design and finish has never been greater. Some people believe that value is all about price per square foot and location. At Property Vision we are always astonished at the difference that can be established by great design."

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Jane Wagner - Walton Wagner director - Development and project management

“Clients are increasingly looking at the flexibility of space. The ability to transition uses within a property over time, is becoming an important consideration when undertaking projects.”

 

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 Dylan Thomas - Award winning Interior and Architecture photographer

“International magazines such as World of Interiors, AD, Monocle, Vanity Fair and Vogue are increasingly expecting a luxurious lived in feel. A seamless expression of performance and authenticity.”

 

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The Wolseley - A lunch with Smallwood Architects

WOOLF were invited to a most elegant and refined lunch by Smallwood Architects in the Wolseley’s private dining room which overlooks the chic restaurant and bar below. The restaurant and bar are always full and there are usually a number of tourists having a cream tea at any one time. This extraordinary building is always busy no matter what time of day you drop in, yet the space is very peaceful.

The building was originally commissioned by Wolseley Motors Limited in 1921, who appointed the architect William Curtis Green for the design and build. He drew on Venetian and Florentine influences, adding Eastern exotic touches which were fashionable at the time. In July 2003, Chris Corbin and Jeremy King secured the site and restoration and design renovation was overseen by the fabulous David Collins.

The interior architecture is incredibly detailed from the high gloss lacquered Chinese inspired gold joinery to the refined detailed metal work. Geometric tile work and gorgeous bathroom accessories add opulence to this beautiful space. The whole space is opulent yet restrained

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Stedelijk Amsterdam

WOOLF connected to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam last Summer to view the collections of modern and contemporary art. The beautiful façade of the original building, designed in the 19th century by Adriaan Willem Weissman, shows off beautiful architecture of this era. The extension, designed by Benthem Crouwel Architects is known by many as ‘the bathtub’ for it’s oblong shape that appears to float above the main entrance, lobby and museum shop and restaurant.

This incredible and bold design forces the cohesion of old and new architecture. ‘Although the new building is unmistakably different in appearance from the original structure, it matches the scale of the 1895 building and has a direct, seamless connection to it on all floors. They planned for the exterior to retain the 19th-century architecture, adding 21st-century technology and painting everything in Sandberg white.’

 

Carlo Scarpa

WOOLF are continuously inspired by Carlo Scarpa’s attention to beautiful and complex detailing, in particular the way he combines ornate and precious materials with very basic materials.

Carlo Scarpa is an extraordinary Venetian architect known for his intricate details and impressive use of timber, metal, glass and stone. Starting his career working as a glass designer, he continuously works with cabinet makers and metal workers to ensure constant experimentation with different materials.

His inspiration largely comes from poetry and paintings – the work of Mark Rothko was a large influence. Japanese design influence can also be seen throughout his work particularly through his control of water.

In Scarpa’s work, Art, Architecture and Design flow into one another.

His finishes are elegant and his details ornate – he places materials that are very organic and smooth with materials which are machine-like and angled to create a striking contrast. He encourages the environment around him to flow into his work and gives historical buildings a new lease of life. 

Ronald Phillips – Master of English Furniture

WOOLF are looking forward to seeing Ronald Phillips at Masterpiece London 2016. We recently had a most interesting introduction to the Ronald Phillip’s antique collection with its director Simon Phillips. Their prestigious yet unassuming shop at 26 Bruton Street in the heart of London’s Mayfair, houses a collection of some of England’s finest and exquisite furniture pieces.

Simon has specialised in advising private international collectors and building up several significant collections, and supervising restoration of pieces around the world. After chairing The Grosvenor House Art & Antiques Fair for three years, he is now one of the founding members of Masterpiece London.

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Fameed Khalique

WOOLF are collaborating with Fameed Khalique to produce beautiful embroidered dégradé fabrics for a tailored Deco inspired interior.  

Fameed’s showroom is a renowned and respected resource, his collection is carefully curated with a designer’s eye for detail, finish and quality. Fameed has an unabated enthusiasm for tracking down the most original and interesting skills from far-flung corners of the globe.

The couture portfolio includes such gems as the intricate beadworks from hand embroiderers, who honed their skills working for top fashion houses; and incredible woven leather fabrics using a traditional Laotian technique to weave fragments of leather and silk together with stunning results.

WOOLF and Fameed Khalique are together uncovering new uses for techniques with a strong artisan quality or something which is made possible through new technology.

Hedingham Castle

In our opinion, the best preserved Norman Castle in England.

The 900 year old Norman keep of Hedingham Castle stands in 160 acres of spectacularly beautiful landscaped gardens and woodland where the Lindsay family, descendants of the original owners, the De Veres, still live.

The first Aubrey de Vere, Lord of Ver in Normandy, had come over with William the Conqueror. He planted vineyards and wild red grapes which still grow in the grounds. He founded the priory of Earl’s Colne and became a monk after the death of his wife, who bore five sons

Hedingham Castle is not just one place. Romantic, beautiful, ancient, historic and wild, it is somewhere to set your imagination free. Privately owned, its character is unique, and its history is the heritage of us all.

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The Four Seasons Hotel – Jumeirah, Dubai

H&H Dubai based Investment and Development company treated WOOLF to a tour of their breathtaking ‘Four Seasons Resort Hotel’ Jumeirah Dubai.

This five star resort hotel is located on one of the last few remaining prime beach side locations along the Dubai coastline off the Beach Road. The hotel sits on an area of of 66,000sqm, it has 237 keys including suites with an average room size of 60sqm. The hotel also incorporates five restaurants, a stunning roof top bar with amazing views of the city, two swimming pools, meeting rooms, a ballroom, a business center, beauty salon, a barber and gift shop. There is also a luxurious spa, indoor pool and a gymnasium. There are 295 car parking spaces in a single level basement.

A number of great design influences coalesce in the key public spaces and in the interior detailing. International influences are evident in the Arabian inspired archways and  patinated bronze panelled lift doors which juxtapose against the Art Deco ‘Fortnum and Mason’ style central stair swoop. The layers of rich contemporary textiles and elegant silvered tea service contrast beautifully against the stunning architectural views over Dubai to the north and the sunny beach scene to the south.

Overall the setting is truly scrumptious.   

Vanderhurd - Spinning a Yarn

In our numerous collaborations with Vanderhurd, WOOLF have used rugs and dhurries in countless forms, as floor coverings or as pieces of art on walls. Construction techniques are as old as the cultures that they stem from, made in painstaking detail, usually woven by hand on looms, knot by knot. For over 30 years, Vanderhurd has created handmade rugs in a wide range of complex constructions:

SILK DHURRIES - The exclusive use of silk yarn in the weaving of the dhurries requires a yarn spinning technique that is entirely unique.

WOOL DHURRIES - These use the best wool, both hand and mill spun to create respectively a more casual or sophisticated look.

HEMP DHURRIES - These are environmentally friendly, particularly when un-dyed yarn is used in the weaving, with it’s pleasing natural variations in colour. The hemp fiber is durable and a more malleable alternative to sisal. 

PENTA - A unique construction developed by Vanderhurd combining both hand woven and hand knotted elements in the one carpet. 

SAFI - A hand knotted Wool, Silk or Wool and Silk blend hand clipped to an extra low or low pile height. 

LISBOA - Combines a hand woven soumak flat weave and a hand knotted cut pile both in a linen / viscose blend.

MOQUETTE - A cut pile construction with a grid textured weave, hand knotted with fine New Zealand wool.

NEPALESE - The practice of traditional Tibetan knotting on a metal rod gives the carpet a fine linear texture. Nepalese carpets can be made with the thinnest of rods lending the surface a smooth and tight finish. Alternatively, they can be knotted on a thicker rod resulting in a more defined linear texture.

HAND AND GUN TUFTED - A a tufted carpet in both hand spun and mill spun viscose or wool, or a combination of the two. 

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Berlin Holocaust Memorial

Stele, or stela, is a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected as a monument, often for funerary or commemorative purposes. Traditional Western gravestones are technically stelae, but are very rarely described by the term.

Our experience of the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin is a powerful transformational space, designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold. Completed in 2004, the 19,000 m2 site is covered with 2,711 concrete slabs, or stelae, arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field.

The site is remarkable from the ground. On the approach it resembles a graveyard like the old Jewish cemeteries seen in many other great European cities. In these older Jewish cemeteries, layers of gravestones are piled high and protrude from beneath the ground like jagged sharks teeth. The Berlin Stalea stones by contrast appear to have been laid in a measured somber order and yet transform on mass into a space more akin to an epic modern art installation.

Walking though the Stelae one is struck by the scale and size of the stones. They have a refined elegance and due to the very clever positioning, light is thrown around them into a variety of linear angles. The play of light at various times of day is mesmerizing and contemplative. Ones own sense of personal scale is played with, as the stones move from small to large around you. At one moment you feel like a mouse and another a giant.

The stelae are designed to produce “an uneasy, confusing atmosphere, the whole sculpture aims to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason.”

 

*Images personal & Wikipedia.

Leighton House

 What better location to have the WOOLF studio shoot than the fabulous and famous Leighton House in Kensington, London, one of the most remarkable houses of the nineteenth century. Leighton House was the former home of the Victorian artist and style-innovator, Lord Frederic Leighton (1830-1896). The house is now a fascinating museum containing a collection of paintings and sculpture by Fredric Leighton and his contemporaries of the Holland park circle.

The house was extended and embellished over the 30 years that Leighton lived in it. From modest beginnings Leighton House evolved into and was referred to as a 'private palace of art’. The Arab Hall with its grand golden dome, intricate mosaics and walls lined with beautiful Islamic tiles explores Turkish and Syrian interiors. The Arabic opulence is a sharp contrast with the beautifully elegant Silk Room and the lavish, red Victorian dinning room. The vast painting studio was at the time, considered one of the sights of London. It is hung with paintings at different stages of completion. The construction of the space plays strongly with contrasts of light and height by using the great north window, which overlooks the elegant English country garden, as a focal point.

Bourne & Hollingworth Brasserie / Bar

The fine trio of ‘Red Deer Architects’ combined their creative juices with their usual blend of artistic cool and understated charm. Located in the heart of east London, this all-day brasserie and bar, opened in September 2014, is the product of the design of the architecture studio Red Deer in collaboration with Bourne & Hollingsworth’s creative team and Box 9.

The aim was creating a worn interior reminiscent of an old European socialites stately house with. Following this idea, the 220sqm space was elegantly filled with elements like custom ironwork shelving, cane benches, wrought iron chairs, rich upholstery and classic cornicing; with the light textures of whitewashed floorboards, fine oak, mirror and white marble as background.

There are five different spaces: the Bottle Room, a 14-person dining room with floor-to-ceiling antique display cabinets; the cocktail bar, on the sunny west-facing side of the building, featuring a customised mosaic bar top over cast concrete panels; the café area, with winged mahogany wicker chairs and high-backed sofas; the restaurant and the greenhouse, beautifully sunlight flooded and created out of an existing dark alley.

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Holly Hunt Opening

In the winter of 2014, the WOOLF studio were invited to a stream of supplier openings and viewings. Holly Hunt, the indomitable American furniture supplier, launched themselves upon the most discerning furniture buyers in the heart of Mayfair. Thirty years after their first showroom opened in Chicago, Holly has created a unique and timeless style that combines a modern look that includes traditional elements. Upon entering this busy event, the elegant style transcended the corner of Grafton Street, with a marble angular fish cocktail table, which stood in front of a beautiful Portland stone backdrop in the entrance.

We noticed a piece that was clearly influenced by an exploration of geometrics and balance. The ‘Absinthe side table’ is distinguishable because of it’s asymmetrical base and beautiful quartz crystal top. One of the most charming elements to Holly Hunt’s designs is the diligence and consideration of the details and finishes. The Channel Cabinet features a metal bronze handle and legs that define the shape of this piece, creating a completely unique and somewhat sculptural piece of furniture. 

In their new furniture gallery we spotted a beautiful range of engraved pieces simply named ‘writers’, by Alison Berger. The elegant console is made from engraved bronze and etched glass, enabling light to transfer through this piece. The most striking detail is the beautiful hand written words that adorn the glass. Through careful consideration and incredible metalsmithing and carpentry, it is clear that the lines between furniture and art have been blurred. This style transcends into glass pendant lights that cast an alluring shadow. 

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