Ember Locke is a 121 room apartment style hotel. Our aim was to create a conceptual slice through the last one hundred years of Kensington, arguably the golden age for art and culture for the London borough. The hotel design is anchored around the atmosphere of the late Kensington roof gardens, and the laissez-faire flamboyance demonstrated by the iconic mid-century fashion brand Biba, which was born in Kensington’s bohemian fashion scene in the 1960’s.
Much like Biba, the design of the hotel curtsies to the era that came before it, but contemprizes with its warm earthy palette, and maximalist furnishings. Art deco rubs shoulders with 21st century retro futurism, making the interiors a nostalgia soaked reimagining of over a decade of glamour in Kensington.
House of dre collaborates with influential design studio Atelier Ochre to create bespoke art, interiors and art curation through-out the hotel. A whole host of local, up and coming artists adorn the walls, with eclectic artworks that both compliment and clash with the palette in equal measure.
The bespoke art pieces by House of Dré adorn the walls in the guestrooms and public spaces. They continue the studio's exploration on the theme of equanimity. House of Dré worked with close friend and East London print artist Ossa Prints, to create the Biba Girl series. The run of 121 unique prints (one for each room) based on three separate designs are all unique. They are hand carved, inked and pressed by hand on Tommaso Olivero’s pride and joy, his vintage 1960’s Farley n.12 printing press.
“Our earlier artworks and motifs have been given the Biba treatment here, the forms merge to highlight the figure buried within the first series of equanimity paintings finished in 2019. The composition and the palette capture the spirit of the iconic Biba Girl, the fashion brands conduit for the age feminine power and individualism. The idea was to keep exploring forms and compositions until we created iconography, very much in the religious sense, that’s what the Biba Girl was supposed to be.”
“The colour palette we worked up with Atelier Ochre responds to that of the guestroom interiors. It’s reflective of the boudoir-meets-Modernist-and-Art Deco style of the rooms, and it completely changes the context and the meaning of the artwork.”
Founder & Creative Director - House of Dré.