Designed by David Collins Studio and Make Architects for London & Regional Properties, Nobu Hotel London Portman Square is a new luxury hotel in Marylebone, operated by Nobu Hospitality. Replacing the former Marylebone Portman Hotel, London’s second Nobu hotel opened in December 2020.
Project Name: Nobu Hotel London Portman Square
Studio Name: David Collins Studio
The Ground and First Floor have been completely reconfigured, creating a new double-height Entrance Lobby, Lobby Lounge, Nobu Restaurant and Bar, Ballroom and Meeting Rooms designed by David Collins Studio. The pre-existing dark, single-storey entrance has been replaced with a light, bright lobby and lounge spilling out onto a street terrace that engages with the street and activates the street frontage. Upstairs, Make Architects has undertaken an interior redesign of all the guestrooms, as well as creating new suites and penthouses.
The hotel marks a relocation of the original Nobu Berkeley Street restaurant, also designed by David Collins Studio. Working with the strong Nobu brand aesthetic, the hotel’s design draws on traditional Japanese colours and minimalist design. Unusual artisan craftsmanship and unique artist collaborations, commissioned specifically for the hotel, ensure that the interiors are not in any way themed or obvious. To root the hotel in London, the interiors merge Japanese references with a sense of its West London location, drawing inspiration from the nearby Portman Square, to create a holistic journey from the vibrant hotel reception to the peaceful guestrooms.
The 340 sqm double-height hotel lobby takes inspiration and reference from Japanese architectural disciplines and minimalist design, in a refined colour palette influenced by heritage Japanese colour combinations. David Collins Studio explored and re-interpreted traditional Japanese arts and crafts, including tatami, boro and the ancient art of sumi-e, to create a contemporary flagship hotel for the Nobu brand. A series of colonnades lined in orange silk-backed fretwork timber panels wrap around the edge of the Lobby. This architectural framework continues throughout the ground floor, delivering a sense of rhythm and operational flow. The guest’s journey has been considered in ceremonious detail, with each moment offering a different mise-en-scène.
Our design concept focused on the guests’ journey through the hotel. Central to the brief was to provide a new presence to the hotel’s entrance, whilst attracting local residents and guests to use the public spaces. A double-height glass fronted Lobby provided the perfect opportunity for a memorable and inviting arrival experience.
British sculptor Ivan Black created a unique 7-metre-tall kinetic sculpture, which hangs in the room’s centre. Utilising the daylight that streams through the glass façade, the rotating aluminium fins cast shadow across the geometric design timber and terrazzo floor. Meanwhile, a hand-blown glass cloud pendant light by Jeremy Maxwell Wintrebert hangs above the reception desk.
The hotel’s location, overlooking Portman Square, was a key source of inspiration. The flora outside is referenced throughout the Lobby Lounge, with its upholstery fabric colours and custom green circle veneer tabletops. Various floral arrangements by Lunaria Somerset accessorise the public spaces, whilst individual sprouting acorn vases by Ilex Studio adorn each table in the Lobby. Accessed directly off the Lobby, the 205 sqm Lobby Lounge offers 80 covers. A central square bar is clad in dark timber and traditional Japanese raku ceramic tiles. Four clear glass display cabinets anchor each corner of the bar, topped with linen and alabaster shade lights by Dernier & Hamlyn. Loose seating and low tables provide relaxed and flexible spaces for guests.