Basing Street Rooms is a full internal rebuild of a four-storey Victorian end of terrace house converted to a long stay hotel for a record label client. The brief, to provide accommodation for visiting musicians using the neighbouring recording studio, was enriched with the request to embody the history of the studio’s past in the proposed design.
Designed as a set of unique apartments connected by a common language, the scheme took elements of the period architecture and re-imagined them in the spirit of the four chosen record labels – Island records, Stiff Records, ZTT and Sarm.
Alma-nac and the client were keen not to create a direct archive, instead choosing to distil the identity of each label into an abstracted language. This was then reinterpreted together with the building’s history and requirements of the apartments, in an effort to create a series of spaces unique to their associated label whilst sharing a common language across the hotel.
Working closely with the studio archivist, key albums and promotional graphics were selected from the huge collection of musical memorabilia available, and a series of identifiable colour palettes were established for each label. These colour palette were then used to re-imagine the Victorian architecture. Engineered parquet floor was stained and constructed to a detailed plan in response to key areas of activity within each apartment. Identifying symbols and words were incorporated directly, becoming abstracted as they were worked into the scheme. The Stiff ‘S’ becomes a pixelated lightning bolt. The multiple misspellings of ‘zang tumb tumb’ form a scrabble board of tiles in a bathroom.
Due to serious bomb damage, sustained during WWII but only discovered during the build, the majority of the building had to be rebuilt. A new plywood staircase was constructed off site and inserted early within construction, linking hotel entrance to apartment door in a playful nod to the red carpet.
Alma-nac worked closely with the client and artists to bring some of the spirit of the studio into the hotel. A mural was arranged for the side of the building, and artwork painted directly to the internal walls.
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