Cromwell Place Café, London

Interior design:, Nick Vinson
Furnishings: AgapeCasa, Driade, CC-Tapis, Bieffeplast
Photo credits: Oskar Proctor

If the word “art” could elicit adjectives such as antiquated or static, Cromwell Place overturns these associations. Designed for art professionals as a dynamic place to come together, experiment, share ideas, and form national and international partnerships, it is located within important historical buildings in the London borough of South Kensington.

A starring role here is played by the new Cromwell Place Café, designed by Daytrip Studio, hired by the freshly appointed art director Helen Nisbet. The architects took off from their keen attunement with the existing building, drawing on contemporary and classic references. They restored the interiors to their former glory working with design expert and publisher Nick Vinson.

The meticulous restoration process achieved an elegant building envelope with walls and period ornamental features painted white and new Versailles parquet flooring. The entire effect is enhanced by light fixtures designed by Michael Anastassiades and Vincent Van Duysen.

Daytrip custom-designed the bar counter, which features a sophisticated structure clad in naturally patinated zinc, creating an elegant silver gloss, designed to be set off from the decorated interiors. The projecting edge lets patrons enjoy drinks at the counter or even dine seated comfortably on the cherry-red Tokyo stools designed by Rodney Kinsman. A series of mirrors, colored in yellow are set in a light wood frame and become a backdrop that gives the space a casual feel.

The furnishings were chosen by Vinson and include an eclectic mix of mid-century Italian classics including Ignazio Gardella‘s Fagiolo sofa and Angelo Mangiarotti‘s Club 44 table, alongside Philippe Starck‘s iconic Van Vogelsang chairs from the 1980s. The space is imbued with energetic colors in an eye-catching palette of amber yellows and brown reds, with geometric patterned rugs from CC-Tapis.