Three decades of decadent design in ten projects: A David Collins Studio retrospective

David Collins Studio is celebrated around the globe for creating some of the most lavish, elegant and memorable looks for leading bars, hotels, stores and restaurants. Think of a...
The Apartment at The Connaught, by David Collins Studio
The Apartment at The Connaught, by David Collins Studio

The Apartment at The Connaught, by David Collins StudioDavid Collins Studio is celebrated around the globe for creating some of the most lavish, elegant and memorable looks for leading bars, hotels, stores and restaurants. Think of a great London haunt bars at The Connaught, The Berkeley, Claridge’s and Langham hotels; J Sheekey; The Wolseley; The Delauney; Colbert; Nobu Berkeley Street; you get the idea and the chances are that there’s been some DCS style at play. Perhaps less public, but no less notable, is the firm’s illustrious history of private residential projects.

Established in 1985 by the late Irish-born David Collins, the Studio’s distinctive ‘luxe’ take on timeless elegance has created many fine homes for many discerning clients including household names such as Madonna (who penned a moving foreword to the recent ‘ABCDCS’ book, published by Assouline) from London, Milan and New York to Bangkok, Budapest and Stellenbosch. 

“Luxe is a feeling, a mood, almost but not quite tangible, an expression of taste, a feeling of comfort.” – David Collins

As the firm celebrates 30 years in business, Design Director Georgina Wood picks ten of the Studio’s top residential design projects for PrimeResi…

This feature appears in the PrimeResi Winter Journal 2015/6,
which will be published next week.

1. Arts & Crafts Family Home

  • Location: Hampstead, North London
  • Date: 2009

This family home located in Hampstead, North London was created for a long-term client. The existing design had a very Moroccan feel and required new interior architecture and a suitable furniture scheme. The client had also inherited a series of oversize fireplaces that we incorporated into the scheme.

The project was very much a collaboration to restore the important Arts and Crafts house with a contemporary design that reflected the owner’s taste. Once completed, the owner received an offer for the house and newly-designed contents that set a record for the London property market at the time. Click on an image for a full-page slideshow:

“A client’s house is their story, our purpose is to interpret and visualise the space to create the chapters and the fairy tale ending for them.” – Georgina Wood

2. Contemporary Family Home

  • Location: South west London
  • Date: 2007

Located in south west London, this family home required a very minimal architectural concept in keeping with the new-build villa design. The design of the furnishings allows for a lot of detail, incorporating a number of very refined fabrics and finishes realised in a very subtle palette, including custom silk rugs, straw marquetry, linen glass and cracked gesso. Click on an image for a full-page slideshow:

“Even if there are a dozen colours, there are an infinite number of shades, and these are the key to harmony and interest and ultimately engaging people.” – David Collins

3. David Collins’ Home

  • Location: London
  • Date: 2008

David’s home was constantly evolving. Ideas were trialled, tested and refined, to later be utilised in commercial projects. It was a playground of ideas. A selection of twentieth century art and antiques were curated over time with pieces chosen because they were both interesting and beautiful.

The contents of the property were sold at Christie’s Luxury-Colour-Texture sale in 2014; expecting to raise £1m, the sale realised £1.8m. The David Collins Foundation will launch in 2016, supporting artists and craftspeople in the early stages of their careers. Click on an image for a full-page slideshow:

“There is only one way to describe my taste: eclectic.” – David Collins

4. Grade II Listed Villa

  • Location: London
  • Date: 2008

This villa was created for the Creative Director of  Vionnet, Goga Ashkenazi, in 2008. The design reflects her personality using colour and texture in surprising ways to bring that personality to the home. A series of seemingly eclectic twentieth century antiques and custom David Collins Studio furniture and lighting pieces – pagoda-inspired chandeliers, deco palm wood lamps, and a shagreen lined dining table – continue to maximise character. Click on an image for a full-page slideshow:

“Style cannot be bought, it is the tailoring of a concept only a creative interior designer can achieve.” – Georgina Wood

5. Mount Nicholson

  • Location: Hong Kong
  • Date: Current project

David Collins Studio was engaged by Wheelock Properties, the Nan Fung Group and The Wharf (Holdings) Limited to realise two homes on The Peak in Hong Kong. Each home has its own architectural vernacular: one contemporary and one classic. The interior architecture of both properties curates a series of new and old references to create a new interior language, telling very subtle architectural stories within the homes that can be experienced by the owners; these stories will slowly unfold, revealing themselves over time and with use. Click on an image for a full-page slideshow:

“It is only by understanding the past and this distillation of ideas that one can create something modern, that is, the present incarnation of all that has gone before.” – David Collins

6. The Apartment at The Connaught

  • Location: Mayfair, London
  • Date: 2009

The Apartment stands in a space that was previously occupied by the grand dame hotel’s water tanks and storage. A complete architectural scheme was required to realise a usable space within the eaves of the building, which had limited natural light.

The now iconic Apartment was fashioned as the home of a private collector, with studded walls wrapped in linen themselves appearing as the artist’s canvas. The Studio curated and commissioned a number of artworks from young and established artists alike to provide a glimpse into the private world of cultured luxury. Click on an image for a full-page slideshow:

“All interiors have a purpose and a reference which must be understood before putting pen to paper for a new concept.” – Georgina Wood

7. The Charles

  • Location: Manhattan, New York
  • Date: 2015

The Charles, 1355 First Avenue, Manhattan is a development of 26 residences created by David Collins Studio in collaboration with Ismael Leyva Architects. The homes offer living over a complete floor of the building and have been designed with a European sensibility: subtle architectural references and a palette of blues and greys utilise David Collins Studio’s signature colours.

In 2014 a sale of the penthouse realised $37.94m ($3,196 per square foot) and created a new benchmark price, doubling the previous sale record for the area. Click on an image for a full-page slideshow:

“Combining textures and materials is an art and the detail in which they sit together must be meticulously considered and designed.” – Georgina Wood

8. The Port Baku residences

  • Location: Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Date: 2013

David Collins Studio was responsible for the design of the public spaces at this important series of residential buildings in Azerbaijan. Signature Studio materials, such as bronze and stone, and modernist references combine to set the tone of the development. Click on an image for a full-page slideshow:

“Details, details, details the hidden pleasure of discovering something simple is more complex, the gradual unfolding of the thought processes that are behind a design.” – David Collins

9. Sky Residence, The Ritz-Carlton Residences

  • Location: MahaNakhon, Bangkok
  • Date: 2010

Created for PACE Developments in 2010, The Sky Residence was the first project by David Collins Studio within the MahaNakhon project in Bangkok. The Studio has since collaborated on a number of schemes within the Ole Scheeren-designed building, which features an iconic pixelated design. Responsible for The Ritz-Carlton Residences at MahaNakhon within the complex puzzle-like building, The Studio then created three sales apartments for the project.

The Sky Residence was the first to be designed for an international audience, based upon historic Manhattan mansion apartments with a very modern point of view and infused with a Thai sensibility through the use of vibrant local fabrics.

The project saw 76 pieces of custom David Collins Studio furniture made locally using Thai artisans and all directed from our London head office. The exclusive range of furniture is available to purchasers of the apartments in carefully curated packages. Click on an image for a full-page slideshow:

“Interior design is passion, empathy, commitment and an eye for detail for the past, present and future.” – Georgina Wood

10. Three Bedroom Residence, The Ritz-Carlton Residences

  • Location: MahaNakhon, Bangkok
  • Date: 2014

David Collins Studio designed this three-bedroom apartment as part of the marketing project for The Ritz-Carlton Apartments at MahaNakhon. The scheme has been designed for modern family living and a younger demographic than the Sky Residence. Childrens’ bedrooms are upholstered in denim and adults’ in woven rattan, again using local craft and materials to bring a sense of location to the design. The David Collins Studio-designed apartments for The Ritz-Carlton Residences at MahaNakhon have set benchmark prices, with the penthouse selling for THB 480 million, making it the most expensive condominium ever purchased in Thailand. Click on an image for a full-page slideshow:

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GW Headshot_Sepia_Portrait_high-resGeorgina Wood is Design Director at David Collins Studio

David Collins Studio
The Studio, 74 Farm Lane
London SW6 1QA
T: +44(0)207 835 5000

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