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April 11, 2012

Thierry Despont on 45 Park Lane’s Penthouse Suite

By Marnie Hanel | Hotel

Thierry Despont on 45 Park Lane’s Penthouse Suite
Niall Clutton / Courtesy 45 Park Lane Hotel

Perched on the roof and featuring a grand, wraparound balcony, the 1,830-square-foot one-bedroom penthouse at 45 Park Lane (which opened last fall) offers panoramic views of Hyde Park as well as postcard monuments such as the London Eye. As London’s grand season kicks off—the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is just around the corner—Departures asked architect-designer Thierry Despont to weigh in on his inspiration for the exquisite penthouse.

How does the design of 45 Park Lane interact with its venerable sister property, The Dorchester?
From the start, we were keen on designing a building that would be iconic yet contemporary, that would blend into its surroundings and, at the same time, announce its presence as the new landmark on Park Lane. The horizontal metal fins we designed for the façade accentuate the dynamic shape of the building and respond to the gentle, inward curve of The Dorchester. Another important design element, inspired by flowing curtains, is the exterior art panels, which is a monumental sculpture that has been approved by the Westminster Council as an art piece. The council was so intent on highlighting them, they encouraged more exterior lighting.

There’s also remarkable art within the penthouse.
Most of the art throughout was specifically commissioned for 45 Park Lane. The penthouse suite displays work by Sir Peter Blake depicting a modern interpretation of Rotten Row—the historic see-and-be-seen avenue in Hyde Park. The collection highlights British artists, celebrities and London views.

What influenced the palette of the penthouse suite? The textiles?
The views of Hyde Park, the sun filtering in during the morning and the blue skies. There’s a contemporary timelessness. [I chose] natural materials such as marble, cerused mahogany, suede, leather and silk velvet, trying to keep things clean yet sumptuous rather than overwhelming with patterns.

Which signature Thierry Despont design elements will our travelers recognize?
Luxurious fabrics, ultra-comfortable custom-made furniture, well-appointed dressing areas and breathtaking bathrooms.

How would you describe your overarching vision for the penthouse?
It’s a gorgeous hotel space that doesn’t feel like a hotel.

www.45parklane.com; from $10,429 per night

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