The London Interior Design aesthetic has evolved over generations and has expanded in a multitude of ways over the centuries. Today, a new brand of interior designers from London and from across Europe are starting to approach their profession from a new stance – the “sculptural” aesthetic. The broader supporting industry for interior designers has started in recent years to develop fascinatingly imaginative and perceptually thrilling sculptural furniture pieces, illuminators and embellishments. Devolving away from age-old approaches, interior designers are increasingly choosing new textures, new fabrication processes and focusing on the “feel” of design rather than just the “look.”
Nowhere is this more apparent than in some of the most innovative commercial interiors. London is a world heritage city for interior design, and recently the UK government invested substantial sums of money in the brand new Terminal 5 at London’s flagship Heathrow International Airport. The architecture is breathtaking thanks to its apparently effortless design. The wave-inspired interior overhangs, accessorised with bowstring arches, serve to create a perceptually gentle wavy sculpture, shored up by spoke-style pointed structures. The designer talks of this design as “branched” – two different types of ceiling window (circles and egg shapes) allow natural light in from the London sky, tastefully illuminating the interior design schemes below.
London’s Heathrow Terminal 5 used bridge construction techniques to create a massive, open-plan structure that truly is an interior designer’s dream come true. The pure-wave effect is made possible by the use of twenty-two steel box rafters, supported along each side by eleven pairs of massive steel support abutments. The same astonishing ‘strand-jacking’ technique was used to lift the London Eye from horizontal to vertical and to erect the famous arch of Wembley Stadium. Key interior design elements visually carry the eye from the exterior features to the inner details, initially giving a sense of overwhelming openness and then landing on subtle touches and accessories.
London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 is just one example of how architecture and interior design are deeply intertwined in modern buildings. It is an expression of today’s modern interior design aesthetic, and the positive emotional response is a real boon to busy travelers and their families.
Today’s new generation of interior designers continues to forge ahead, seeking a creative spark while at the same time sparking the imaginations of the public we serve. As a member of London’s professional interior design community, I pause to reflect that it is all about living well – design has the power to transform what we believe, to open our eyes, and to lift our mental energy.