180 GREAT PORTLAND STREET
Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands
Hammered mirror-finish steel, brushed steel, cowhide and transparent black glass
In the center of London, the entrance hall of this office building is composed of a regular space with the route to the elevators placed on the left, emphasized by an opening in the ceiling that captures natural light from above. The design choice was to underline, in a single summary figure, the space occupied by the reception counter and the elevator block behind it, cladding the surfaces of walls and ceiling with a thick wooden “skin.” An ulterior materic layer created by Marzorati Ronchetti has been applied to the resulting box: a series of seventeen mirror-finish hammered stainless steel panels placed side by side and suspended between the floor and ceiling to reflect and dilute the images of the surrounding space. Other additional compositional features contribute to determine the overall grammar: the reception counter and the long linear bench in front of the art installation on the right wall. Both are in brushed steel with rounded edges, free of signs of joining, with perfectly uniform surfaces. The two pieces have capitonné cowhide inserts with a diamond motif, used respectively as the vertical front of the reception counter and the horizontal seat of part of the bench.