Since it was set up as a collective in 2010, interior and architecture studio 1508 London has garnered a reputation for creating exceptional spaces around the world, first for private clients, and then cutting-edge residential developments, hospitality projects and superyachts, too. The increasing number of important widespread global commissions – from the newly opened Mandarin Oriental Residences in Los Angeles, the first new-build in Beverly Hills’s famed Golden Triangle for around 40 years, to the Four Seasons Goa – has resulted in the London-based company expanding to open offices in Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sao Paulo and, most recently, Miami this summer.
‘It’s important to understand 1508 London’s ethos, which is perhaps different from other practices,’ says the company’s CEO and partner Stuart Horwood. ‘Our foundation is as an open, expansive company and we are not led by one design style. We invest a lot of time in understanding our clients’ every need in order to best tailor a design to meet their exacting specifications.’
Each of the 100-strong team brings their own strengths and experiences, led by eight design principles. Partner Hamish Brown describes the collaborative approach as working around three core parameters: the vision, which is driven by an overarching concept; a sense of place, where proportion, form, order, symmetry, and materiality are all considered within the site context; and being transformational. In other words, the company’s ability to interpret the brief and, crucially, deliver what the client wants.
‘However, if we analyse our common threads, it would be quality of materials, attention to detail and immersing ourselves in the local vernacular, but most of all, in our clients,’ says Hamish.
1508 London has worked on projects all over the world, which all look completely different. Private clients remain at the heart of the studio, and projects currently include villas in Italy and the south of France as well as the complete renovation of a 20,000 sq/ft Georgian townhouse in central London which, when it’s sold, will be one of the most expensive properties in the capital.
With buildings that have incredible period features, the challenge for the design studio is to subtly to weave in 21st-century details that enable modern ways of living. Some rooms will have contemporary furniture, others contain more antiques, so the trick is finding the right balance so that it doesn’t become a pastiche of the past, or too disparate.
Chartered architect and studio director of 1508 London, Laura Lockwood, has deliberately scoured the globe for the greatest design talent, all of whom are able to bring a wealth of experience to the company’s projects.
‘In order to work at the highest level, it is important to have huge experience and deep knowledge of design and different types of projects,’ she confirms.
There is also a separate, dedicated team for large-scale commercial schemes such as The OWO Residences by Raffles in Whitehall, the Four Seasons in the Middle East, part of Saudi Arabia’s push for tourism in the region, and The Rosewood Hotel in Doha.