The Fellows House Cambridge, Curio Collection by Hilton has unveiled the interior design of both public and guest areas, which was completed by hospitality design practice twenty2degrees.
The plan for the ground floor is a sequence of zoned spaces flowing from the reception lobby to The Folio Bar and, from here, onto The Folio Kitchen restaurant which opens to The Fellows Garden, a courtyard space reminiscent of college quads, with terrace dining and The Observatory snug. The garden is also overlooked by a wellness center with indoor pool and an events room that hosts a triptych of Stephen Hawking photographs overlaid with theories taken from his Cambridge thesis.
The scene is set as guests arriving at the main entrance are met by two columns clad in patinated copper. Honoring Alan Turing’s memory, these are etched with mysterious text formatted like the Enigma code but this time hiding famous quotes from Cambridge fellows for visitors to decipher at their leisure.
From here, guests pass into the lobby lounge where the design response to location, academic heritage and the fellows’ legacy is immediately apparent, combined with a rich materiality. Nero Marquina marble flooring extends the full length of the ground floor with custom-designed rugs helping to define the seating areas. The Cipollino Ondulato Rosso marble to the reception desk is honed to striking effect; behind this a full height pigeonhole cabinet of the kind once popular in the colleges is labeled with words in an old typewriter font taken from In Cimmerian Darkness by J H Pyrnne, a fellow and key figure in the Cambridge group of revival poets. Other alumni, including Davidson Nicol, Cambridge’s first African fellow, and Alfred Lord Tennyson, are the subject of expressionist portraits hung on the walls and reflected in antiqued glass paneling.
Photo: Courtesy of The Fellows House