The Regent Palace Hotel was opened on May 16, 1915. At that time, it was the largest hotel in Europe with 1028 bedrooms.
By the 1930s it was starting to look a bit old-fashioned and it was handed to Oliver Bernard, one of the pioneers of Art Deco design in Britain. He created some of the most exciting interiors of that time.
The hotel has recently been redeveloped as part of the Crown Estate’s plans to create a new identity for Regent Street. It was listed Grade II, largely because of the quality of its Art Deco interiors. Half of the historic facades have been retained, while four of the famous 1930s interiors have been completely restored within the redevelopment. Timber veneer, marble, brass, mirrors, ceilings, even wallpaper, from the Chez-Cup cocktail bar, Titanic Restaurant, Atlantic Bar & Grill and Dick’s Bar were carefully stripped from the building and labelled so that the rooms could be put back together again like a jigsaw. I was employed to advise on the 1930s paint colours.
Here are some images of these wonderful interiors in the 1930s along with recent photographs that were taken by Dan Dubowitz for the architects Donald Insall Associates showing the restored interiors:
This cross section showed that gold had only been applied on this element when the room was last decorated.
This cross section shows that the capitals had been gilded originally and that the (duller) bronze paint had only been applied more recently.
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