The luxury Lowry Hotel's six boutique riverside suites are the most desirable suites in Manchester. With interior design inspired by specially-commissioned pieces of art by internationally acclaimed Oldham-born artist Alan Rankle, the paintings, materials and colour schemes of the room intertwine, to make guests feel 'embraced' by the art.
A creative collaboration
The Lowry is a five-star luxury hotel boasting the largest rooms in the city and an eclectic clientele including international film and tv stars, musicians, rock singers, and premier league footballers. To maintain the hotel's luxury status, the six premier riverside suites overlooking the Irwell River required extensive upgrading and refurbishment to bring them in line with contemporary luxury standards and guest expectations, especially those of the hotel's premium long-stay tenants. The ambition was to make these suites the most desirable and luxurious in the city. Named after artist LS Lowry, renowned for his depictions of Salford, The Lowry has a long standing association and investments in contemporary art. To continue this theme, renowned Manchester-born artist Alan Rankle was invited to collaborate on the refurbishment. Rankle created six bespoke pieces of art, one for each suite, which would form the inspiration for AFK's interior design. The artist collaboration is also a homage to the Lowry’s graphic design and printmaking roots, as the hotel was built on the site of the printing press where classic British comics such as the Beano were produced.
'Immersed' by art
The aspiration for the refurbishment was to create an invigorating immersive experience for guests. Each art piece is the bold defining statement for each suite – much like a headline work in a blockbuster show at a museum or art gallery - so the interior design and paintings are intended to work together to create a gallery-like experience, where guests wake up surrounded by art and a memorable sense of colour. AFK devised a custom colour scheme in textiles and furnishings, picking out key accents and colours in Rankle's paintings. While the suites are generous in their proportions, ranging in size from 82 to 92 square metres, the focal point of each room is an impressively over-scaled 4m x 2.5m upholstered headboard, curved slightly around the bed, which depicts a section of the original artwork in the particular suite. The headboard art is reflected into two mirrored doors opposite, allowing guests to view the piece from multiple vantage points in the room.
To create an additional unexpected dynamic in each suite, the bold and intense colours found in the art, are offset by materials and detailing with a softer ambiance, such as brushed brass, soft drapery and polished surfaces. This contrast creates an aesthetics where the art in effect, commands the design of the suites, but is enhanced and softened by the smaller details, which also allows guests to connect with the design.
What makes these suites so special is the way the paintings, materials and colour schemes of the room intertwine, allowing guests to feel 'embraced' by the art piece.
Each suite was also carefully re-planned and reoriented to curate the guest experience and journey around the suite ensuring they take in the most of some of the best views of the city through floor-to-ceiling windows, such as those over the River Irwell, Salford’s Calatrava Bridge and Manchester beyond.
The award winning refurbishment of the six riverside suites was undertaken to complement a comprehensive makeover of the 165-room hotel which began in September 2014, further cementing the Lowry as Manchester's premier luxury hotel, and as one of the leading independent luxury hotels in the world.