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Technology trends – hotels and hospitality

The refurbishment of one of London’s iconic hotels – The Savoy – meant respecting the architectural heritage while bringing the lighting and av up to date. We look at how it was done.

The refurbishment of one of London’s iconic hotels – The Savoy – meant respecting the architectural heritage while bringing the lighting and av up to date. We look at how it was done.

An elegant blend of Art Deco and English Edwardian styling, the newly restored The Savoy introduces classically-inspired furnishings against a backdrop of original architectural features steeped in over 120 years of history.

The refurbishment has been described as one of the most ambitious restoration projects undertaken in the hospitality industry. The two-year refurbishment programme of the top London venue cost an estimated £220 million.

One of the first hotels to offer electric lighting in 1889, The Savoy now boasts an assemblage of luminaires from Chelsom that spans the spectrum from restored treasured heirlooms to sparkling bespoke feature lights which utilise the latest low energy technology.

Original brass Art Deco pendants suspended within the lobby (below) were carefully cleaned and restored by Chelsom before being refurbished with high output 150W halogen lamps and emergency LEDs, to cast bright light onto the heavily corniced ceiling and subtle downlight onto the highly polished floor tiles, whilst adhering to safety regulations. Representing the grandeur of a bygone age, the pendants are a striking example of British craftsmanship at its best.

With a stunning interior scheme designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon & Reardon Smith Architects, The Savoy has undoubtedly regained its iconic status as one of the leading hotels of the world, offering the very best in traditional English hospitality.

The 268 guestrooms, offering the height of 5-star luxury, now feature an eclectic mix of table lamps, desk lights and reading lighting from the Chelsom range. Brass swing arm reading lights and Bohemian hand-cut crystal chandeliers hang from the ceilings in the traditional guestrooms providing opulent glamour and timeless elegance, whilst the Deco rooms feature 1920s-inspired nightstands and bathroom lighting and state-of-the-art LED cone head reading lights in the headboards.

Handmade silk shades were specially fabricated by Chelsom for many of the retained fittings, adding a new lease of life to the antique pieces.

IVC Media supplied and installed new sound systems in the Riverside, Lower Thames and Lincoln rooms, the Riverside Restaurant and Lancaster Ballroom. Some of the rooms have featured in blockbuster films such as Notting Hill in the past.

As well as providing audio for major events such as live stage performances, the sound systems are also set up to provide background music, voice evacuation and audio for corporate conferences and events. IVC also supplied and installed RGB lighting in the Lincoln room and the Lancaster ballroom.

“It has been a privilege to work on one of the most ambitious hotel restoration projects undertaken in the UK in recent times,” said Ray Harding, chairman of IVC Media. “One of the main challenges with the installation was ensuring that our technical equipment was installed essentially un-noticed within the rooms. The standard of décor within the hotel is second-to-none and it was important connecting cables and speakers were strategically and discreetly placed for optimum performance.”

After undergoing “the most ambitious hotel restoration project ever undertaken in London”, the Savoy is truly back as a statement of British heritage.