Holloway Li were invited by Locke Hotels to design an urban retreat, inspired by Californian cultural themes – their brief was influenced by trip to the Mojave, and a stay at Joshua Tree.
The task was to create something unique on the London hotel scene that didn’t have to reference the vernacular tropes of London heritage – rather they wanted the venue to have an unconventional visual character that appealed to their young country-hopping demographic. The host building – the concrete shell of a half-built office block, gave us the perfect raw blank canvas for this approach.
We used a neutral palette in the common spaces that recalled the Mojave, using the rough finishes untreated steel, concrete, and clay to recall the hue and tonality of the desert.
The stylish adhoc qualities of the cabin structures in Joshua Tree inspired our design approach – we developed ideas of how we could re-purpose basic construction materials, processes, and waste in unexpected ways to create bespoke insertions and furniture pieces.
The dismantling and re-use of building components was commonplace in Europe until the 20th century. Owners who wanted to get rid of a building would hold public auctions for specific components. The innovative reuse of materials in this project highlights how a circular material economy can generate a unique aesthetic as well as offer possibilities for making the building process more sustainable. We carried this principle into our design approach.

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