London-based interior architecture and design studio, Lawson Robb, works for the world’s notable families on private residential commissions, for international hotels and for select development firms. The majority of their work is international with a fine collection of private projects in the UAE coming to fruition this year.
Alix Lawson, co-founder says, “Our international team is nuanced in global cultures. Together we speak 21 languages and work in prime London, the Middle East, Malaysia and US territories. Our focus is to deliver a couture experience that is forward-thinking in design and with meticulous delivery.”
The key projects in Lawson Robb’s UAE pipeline are a private commission in Dubai, three beach houses in Bahrain and a project in Abu Dhabi.
The 30,000 sq foot commission in Dubai Emirates Hills has been a fascinating project for Lawson Robb to work on. Charlotte Robb, co-founder says, “Due to the size of the project, our designers have enjoyed creating bespoke designs on such a scale. This has been a fascinating experience for Lawson Robb as we have been given such a large canvas to work on.”
The entrance of this 30,000 sq foot home in the Dubai Emirates Hills is lit with a Baccarat chandelier that reflects light onto the brass railings of this grand entrance hall and stairwell. Lawson Robb multiplies the light released into the entrance through recessed lighting. The combination of innovative lighting with a more traditional use of gold often seen in interiors in the Emirates Hills illustrates Lawson Robb’s eye for coalescing different design styles to ensure every project is bespoke.
Lawson Robb have dedicated much time to tranquility within this home, combining the studios couture tastes with the desires of their UAE clients. In one of the master bathrooms, the layered bath is set to become an iconic feature within the homes of the world’s wealthiest. The bath is raised up on a platform of white Arabescato marble with grey veining that has been sourced to match the elaborate details within the interior of this decadent home. Delicate gold lanterns frame the bath, which reflect and shimmer light off the highly polished marble surfaces. The various patterns and textures that Lawson Robb have combined within this bathroom provide a sense of motion and tranquility, as the soft curves of the bath flow against the more formulaic veining of the dark travertine.
A major current UK project on which Lawson Robb have been commissioned is a pub to ‘palace’ conversion for GrandLane Developments, creating a 5,000 sq ft home in Knightsbridge. Fresh design features are based on asymmetry, the shape of refracted gemstones, fine blend of textures and patterns as well as innovative designs such as a curved bar.
The cinema room contains many of these features, with a focus on a playful and glamorous aesthetic. The bar is curved against the wall, metalicised with antique mirror backing and backlit to provide an ombré effect, flanked by propeller-style wall lights. The walls and ceiling are in olive brown suede, providing sound resistance and sensual comfort. The carpet is bespoke, inspired by a gemstone pattern, while the chairs are suede-backed with leather upholstery in a turquoise mint tone to compliment the carpet.
A key feature of Lawson Robb’s projects has been spa and bathroom design, and this continues to be a popular request among clients. Lawson Robb are designing bathrooms more and more as extensions of the bedroom, through the use of vanity units designed as pieces of cabinetry or chests and using lighting which is found more often in bedrooms or salon areas. Colours in the bathroom reference the adjacent bedroom space creating union and oneness.
Alix Lawson says, “Whether in London or abroad, clients increasingly want to bring the outdoors in. The sense of freedom and unspoilt ambience is being recreated outside and in. It nurtures relaxation and rejuvenation by the feeling of being close to nature.” In smaller bathrooms where space can be limited, this is particularly useful. Lawson Robb are also finding that there is a movement away from simple, minimalist spa like bathrooms with a more maximalist approach by way of vibrant wallpapers, an abundance of artwork and richly veined marbles further increases the sense of rich luxury.
Lawson Robb are looking forward to other projects this year, working on a project in St James’s whose exterior is modeled on the façade of 10 Downing Street, creating a dramatic entrance for their interior designs, as well as a project on Viajes, an island neighboring Puerto Rico, where they have been appointed on the interior refurbishment of El Blok Hotel, voted one of Conde Nast Travellers’ best.