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Interior Design


Nulty designs a layered lighting scheme for

The Amano Group’s first international hotel.

International lighting design practice Nulty has completed a lighting scheme for

Hotel AMANO Covent Garden,

the Berlin-based brand’s first lifestyle hotel in the UK.

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Transformed from a 1980s office into a contemporary boutique hotel by global architecture and design studio Woods Bagot, the hotel blends the brand’s self-assured aesthetic with its signature laid back vibe. The edgy and alluring design narrative features a bold palette of dark tones and tactile materials, so the lighting was layered in each space to highlight the materiality and add moments of warmth.

The drama begins in the reception area where a bespoke light installation by Woods Bagot evokes a sense of theatre entirely in keeping with the hotel’s Drury Lane location. The piece flows confidently through the space and forms a shimmering play of light on the mirrored ceiling above. Light levels were balanced around the installation to provide a subtle layer of ambient illumination, which doesn’t detract from the elegance of the composition. Soft cove lighting helps to soften a scheme dominated by matte grey walls and floors and discreet downlights provide functional illumination above the reception desk. At a lower level, domestic-style floor and table lamps add contrast and bring a human-scale quality to the lighting aesthetic.


To the right of the reception desk, the bespoke light installation winds down the stairs and disappears out of sight, a playful touch that adds mystery and invites guests to explore their surroundings. A graze of light follows the textured feature wall down the spiral staircase, accentuating the metallic metalwork inlay while pulling guests through to the downstairs bar.

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At first glance, the lighting in the basement-level bar feels pared back, but once guests have made themselves at home in the space, layers of light consciously draw the eye to what calls to be seen. Integrated joinery lighting accentuates the bar and a graze of light beneath the countertop frames the marble inlay and picks out the rich veining of the stone. Narrow beam downlights placed across the ceiling produce a rhythmic play of light and shadow, directing light onto each table to form small pockets of seclusion. The effect also helps to enliven the ambience as light picks out the brass of the decorative table lamps and gives each luminaire a hint of sparkle. The layering continues at the midpoint of the room where a continuous line of diffuse lighting beneath the dark wood panelling wall adds a run of warmth.

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Upstairs in the rooftop bar, the lighting is minimal around the perimeter of the room to preserve the arial views of the city and reduce reflections in the glazing. Instead, the team directed light into the centre of the space and positioned lighting interventions below the eyeline to keep the sightlines clear. Indirect lighting in the form of graze lighting below the bar counter and uplights behind banquette seating soften the ambience, and battery-powered table lamps emit a cocooning halo of light in the casual seating areas.


The 141 guestrooms feature a delicately balanced lighting scheme that lends warmth and depth to the minimalist design language. Integrated downlights provide a gentle layer of ambient illumination, while lines of light behind the headboards create an ethereal glow. In the bathrooms, decorative wall sconces frame the face and provide a flattering quality of light.

Photographer credit: John Athimaritis

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