Designer Jacques Garcia—of Paris’s Hôtel Costes fame—grants AD an exclusive first look at the Holborn property
Opening to the public in May, L’oscar, the latest hotel project of French interior designer Jacques Garcia, gives a first look to AD. Well known for his interiors of the Hôtel Costes in Paris, La Mamounia in Marrakesh, Morocco, and the Hotel Danieli in Venice, Garcia is now putting the finishing touches on L’oscar, a new 5-star, 39–guest room hotel in the heart of London.
The name pays tribute to both the Irish writer Oscar Wilde and to the glamor of the American Oscar awards ceremony. The new hotel is located in a former Bloomsbury church, in Holborn, a district in the West End of London. The heritage building dates from the early 20th century and retains some of its original tiling, flooring, and ornately decorated ceilings. Originally conceived as the Baptist Church headquarters in the U.K., it fell into dereliction and remained empty for ten years. Looking for a hotel property, Garcia and the present owner discovered the abandoned building while walking around London. It was love at first sight, and they began working on the refurbishment approximately six years ago.
One of the standout spaces is the Baptist Grill, now a restaurant, located in the original octagonal 1903 chapel, topped with a glass dome. The ceiling is hand painted and surrounded by eight stucco low-relief sculptures and plaster and stenciled wall treatments. The Committee Room, an intimate event space, has a spectacular original stucco ceiling highlighted with a stunning blue selected by Garcia. It took 20 men four months to perfect the motifs of grapes and grapevines intricately gracing the ceiling.
Additional design elements of note include an embroidered peacock-motif fabric used as wall panels and designed by Garcia. And there are the recurring motifs of birds and butterflies, in glass, found in the bathrooms as well as in overhead light fixtures. (All custom fixtures were produced after drawings by the designer.)
Each of the 39 guest rooms is unique in design, with a luxurious turn-of-the-century feel. They’re richly decorated with silk, velvet, and damasks in reds and gold tones, and the peacock motif is found again as headboards. The original building was five stories high, and the new hotel added two. Private fireplaces are located in every guest room on the original five floors.
One of the mottos of L’oscar is a quote from Oscar Wilde: “Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” Take this as an invitation to come and revel in the hotel’s sumptuous interiors and exceptional hospitality. loscar.com
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