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On a Pedestal

Amanda Millin

The London-based artist Antony Gormley—known for his Angel of the North sculpture in Gateshead, England—has made a unique foray into architectural design. His newest piece, a giant crouching man made of welded stainless steel, was commissioned by Mayfair’s newest luxury hotel, the Beaumont, which is scheduled to open in September. The figure sits on the hotel’s southwest corner, adding unexpected contemporary flair to the 88-year-old neo-Georgian exterior. More surprising is the 323-square-foot suite, simply called Room, housed inside the Lego-like structure. The entrance to the minimalistic space unconventionally opens onto a marble bathroom that leads to a sparse bedroom and sitting area with fumed German oak, original Gormley drawings, and 33-foot ceilings. Intending to create a relaxing yet psychologically stimulating reprieve from the modern world, Gormley outfitted the suite with only a small rectangular window at the base of the statue, which is covered at night with heavy wooden shutters that deliver enveloping darkness and privacy. Soft lighting throughout includes barely discernible illumination in the corners of the vast ceiling. Starting at $4,254 a night, the Beaumont’s Room might serve as a complementary experience for the art-minded guest attending the city’s London Festival of Architecture, which takes place every June, or the nearby Frieze art fair, which takes place annually in October. In addition to Room, the Beaumont will offer 73 guest rooms and 22 suites (starting at about $673 per night) and amenities that include a gymnasium, a private dining room, and a spa with a hammam. (www.thebeaumont.com)

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