Sheraton Heathrow

The faster our lives become, the more important it becomes to truly arrive at our destination. The demand for intense, authentic experiences grows as our lives are dominated by technology. It is our responsibility as interior designers to respond to this metamorphosis and create spaces that embrace the visitor and offer a sense of reason whilst the environment embodies warmth and belonging.

When developing the scheme for Starwood at The Sheraton Heathrow, it was important to understand and explore the space. Here you find guests who are more often than not in ‘transit’, ‘connecting’. These would prove to be critical elements to the philosophy of the design.

The guest here is usually a single night occupant, so we had to offer space, which felt comfortable and familiar whilst allowing areas of solitude and reflection. We were also conscious of the critical element of travel and varying time zones. This would lead us to develop spaces that would reflect these aspects within the creative design. The credibility and authenticity of these spaces would determine its success.

The elements are:

  • Transit
  • Connections
  • Comfort
  • Solitude
  • Reflection
  • Travel
  • Time
  • Flexibility

These were the key points in our design philosophy and process to create a rich and comfortable environment for the guest and the employees that would leave a lasting impression.

Hotels are spaces that reflect trends; these trends can lead on to shape our society. The hotel industry is defined by its diversity. Hotels must always be open to change in such a competitive market. The hotels character will be the decisive factors in securing and serving guests.

Our scope of design covered the following areas:

  • Entrance Lobby
  • Lobby Lounge
  • Reception
  • Grab n Go Deli
  • All Day Dining
  • Cocktail Bar
  • Travel Bar
  • Private Dining Room

Whilst developing the scheme we felt we needed to reflect the key elements within the design, we looked to develop a design that allowed us this concept. When looking at the overall space we wanted to define the different areas but still retain a connection between them. With this in mind we opted to use a screen system for zoning spaces rather than solid partitions. This would allow the spaces to be connected visually and offer flexibility within the design allowing areas to be zoned as and when they are needed. The choice of materials was also driven by our key elements, materials, which are reflective, comfortable and flexible, were chosen for embracing our vision.

Entrance Lobby

As you enter the hotel entrance lobby you are greeted by a wonderfully large piece of artwork. The piece reflects air travel routes from London Heathrow to destinations around the world. A fitting piece for the arrival at Sheraton Heathrow.

The warm, light stone flooring offers a pleasing composure to the strong and bold artwork your greeted by.

Lobby Lounge

Our concept for this area was based around travel, we wanted to create an environment based around travel. We also wanted to create an environment where the visitor could find time to relax and seek to indulge in a book from the collection of literature focused on travel. This area would be a den like space, which with the effective use of lighting, would provide a space that would feel cosy and warm, as if you were in your own home. We also incorporated some new technology within this space as we recognize that as important as books are in our lives the development of the internet had to be incorporated within this space also, hence you will also find smart TV’s built into the shelves in addition to the ‘Link’.


The reception requirements were very clear. This was an area that would get very congested due to the guests arriving en mass. Therefore we developed the space offering flexibility. By staggering the reception pods we increased the number of desks and have incorporated the latest in front of house technology by introducing the first ‘check in ‘ kiosks outside of the USA. The design features here take inspiration from airplane wings. We decided that rather than just a simple boxing around the structural elements for instance we would refine them and give them a streamline effect also giving the illusion of slenderness. The other noticeable design element is the reception pods themselves; here we used reflective materials to give the illusion that they were floating above the floor. The overall feel is one of freshness and efficiency something any traveller will appreciate during their transit.

Grab n Go

This was another area of great significance for the hotel and Starwood. This would be the first branded ‘Link Café’ outside of the USA. An outlet that would offer the visitor an alternative to the All Day Dining experience. Here we wanted to retain the connection with the existing branding for ‘Link’ but also incorporate it into our scheme and key elements. With this in mind we developed some design features, which allows the detailing from the counter, in the form of the linear strips to ‘travel’ up the walls and onto the ceiling taking on the form of significant flight routes. The other element is ‘time’. The Link café offers the visitor flexibility by opting for a pre prepared meal that they can take on their travels or eat in comfort.

All Day Dining ‘Tanner’ or ‘Fornax’

All Day Dining is an integral part of the functioning of the hotel. The space requires the flexibility to function for three key sittings; breakfast, lunch and dinner. With this as our focus we decided that we needed to firstly zone areas allow the large space to work efficiently whether one or one hundred were seated. The area is zoned using screening and the seating arrangements. Here you will find seating we have selected for not only its comfort but the wing type design of the chair, you will see how we have used dark interconnecting screens in the ceiling defining areas, you’ll see our ‘Globe’ chandelier suspended through the screens. Our beautiful timber screens allow glimpses through to the restaurant and other parts of the hotel offering a sense of intrigue and mystery as you make your journey through the space. One other feature you will find is the design to display the ‘Wines of the World’. A display conceived from our interpretation of connections as with the ceiling screens. Even our feature table at the entrance is inspired by aviation design. The engine of an aircraft heavily inspires the base.

Cocktail Bar      ‘The Aviator Bar’

With the cocktail bar we wanted to offer a space of solitude and comfort, the dark colours and central fireplace invite the guest to sit and relax regardless of their time zone. Here you will find an intimate space in which you can relax anytime of day or night. The ambience is such that the guest feels they can enjoy a drink and climatise to their current environment during their transit. The partitioning of this space again uses our timber screen detail though here we have been inspired to design it with the concept of aircraft taking off and landing. So here you will see the base detail rising and lowering to reflect this. In terms of function the Cocktail Bar was designed as a serviced space allowing the guest to relax and have their drinks delivered to them. The bar is disguised behind a glass and metal screen that again is designed around the concept of travel routes and interconnections. With the richness of the colours and materials it is complimented with artwork based around aviation in the form of black and white prints to embellish the sense of the space.

Travel Bar        ‘Reclaim Bar’

This is our ‘themed’ bar. In this space we wanted to create a space inspired by travelling. The key feature of this area is the bar itself. Here we have used old trunks and suitcases to form parts of the bar, thus making it a literal connection as well as a fun and functional piece. The furniture has also been selected and designed around travel; here we have used fabrics specially selected for the design, which incorporates ‘postcard’ fabric. ThisA fabric, which is decorated with feint vintage postcard text of by-gone travellers. We have also included a wall mural that depicts an art deco map of the world. We think this will provide a relaxed and comfortable space to meet fellow guests or friends for a drink or snack.

Private Room     The Volutas Room from the Latin flight

The Private Room is designed to accommodate private parties, whether breakfast, lunch or dinner. Design elements within this space were picked up in the detailing of the partitions. By picking up the adjacent windows we developed a glazed screen, which includes a fine wire mesh interconnected forming a beautiful silhouette on the floor. This can then be related back to our key elements of ‘connections’ and ‘reflections’. The space itself lends itself to be very flexible and is decorated in a soft warm colour with artwork on either side. We have also allowed for drapes to adorn the three glazed apertures looking out to the front courtyard of the hotel.

All Day Dining Naming

“”When I break your staff ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and shall deliver your bread again by weight; and you shall eat, and not be satsified.” —Lev. 26:26. This type of oven may have been a small earthenware cylindar called TANNUR in the Bible as it is by present-day rural north Africans who still use it. 

About ancient Roman ovens: “Many kitchens had an oven, furnus, sometimes called a FORNAX.