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Roman and Williams turn historic police station into NoMad London

NoMad London hotel by Roman and Williams
Roman and Williams turn historic police station into NoMad London

New York interior design firm Roman and Williams has combined decorative Victorian elements with references to New York’s jazz age in its ornate interior to the NoMad Hotel in London.


Located in the former Bow Street Magistrates Court and Covent Garden Police Station, the hotel is the first international outpost of the American hospitality chain NoMad.

NoMad London has 91 rooms (top and above)

Dating back to the late 19th century, the Class II listed building houses 91 hotel rooms, a glass-domed greenhouse restaurant, a classic British pub-style bar and a magnificent ballroom inside. the original court.

Roman and Williams aimed to enhance the complex’s Victorian features, while inserting new decorative accents reminiscent of 1920s New York.

Hotel room by Roman and Williams with fireplace and art on the wall
Each bedroom has a marble fireplace and gilded wardrobes

“The challenge of integrating a newly built addition with the building’s hereditary architecture was a space ripe for dichotomies,” said the firm, founded by husband-wife duo Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch in 2002.

“Old and new, hard and soft, New York and London – these principles abound and flourish throughout the building.”

Glass dining room with NoMad London
The building’s glass – roofed police station has been converted into a dining hall

Guests enter the hotel lobby through the original porte-cochere.

The reception is tucked to one side, with a paravent covered in a hand-embroidered version of Watts by Westminster’s archival pattern Pear, which took two months to produce.

Planting pot and green bench seats in hotel interior by Roman and Williams
A plant trough runs along the center of the room

The design team added a new main staircase lined with mahogany and framed by a theatrical proscenium arch, while the lobby chandelier was found in Connecticut, restored and shipped to the UK.

“This space is the hotel’s connection, both when it acts as the physical compass for guests and walkers as well as in its aesthetic intersection,” said the design team. “It embodies the dichotomy between old and new.”

Magistrates' ballroom at NoMad London with dining tables
The courtroom has been converted into a ballroom for private events

A steel catwalk hanging over the lobby leads guests to their bedrooms, while the former police station in addition to the reception, which is covered by a three-tiered glass dome, has been transformed into a dining area all day.

The space is filled with greenery from free-standing trees to climbing plants draped down pillars to create the impression of being in an Edwardian greenhouse.

Bench seats upholstered in green mohair guide the eye through the center of the dining area, and custom tiles developed by Bantam Tile Works cover the walls.

Ballroom interior by Roman and Williams with step-by-step chandeliers
The walls are covered with a mural by Claire Basler

The hotel’s fireplace lounge is located right next to the Atrium and offers a more intimate dining room, while the greenhouse continues with hand-painted botanical wallpaper framed with dark wood paneling.

In the library, which serves as the hotel’s living room, vintage velvet seats are surrounded by Sapele mill shelves. Burnt brass picture lamps illuminate oil paintings, paper ephemera and a collection of antique books.

The building’s original judge’s court has been rediscovered as a formal ballroom with double-height walls covered by a mural by French painter Claire Basler.

Huge chandeliers hang from the original ceiling, which was uncovered by the design team, while hand-blown sconces jump from the surface of the mural to create a dark, whimsical atmosphere.

Statue with still life in ballroom at NoMad London hotel
Lead-shaped spheres create atmospheric lighting

Meanwhile in the former police station, Roman and Williams have created the Side Hustle bar as a modern take on the British pub.

Its interior refers to the golden age of the locomotive journey with walls lined with embossed leather upholstery and turbine panels, while blown glass balls and linen-shaded sconces hang between leather and mahogany booths.

Wooden front bar with marble top at NoMad London hotel
The Side Hustle bar was designed to refer to the classic English pub

The NoMad Bar in the Atrium, on the other hand, has a bubbly, maximalist design that celebrates the decorative arts.

It combines Delft ceramics, Italian modernist lighting and furniture in the style of the aesthetic movement — an art movement from the late 1800s that fought for pure beauty and “art for art’s sake.”

A golden damask fabric by Rubelli covers each of the ebonized walls in mahogany, while hand-gilded, embossed leather by Atelier Premier fronts the bar.

Dining room by Roman and Williams with blue velvet wallpaper
The fireplace room is surrounded by hand-painted botanical wallpaper

Each of NoMad London’s rooms has a stone mosaic bathroom, marble vanities and custom Lelievre damask wallpaper.

The 20 suites are designed to look like well-appointed apartments with their own living and dining area as well as a claw-foot bath in the bedroom.

Dining room in NoMad London with blue silk wall coverings
Dark wood paneling completes the intimate dining room

NoMad, which is owned by the New York-based Sydell Group, also has an outpost in Las Vegas and one in Los Angeles, located in a former bank headquarters.

The chain’s original location, housed in a Beaux Arts building in New York’s NoMad neighborhood, announced its permanent closure earlier this year due to the pandemic.

Photography is by Simon Upton unless otherwise noted.

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