MoreySmith Tailors a Sartorially-Minded Headquarters for British Menswear Brand Dunhill
For Dunhill, a British menswear and leather goods brand synonymous with the term English gentleman, MoreySmith has tailored a bespoke headquarters rife with sartorial details. The heritage brand founded in 1893 occupies the erstwhile St. Petersburg Hotel in Mayfair, London, a storied 1908 red-brick building that once served as a wartime officers’ hospital. Previously, Dunhill’s 170 staffers were spread across multiple levels of a building in neighboring Marylebone—and separated even further from their showroom, located 10 minutes away. Consolidating the business under a single roof therefore topped CEO Andrew Maag’s priorities.
The new 21,100-square-foot premises locates reception, showrooms, meeting and break-out rooms, a boardroom, and an outdoor terrace on the fourth floor, with the level below accommodating open-plan plug-and-play work areas, plus the creative studio where the designers hash out their plans for the upcoming season.
Local firm MoreySmith—which has transformed workplaces for such brands as Moët Hennessy, Sony, and ASOS—won Maag over with its proposed inventive structural tweaks. To wit: a statement staircase in black steel linking the two levels, a lightwell to increase access to natural light, and a bold extension that would create a new rooftop terrace, and, overlooking it, a spacious, light-filled boardroom.
Flexibility reigns throughout the design, with rotating racks on which to hang garments and mirrored partitions in the showrooms used to divide or visually extend the space. Hand-blown fluted pendants light meeting rooms. Low-slung blackened ash and leather lounge chairs form vignettes in reception. Maag and principal architect Linda Morey-Burrows visited showrooms together to select every furnishing. (“We fed off his passion and energy,” she dishes of her design-savvy client.)
Morey-Burrows took inspiration from the quality and masculinity of the brand, incorporating elements from its collections, such as saddlery stitching and brass hardware, in the design. Horsehair panels (used to structure the shoulders in Dunhill jackets) upholster a wall in reception while stitched leather wraps the reception desk and staircase handrail. Herringbone—that menswear classic—further threads Dunhill’s DNA throughout. Flooring is smoked oak in a chevron pattern; the same graphic details glass walls.
The palette was conceived with longevity in mind, Morey-Burrows continues. “We adopted high quality, durable materials that will remain pristine long into occupation.” (Or patinate with charm, as in the leather handrails and brass door pulls.) Either way, Dunhill’s headquarters is now an apt expression of the brand, from its aura of sober refinement to its commitment to British craftsmanship.
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