To mark the opening of its new hotel in London’s Mayfair district in the summer of 2023, the 1Hotels group called on Studio Patrick Nadeau to create a living chandelier in the building’s entrance hall.

1 Hotel Mayfair in London

“Rainforest” offers an immersive and fantastical entrance to the hotel, thanks to a 4-metre diameter plant and light dome, hand-covered with over 50,000 sprigs of tillandsia usneoides and lit with fibre optics. Passing under this rain of tillandsia, guests will experience a surreal atmosphere and a dreamlike rainforest feel right in the heart of London.

“The plants making up this dome, tillandsia usneoides, are epiphytic plants that grow without the need for soil and usually live clinging to trees in the tropical forests of Central America. They feed exclusively on air humidity and light, and turn from a silvery grey to a meadow green when wet”.

Patrick Nadeau, founder of the eponymous studio

Patrick Nadeau has a double qualification in architecture and design.

From 2000, following a residency at Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto, he followed his natural inclination for “the things of nature” and devised an approach to design that he describes as Plant Design. The projects he develops with his studio are inspired by his research into plants as a teacher-researcher at the Ecole Supérieure d’Art et de Design in Reims. Accompanied in this activity by Sara Lubtchansky, he combined botany, design and the human sciences, inviting the likes of Francis Hallé, Bruno Latour and Patrick Blanc to the school.

Many of his early projects – Rainforest, La Maison-vague and Nature individuelle, for example – are now iconic in plant-based design.

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