When it opened in 2004, the Blue Bar at The Berkeley quickly became one of the late David Collins’ most famous projects – its compact proportions and lovely Lutyens paneling gave it an easy intimacy by way of flattering lighting and low-slung furniture that encouraged huddled power-chats, or a satisfying round of pre-prandial gossip.
And now, Collins protégé Robert Angell has orchestrated a dramatic spruce up of the space whilst carefully staying true to the original mood and colour scheme.
The immediate impression is of an expanded room, this courtesy of a larger extension project spearheaded by Rogers Stirk Harbour Partnership which has inserted two carbon fibre pavilions – one of which is moulded onto The Blue Bar – into the front of the hotel to open up its façade.
Blue louvers provide a peekaboo privacy screen over the floor to ceiling glass walls, while Dernier & Hamlyn reproduced the original red silk lampshades and Cardinals Hat Lanterns. Collins’ familiar colour palette of blue, red, white and silver has been faithfully retained, with Angell designing a new blue-hued bar and new handmade furniture by Ben Whistler.
The cocktails menu is equally polychromatic as bar manager Rashid Ghuloom mixes golden champagne cocktails, blue, and green tipples.