19th Nov 2019
Brunch goers and discerning drinkers already know the fantastic Cask cocktail bar on MacCurtain Street, while fine diners flock to the award-winning Greenes Restaurant, and now there’s another reason to visit the Hotel Isaacs complex, as they launch the first phase of newly-redesigned apartments.
Cork locals are well-acquainted with the many spoils of MacCurtain street. From The Everyman’s Victorian theatre to stopping off at The Fish Wife for lunchtime fish and chips, and cosy corners in Dan Lowrey’s Tavern, there’s plenty of well-known and worthy pit stops.
And right in its centre is the self-contained complex that includes award-winning venues Greenes Restaurant and Cask, as well as 11 new Scandi-style apartments, designed by Lucy Jones. We caught up with the architect and interior designer to find out more and why she chose to work with brands like HAY, Muuto, Normann Copenhagen and Mourne Textiles.
What was the brief from the client?
To optimise the layout of the existing apartments to create 6 well-laid out two and three bed units with cosy bedrooms, generous shower rooms and comfortable living rooms. To fit-out the apartments in a relaxed and contemporary style which would tie into the Isaacs brand and the singular context. There was particular focus on the need to create something a little bit special befitting the history of the building and its location in a pretty dynamic part of Cork.
Related: This Georgian house in Cobh, Co Cork will cost you €375,000
Where did you start with the design process?
It was a definite collaboration with the Isaacs team. The design process started with us reading up on designers, visiting design fairs, showrooms, other hotels and interior schemes. We then looked at what the rest of the hotel was doing and walked around the local neighbourhood to get an idea of how to tie our ideas into the context.
How did choose pieces for this project?
We used a combination of hard-working anchor pieces designed and commissioned for the project, and existing modern and mid-century-style centrepieces to give the space a bit of focus. All items are colourblocked using tones that we took from the context; marine blues, rusty boat reds, rainy day greys and West Cork pinks.
Where possible, we focused on using local Irish design and fabricators. To pick some of the items we travelled to the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy to visit a selection of furniture brands. This allowed us to see what styles are coming down the pipe line and helped us to select pieces with longevity.
Related: A Young Corconian’s Guide to 48 Hours In Cork City
What brands have you worked with?
We took a bit of a magpie approach and selected items we loved, and designed and made pieces that we couldn’t find! The base items are low-key. Wood floors are country oak from Irish supplier Wogans and the textured carpets are bespoke designed by ourselves and made in Italy by Radici. The mix of neutral and strong paint tones on the wall are from Farrow & Ball and Little Greene Paints.
The shower rooms tiles, which are laid in a gradient grey to blue pattern with a blue painted ceiling, are Ceramica Vogue from TileStyle in Dublin and Sanitaryware is from a mix of places and brands; the cool Laufen VAL sinks which are designed by Konstantin Grcic were supplied by our general contractor. While lights are mostly from Astro lighting and the hanging pendants are the classic E27 from Muuto, who are such a fun brand.
What about the joinery?
The chestnut headboards, pink/grey wardrobes, marine blue kitchens and soft blue and mid-grey storage units were designed by us and made by Seamus White from Clonakilty.
What Irish suppliers have you used?
Wogans, Seamus White and TileStyle, as I mentioned. Also, Britelux Lighting and Lightplan on lighting, Kaymed on beds and Mourne Textiles for throws and cushions.
What changes are you seeing in contemporary self-catering design?
We find that users more tuned into and interested in design. This change comes from the media, but also from the emergence of new design brands and shops, who want to bring great design to everyone. This gives guests more confidence when it comes to knowing what they like which I think pushes destinations to create something a bit special.
Find the apartments number 48 MacCurtain Street in Cork city centre, next door to sister venues, Greenes Restaurant and Cask. Book online at www.hotelisaacscork.com, email [email protected] or call (021) 450 0011. There is a minimum two night stay at weekends including Saturday.
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