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BRITISH AIRWAYS GALLERIES IS THE

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    Anthony James aircraft interiors international




                                                                                                  F
                                                                                                                   requent business and premium travellers –
                                                                                                                   those most profitable of passengers – are a
                                                                                                                   knowledgeable bunch. The internet and their
                                                                                                                   own colleagues keep them abreast of the
                                                                                                                   latest airline deals, as well as which carriers
                                                                                                                   have the best seats, and now more than ever,
                                                                                                                   the best lounges on particular routes. The
                                                                                                                   frequent traveller spends a lot of time in
                                                                                                  transit through the year, so it makes sense to spend that time
                                                                                                  in as relaxing or rewarding an environment as possible. Hence
                                                                                                  the current wave of investment in stunning new lounges,
                                                                                                  particularly at the biggest and busiest airports.
                                                                                                      And when it comes to big and busy, there’s nowhere quite
                                                                                                  like London Heathrow. A sporadic collection of differing
                                                                                                  terminals built at different times spread over a vast area, the
                                                                                                  airport has never felt particularly welcoming, cohesive or well
                                                                                                  thought out – but British Airways hopes to change all that
                                                                                                  when it’s shiny, new Terminal 5, designed by none other than
                                                                                                  Sir Richard Rogers, opens at the end of March. On




                                                     British airways galleries is the name of the lavish new CluB,
                                                     first and ConCorde lounge faCilities at heathrow terminal 5




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                                                                                         a recent press tour, the facility certainly seemed                       1.   E
                                                                                                                                                                        ngravedglass
                                                                                                                                                                       screenshelpto
                                                                                         impressive in design, scale and rationale – the airline and                   breakthelounges
                                                 2                                       airport operator have worked hard to ensure the smoothest and                 intomoreintimate
                                                                                                                                                                       spaces
                                                                                         most efficient flow of passengers and baggage, using the latest          2.   ClubLoungedining
                                                                                         electronic check-in, baggage transfer and security technology.                area
                                                                                         In fact, the airline is making some startling promises – it claims       3.    sbourneandLittle
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                                                                                                                                                                       wallpapersand
                                                                                         it should take passengers no more than 15 minutes upon                        fabricsprovidean

                                                     BRITISH AIRWAYS AIMS TO CREATE      entering the terminal to clear security; and no passenger should
                                                                                                                                                                  4.
                                                                                                                                                                       airofBritishchic
                                                                                                                                                                        lubLoungeSilver
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                                                                                         encounter a queue of more than one person when checking in
                                                     THE PERFECT FIRST IMPRESSION FOR    or dropping off their bags.
                                                                                                                                                                       bar


                                                     CUSTOMERS ARRIVING IN THE COUNTRY        “British Airways will be the exclusive sole occupant of
                                                                                         Terminal 5 and aims to create the perfect first impression of the
                                                                                         UK for customers arriving in the country,” says a British
                                                                                         Airways spokesperson. Customers will flow through the airport
                                                                                         in a logical, linear manner. The majority (around 80%) will
                                                                                3        have checked in online or at one of the 96 check-in kiosks
                                                                                         within the departures hall. Travellers will be able to drop their
                                                                                         bags at one of over 100 desks before moving through security.
                                                                                         As as result of the scale of the terminal and the use of
                                                                                         technology, British Airways insists the vast majority of people
                                                                                         won’t encounter any queues at check-in.
                                                                                              First, Club World, Club Europe, Gold and Silver Executive
                                                                                         Club members have their own dedicated check-in area at the
                                                                                         far end of the terminal. They will also be able to take advantage
                                                                                         of no less than six lounges, as well as a range of shops
                                                                                         and restaurants airside, including a number of luxury retail
                                                                                         outlets and upmarket eateries – Gordon Ramsay, Caviar House,
                                                                                         Harrods, Paul Smith, Tiffany, Mulberry and Smythson are just
                                                                                         some of the names on display.
                                                                                4
                                                                                         Six of the best The luxury, bespoke feel of such brands has
                                                                                         been carried into the six exclusive lounges, known as the
                                                                                         ‘Galleries’, which together can accommodate up to 2,500 guests
                                                                                         – a 25% increase in comparison to the carrier’s current Terminal
                                                                                         1 and Terminal 4 lounges. There will also be a 100% increase in
                                                                                         the number of showers and bathrooms, a 60% increase in
                                                                                         the washrooms and 25% more customer service desks.
                                                                                              The lounges ooze understated opulence, akin to the lobby
                                                                                         of a boutique hotel, with crystal chandeliers, fabrics by




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                                                                                                                                                                                                              EVERYTHING HAS TO BE ENHANCED AND
                                                                                                                                                                                                              MADE MORE SOPHISTICATED FOR AN
                                                                                                                                                                                                              INCREASINGLY SOPHISTICATED AUDIENCE
                                                                                                                                                                                7.   TheGallariesFirst         The six lounges take up a whopping combined footprint
                                                                                                                                                                                     Loungefeaturethe
                                                                                                                                                                                     GoldBar,finishedin   of 20,0002 – Davies and Baron has to work hard to prevent
                                                                                                                                                                                     goldleafandlitby    the spaces from feeling too vast and intimidating. “We’ve
                                                                                         5                                                                                           aSwarovskicrystal
                                                                                                                                                                                                              commissioned stunning chandeliers and created dramatic
                                                                                                                                                                                     chandelier
                                                                                                                                                                                8.   Detailfrom‘Oak        glass and steel screens, which create a rhythm around the spaces
                                                                                                                                                                                     Seasons’,2008,        and help create ‘rooms’ within the lounges – for more intimate
                                                                                                                                                                                     fromtheEtchSeries
       Osborne and Little, witty art installations and mood lighting       WE WERE THINKING MORE IN TERMS OF                                                                         byChristopher          and private spaces. Research said this was what our guests
       combining to envelope the passengers in an air of sophisticated                                                                                                               Pearson                  were looking for. The whole look was about creating luxurious,
       elegance. Crafted, engraved screens divide the lounges into         TOP END LUXURY HOTEL DESIGN AND                                                                                                    relaxing, residential style spaces that are very comfortable to
       sections, and customers can choose from a selection of bars         PRIVATE MEMBERS’ CLUBS                                                                                                             spend time in. Alongside this we’ve also created dramatic bars,
       and restaurants, which serve fresh food prepared in view                                                                                                                                               wine bars and focal points that have real wow factors to them          Of course, the brief also included more practical concerns:
       of the traveller. Work and entertainment zones will                 gauzes that subtly catch the light, provide further interest.                                                                      and are visually memorable and exciting. Our aim has been to       “Ultimately, these lounges are designed to be ergonomically
                                                                                                                                                 5.   TheConcordeRoom
       allow customers to surf the web, check their emails and             From the beginning, Davies and his team were determined to                 canaccomodateup                                      create an ambience that feels like the ultimate private members’   functional and comfortable, durable and easy to maintain –
       view entertainment.                                                 get away from the monotonous ‘beige’ design of the                         to156oftheairlines
                                                                                                                                                                                                              club that guests would really look forward to visiting.”           these are 24/7, 365 days-a-year active environments that have
                                                                                                                                                      first-classcustomers
            The lounges on offer include The Concorde Room, The            ubiquitous airline lounge. “We were thinking more in terms of              andinvitedguests                                          Overall, Davies believes today’s premium passengers expect     to stay looking great year after year,” says Davies.
       Galleries First Lounge, three Galleries Club Lounges, Elemis        top end luxury hotel design and private members’ clubs,               6.   TheConcorde
                                                                                                                                                                                                              the extra effort British Airways has put into the experiences on   British Airways is confident both it’s new lounges and new
                                                                           rather than ‘lounges’,” he says. “And of course our input as               Room’srestaurant
       Travel Spas in the Club Galleries and Arrivals lounges, and                                                                                    offersaselectionof                                  offer at the Galleries. “What we have to do in lounges now is      terminal will give it the upper hand in the battle to attract
       the Galleries Arrivals Lounge.                                      designers was about re-inventing the way British Airways                   freshlypreparedmeals                                 seriously raise our gaze – everything has to be enhanced and       premium fare-paying passengers. “We are giving customers
            The Concorde Room, for first-class customers only, boasts      presented – cocktail bars, wine bars, dining lounges, work and             throughouttheday
                                                                                                                                                                                                              made more sophisticated for an increasingly sophisticated          back their time to spend as they choose. They will move
       a Concorde bar and restaurant. The Galleries First Lounge (for      play spaces, spas and relaxation areas – within their lounges;                                                                     audience,” he says. “From a design point of view, this means       swiftly through the departures area, giving them the luxury
       first-class and Gold Executive Club members) features a             all the subjects you’d include in a major new resort or                                                                            working hard to create original and creative design ideas          to do as they like once they are ‘airside’, be that relaxing,
       champagne bar and a ‘Gold’ bar, while the Galleries Club            hotel development.”                                                                                                                that will inspire, surprise and delight. This means also           eating, shopping or working, all within a state-of-the-art
       Lounges (for Club World, Club Europe and Gold and Silver                The careful selection of furniture, fixtures and lighting has                                                                  specifying quality materials – real stone, timber and porcelain    environment.” END
       members) feature ‘Silver’ bars. All the bars are well stocked and   created a bespoke and tailored atmosphere. Davies worked                                                                           surfaces, for example, and investigating recycled and recyclable
       fully serviced, with regular wine tastings available.               with Osborne & Little to develop a range of exclusive patterns                                                                     materials. Our aim has been to create new creative textures and       Contact David Davies, interior design director, Davies & Baron,

            Those in need of some pampering can head for the Elemis        and graphic designs for the lounges’ screens, wall treatments                                                                      forms that people won’t have necessarily seen before.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Email: david@daviesandbaron.com; Laura Culpan, curator,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Artwise Curators, Email: laura@artwisecurators.com
       Travel Spa, while the large Galleries Club Lounge even includes     and exclusive fabrics. “We also selected a large palette of fabrics
       a cinema for the showing of large televised events.                 from the Osborne and Little collections,” he says. Meanwhile,
                                                                           furniture and fabrics were selected from Donghia,
       Curated spaces David Davies, interior design director of            specifically for the Concorde Room.
       Davies and Baron, the concept designer for the Galleries,                                                                                                                                                          Artistic licence
       says the lounges were based around the idea of                                                                                                                6                                                    In celebration of it’s move into T5, British Airways commissioned six art works via contemporary art curator
       curated spaces. “Taking the very best of British design,                                                                                                                                                           Artwise to add an extra dimension to the Galleries. British Airways has worked with Artwise to buy art for the
       style and art from the past and present, our aim has                                                                                                                                                               last 11 years and the carrier’s collection now numbers more than 1,500 pieces, including works by prominent
       been to create a series of carefully curated rooms                                                                                                                                                                 British artists such as Chris Ofili, Peter Doig, Anish Kapoor, Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst.
       within the new lounge spaces at T5,” he says. “Using
       dramatic transparent steel and glass screens, we have                                                                                                                                                              The works on display at the Galleries include three installations from Christopher Pearson: three pairs of glass
       introduced a rhythm and interior architecture to the spaces,                                                                                                                                                       screens (featuring a delicate 3D etching of a British oak tree) in the first-class lounge; an animated crest above
       which create more discreet rooms for guests to relax in,”                                                                                                                                                          the fireplace in the Club World lounge that periodically comes alive via 3D animation; and animated wallpaper,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          inspired by the famous Willow Boughs design. Troika has contributed two works: a world clock featuring a
       he continues.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          glass screen that delivers messages to customers entering the lounge, using the latest electroluminescent
           The screens carry specially commissioned art by leading                                                                                                                                                        technology; and a cloud sculpture that sits at the top of the escalator into the lounge (see page 28). The
       contemporary British artists, while original damask and                                                                                                                                                            Galleries also feature a kid zone, developed by El Ultimo Grizo, a company specialising in innovative play areas
       fretwork patterns using British themes and silver and bronze                                                                                                                                                       for children; and further glass screens with etched trees by Oona Culley.private viewing




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