Design Centre Chelsea Harbour Press Release
For the best in design and decoration, look no further than Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour.
A commitment to design excellence has put it firmly on the map. More than a design resource, it is a thriving platform, both creatively and commercially, for an exceptionally dynamic industry. It is the largest of its kind in Europe and well-established as a premier design destination. Nowhere else will you find such a high concentration of design’s biggest names shaping interiors today – all at one address.
The Design Centre has long been a catalyst of creative connections, but an exciting new chapter is unfolding. With strategic expansion on the horizon and more high profile events and international names moving in, the sense of community (already one of its greatest strengths) is set to get stronger.
The Design Centre is the first port of call for professional interior designers, architects, specifiers and design enthusiasts. Dedicated to inspire, inform and deliver the best in design, it is the perfect place to discover world-class talent, connect with established makers, emerging innovators and luxury brands, as well as get the inside track at events such as Focus, London Design Week and WOW!house.
In fact, it is a measure of the Design Centre’s influence that people fly in from all over the world to see what is on the style radar. It is an astonishing treasure trove of fabrics, furniture, lighting, wallcoverings, accessories, kitchens, bathrooms, outdoor living, trimmings, leather, hardware, tiles and carpets of the highest calibre. On every floor, there are peerless products of originality and invention conjured up by great British brands as well as star names from further afield. All are celebrated for their quality, creativity, skilled craftsmanship and technical ability. Details like impeccable materials and finishes are at their best close up, and in an increasingly fast-paced world, visitors can experience exceptional products in person as well as seek out expertise in the showrooms. Bespoke products are another forte – with countless companies creating tailor-made pieces. In short, what is on offer is ‘couture for the home’.
As beautiful as the designs within it, it is no coincidence that every aspect of the Design Centre has been conceived to create the ultimate environment. It is at the epicentre of a larger 697,000 sq. ft. development. Fronting the famous river Thames, this includes a marina for 80 luxury yachts, as well as a 5-star hotel, private residences and commercial offices. The transformation of the Design Centre itself began in 2005 with the introduction of sleek glass balustrades and contemporary showroom frontage, delivering cohesion throughout. Black olive trees were brought in as the finishing touches to a £6m total refurbishment scheme, bringing natural life into the iconic domes. To meet growing demand, further strategic expansion saw the creation of more showroom space in Design Centre East and Design Centre North. The Design Avenue, a magnificent four-storey atrium linking Design Centre East with the domes, provided a stunning location for a continuous roster of exhibitions and events.
130+ international showrooms and more than 600 international brands cater not only for those who have a passion for their own projects, but for professional designers and architects who are working on the interiors of world-famous hotels, bars, restaurants and boutiques. What you see in the showrooms is just the starting point. Products that have been sourced at the Design Centre include lighting for Claridge’s; leathers for the Aqua Shard and for the Hilton hotel in Dubai, rugs for the Four Seasons presidential suites; handmade wallpapers for the Shangri-La in Paris and for The Jefferson in Washington DC; silks for Cliveden hotel and hand-blocked fabric for Ham Yard Hotel; custom carpets for ‘Ace’, a 87m superyacht and a bespoke champagne bar for the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge. No wonder it is a magnet for international visitors including fashion designers, stars of stage and screen, royalty, financiers and high-net worth individuals.
A year-round roster of events that engage and inspire is an essential ingredient of the experience. Every year Focus and London Design Week are a must on the international design calendar, while other events are more tightly focused to closely mirror specialist needs. WOW!house, the biggest project to date, launched in 2022 to universal acclaim. Far more than a showcase of individual design talent and the latest products and trends, it cemented the Design Centre’s role at the heart of the industry. An extraordinary 500 sq m showhouse, built within the Design Avenue, offered 18 full-size rooms for visitors to explore, enjoy and be amazed by. Now an annual event, each year sees a new collective of international designers and world-class brands given carte blanche to interpret a room. It is a unique opportunity to see in person what is normally out of reach – the work of masters in their field.
Conversations in Design, the acclaimed talks programme, has gained much momentum in recent years with renowned names from the international stage eager to share their design experience and know-how. An impressive line-up of A-listers has included Patricia Urquiola, Rosita Missoni, Kit Kemp, David Mlinaric, Ilse Crawford, Laura Gonazalez, Patrizia Moroso, David Rockwell, Martin Brudnizki and India Mahdavi, to name but a few. Grow Your Business sessions offer thoughtful debates and in-depth analysis with business leaders to keep people competitive and connected.
Sharing ideas and generating a deeper understanding of design are integral to the Design Centre’s offering: from the Access All Areas events in the showrooms to regular discovery tours that delve deeper into the most talked about products. This fusion of design encounters offers a dynamic collective unseen anywhere else.
Europe’s premier design centre supports a broad spectrum of creative disciplines across the design agenda. Artefact, the contemporary craft fair, brings the highly collectible to an international audience sourcing for residential and commercial projects, as well as curators and collectors seeking highly individual pieces for museums, institutions and private collection. The Design Centre has also given greater focus to Future Heritage, the forward-looking showcase of craftmakers and next-generation talent. Previous exhibitions have also included ‘Marilyn Monroe: Legacy of a Legend’ which showed never-seen-before personal treasures and original costumes and Lighting by Design. Coinciding with nationwide campaigns, the Design Centre has supported Wool Week (a coalition of industry groups convened by HRH King Charles to educate consumers about the premium quality of wool) since the start while ‘Asian Art’ was a multi-dimensional exhibition that celebrated the influence, culture and creativity of Asia.
Bringing the design community together, the annual Twinkle of Christmas is a much-anticipated evening when the domes are illuminated with thousands of festive lights. Adding to the offering, the Twinkle of Christmas Fair sees an abundance of luxury lifestyle brands selling tempting wares in the Design Avenue.
Keen to foster creativity and push artistic boundaries, new pop-ups and installations are commissioned on a regular basis to work in harmony with the Design Centre’s famous architecture. They have included a floral sky of 6,500 blooms by floral artist Rebecca Louise Law. (She has collaborated with fashion brands such as Hermès and Salvatore Ferragamo) and a lighting tunnel created by international artist and designer Moritz Waldemeyer. Fashion illustrator Megan Hess, who is known for her work with luxury brands such as Chanel, Dior and Rolex, was asked to depict the glamorous world of Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour in her signature style.
Third party luxury brand partnerships build on core values of quality and choice. From global launches, photographic exhibitions, creative showcases to pop-up tasting bars and seated dinners, these collaborations encourage exchange of ideas and social interaction. A measure of how highly Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is regarded is the number of luxury brands that want to partner with it. Land Rover, for example, chose it for the launch of the Range Rover Evoque to their global dealer network.
There are few things more hotly anticipated in the design world than the latest design directions and the launch of new collections. Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour not only has its pulse firmly on global trends, but it is setting them. With access to the latest new directions, the design curious can get the inside track on the pieces and people making waves via The Journal, a bi-annual glossy magazine, dedicated newsletters and trend reports, as well as online via the website, social media and a design blog that reaches out to an expanding digital audience. With breaking news as well as interviews with the people who make great design happen, it offers unprecedented authoritative access.
What began over thirty years ago as a spectacular building near the River Thames, has grown into much, much more. Today, visitors to Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour are encouraged to shop and spend time on every floor. As well as visiting the showrooms, they can refuel at the Design or Dome Cafés by Social Pantry. A commitment to environmental and social sustainability means every dish has a story behind it.
The Design Club, the private members’ club for like-minded people in the design and creative industries, is hard to beat. The sleek interior by award-winning designer Rabih Hage is a stylish base to work, meet or entertain.
From greeting you at the door to the friendly concierge desk, the on-site team is on hand to help visitors navigate what is on offer. High-definition screens keep everyone informed about the latest news and activities.
Critical mass is hugely powerful and, by extending the design offering, a world of new possibilities is opening up with even more opportunities for visitors to connect with design connoisseurs, attend events and engage with experts in their fields.
Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is bricks, mortar and beyond.
Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour
London SW10 0XE
Opening times: Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 5.30pm
Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is accessible by train, bus or river taxi and there is secure parking for cars.
+44 (0)20 7225 9166
For further press information, please contact: Head of Public Relations, Rebecca Gleeson
Tel: +44 (0)20 7225 9121 or email [email protected]