World Class British Art by Turner Nominee
The citizenM London Bankside Hotel is home to an impressive collection of contemporary art, including a specially commissioned work by 2006 Turner Prize nominee, Mark Titchner. Titchner’s installationAnother World is Possible, has its title digitally inscribed onto a background heavily layered with hypnotic optical illusions, highlighting the fragility of our experiences in a world of transient culture and constant visual distractions. The work adorns the exterior of the building, immediately establishing the site as not only a hotel but also a contemporary art space. Titchner’s work is in good company, with the creations of Peruvian fashion photographer Mario Testino and Belgian artist Hans ob de Beeck displayed inside the building. A towering mural by the ultra-contemporary artist collective assume vivid astro focus (AVAF) can also be found in the atrium of the citizenM.
Sleek, Cool and Fun: Architectural Interplay Created by Concrete
Designed byDutch architectural firm Concrete, citizenM seamlessly fuses modern architecture with installation and technology to produce a space that feels as intimate as a living room. Minimalist and simple, the exterior is dominated by cool, sleek lines that are set in contrast to the whirl of curves and colour found inside the hotel. The atrium adds to this interplay of styles: floor-to-ceiling glass walls, retro-modern furnishings and pops of vibrant colour create a space that is both bright and stylish.
Contemporary Furniture Designed by Vitra
As giants of the European contemporary design world, Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra’s distinctly recognisable furniture perfectly complements Concrete’s bold glass-and-steel architecture. Works created by Vitra’s impressive host of designers can be found throughout the hotel, but are most striking in the open-plan lobby. This area is split into several individual spaces, each with a slightly different take on the room’s crisp red, white and black colour palette. Central to this is a playful furniture installation inspired by the Union Jack, in which a large backless couch and various geometric stools and tables create a three dimensional replica of the flag.
A Curated Collection of Art, Design and Culture Books
Truly a haven for the cultural aficionado, citizenM offers an impressive collection of books in its lobby, covering subjects such as art, architecture, fashion, photography, travel, food and graphic design. Curated by Dutch booksellersMENDO, citizenM features works from some of the top publishing houses in the world. One of a trio of MENDO’s internationally acclaimed art book stores – with locations in Amsterdam and New York – this collection is a definite pull for any literary or design enthusiast.
Nearby Cultural Attractions
–Tate Modern: Showcasing world-class modern art in a former factory space, the Tate Modern is one of the foremost contemporary art museums in the world. The museum stays open late on Fridays and Saturdays, so soak up as much art as you can before wandering along the river for cocktails on theSouth Bank.
–The Monument: Take a stroll over to London Bridge and you’ll find The Monument, Christopher Wren’s flamed-tipped memorial to the 1666 Fire of London. Those who climb the 311 steps to the top of the column will be rewarded with stunning views of the city, but if you don’t fancy the hike, a video installation by Chris Meigh-Andrews at the bottom of the column broadcasts 24/7 time-lapse footage of the view.
–Menier Chocolate Factory: The Menier Chocolate Factory is a London theatre experience found slightly off of the beaten track. Housed in an ex-chocolate factory, the theatre holds intimate and often award winning productions in a laid back environment.
–Borough Market: With a history dating back to the 13th century, Borough Market offers an extensive array of culinary treats, from ostrich sausages to artisan scotch eggs, takeawaySunday Roasts to Ethiopian stir-fry. Arguably London’s most famous food market, Borough Market is the perfect spot for lunch on a lazy afternoon.
–White Cube Gallery Bermondsey: The largest of the gallery’s London sites, the White Cube Gallery in Bermondsey hosts a variety of impressive exhibitions and permanent collections. With its own 60 seat auditorium, the gallery also promises talks from artists as well as films and lectures from the likes of art historian and presenter Tim Marlow and British architect David Adjaye.
World Renowned Artistic Hub
The South Bank – the narrow stretch of land winding along the Thames from the London Eye to the Tate Modern – has, in recent years, obtained a reputation as one of London’s most vibrant artistic hubs. Its prevailing popularity lies in the diversity of its creative activity, an eclectic marriage of world famous institutions and emerging talent. See Britain’s best collection of 20th century art at the Tate Modern, award winning pop-up exhibitions in the Lyttelton Exhibition Space and stunning street art at the Jubilee Gardens – a walk along the riverside is guaranteed to reveal some of the city’s freshest talent. Read More about the art scene on London’s South Bank in London Culture Guide: South Bank’s 10 Best Art Galleries.
A Rich and Diverse Culinary Scene
London’s culinary scene is difficult to pigeonhole, which contributes to its beauty. A stroll along the South Bank yields an extensive selection of culinary delights, from contemporary Eastern European cuisine at Baltic to Chef Jeremy Bloor’s take on Mediterranean dining at the OXO Tower Restaurant. Close links with the wealth of theatres found just south of the Thames has encouraged South Bank’s culinary scene to blossom in recent years, and it is now widely considered to be a hotspot for fresh, elegant dining. Find out more about our favourite places to eat in London Culture Guide: South Bank’s 10 Best Restaurants.
By Sami Goss