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Sleep inside a priceless sculpture at The Beaumont

The Beaumont in LondonThe Beaumont in London
The Beaumont in LondonStephen White, London

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By M. Elizabeth Sheldon, Food & Wine

Plenty of hotels are home to stunning, world-class art collections, but the new Beaumont in London is the one of the only places in the world where you can actually sleep inside a modern masterpiece. The majority of the hotel’s 73 rooms are housed in a gorgeously renovated 1920’s Art Deco building, with one exception: an ultraluxe suite located inside of a massive architectural sculpture designed by noted artist Antony Gormley. Titled ROOM, the steel piece has an almost Transformers-like appearance from the outside, but the inside is a small cocoon furnished with a lone bed draped in white linens. A skylight provides the only exterior light source; when closed, the room can provide quiet, utter darkness. The interior is lined with oak sections that fit together like puzzle pieces, providing ledges for seating.

Though the hotel collaboration may seem like an unorthodox choice for Gormley (who’s best known for his sculptures of bodies, including a series of men on ledges), he describes the logic of the project on his site. “I take the body as our primary habitat. ROOM contrasts a visible exterior of a body formed from large rectangular masses with an inner experience. The interior of ROOM is only 4 metres square but 10 metres high: close at body level, but lofty and open above. Shutters over the window provide total blackout and very subliminal levels of light allow me to sculpt darkness itself. My ambition for this work is that it should confront the monumental with the most personal, intimate experience.” If you’re looking for an existential overnight experience, rates for ROOM start at £2,500 (roughly the equivalent of $4,000).

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