East London’s ‘Vertical Community’: The Stratford (Design Milk) | Katie Treggiden Skip to content

 East London’s ‘Vertical Community’: The Stratford (Design Milk)

This article was written 4 years ago.

East London’s ‘vertical community,’ The Stratford, has recently unveiled Allegra – its newest restaurant, designed by Danish studio Space Copenhagen, and led by chef Patrick Powell, former sous chef at Chiltern Firehouse. Bespoke seating and tables – made especially for the space — sit side by side with statement pieces such as Space Copenhagen’s Loafer Chair by &Tradition, while natural stone flooring references historic courtyard configurations once found in the neighborhood.

The restaurant boasts art by Bridget Riley from the personal collection of owner Harry Handlesman, in a timely link to the current Riley retrospective at the Hayward Gallery on London’s Southbank in which the piece above is reproduced as a full-scale wall graphic.


Extensive glazing and planting inside provide a visual connection to the seventh floor garden of the residential tower and the tactile tableware has been specially developed by British ceramicist Sue Pryke. “Allegra has a brighter and lighter composition than the core amenity spaces of the hotel, which – on a similar note – are soft and friendly, yet denser to the eye and to the touch,” say Space Copenhagen co-founders Signe Bindslev Henriksen and Peter Bundgaard Rützou. “Allegra seeks its own identity, although it shares a design language with the hotel in its celebration of natural materials and sensuous tactility.”

Space Copenhagen also designed the public areas and hotel rooms within the double-cantilevered 42-story building designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and situated in the increasingly vibrant Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.


Space Copenhagen’s approach to materiality is most evident in the 145 guest rooms and suites, where it’s almost impossible to resist stroking the natural oak furniture, heavy fabric curtains, warm metallic lighting fixtures, and natural stone floors – all basking in the natural light that streams in through floor-to-ceiling windows.

From the oversized hoodies and carafe of water placed by the bed to the presence of plug sockets within easy reach of both a mirror and a source of natural light (a scarcer phenomenon than you might appreciate until you blow-dry your hair in hotel rooms on a regular basis), every detail has been considered to make your stay as easy and pleasurable as possible. Space Copenhagen has again combined custom-designed furniture, such as vanity mirrors, bedside tables, and desks, with key pieces from their existing portfolio such as their Gravity Lamp and Stay Sofa for GUBI.


But as tempting as it is to hole up in your room for the duration of your stay, the communal areas – and a curated calendar of cultural events – are designed to entice you out. Space Copenhagen is known for playing with contrasting ideas and so a nine-meter fireplace and ‘Gust of Wind’, a sculptural installation by British designer Paul Cocksedge, provide drama while cozy bespoke spindle-back sofas upholstered in a dark tan Alphenberg leather by English furniture maker Benchmark offer intimate corners for quiet conversations. And the best part? If you really love it, you can literally move in – fully-furnished loft apartments are available on lease agreements that run from a week up to a year.

What: The Stratford, London
Where: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 20 International Way, London E20 1FD, United Kingdon
How much: From $261
Highlights: The new Allegra restaurant by Space Copenhagen and three ‘sky gardens’ one of which is inspired by New York’s High Line.
Design draw: Set within Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the hotel is surrounded by former Olympic and Paralympic venues – such as the London Stadium, London Aquatics Centre, and Copper Box Arena – and award-winning parklands, waterways, and 26 permanent artworks by artists from Anish Kapoor to Monica Bonvicini.
Book it: The Stratford, London


Photography: Joachim Wichmann and Rich Stapleton

Contact Katie


Katie Treggiden is also the founder and director of Making Design Circular — an international membership community and online learning platform for environmentally conscious designers, makers, artists and craftspeople.
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