Afroditi Krassa’s design-led cinema opens in London
London-based interior design studio Afroditi Krassa has designed a new cinema in London for boutique cinema chain, Curzon. The luxury yet classic and intimate interior concept seeks to reinvent the movie experience moving beyond a classic cinema to multi-use space.
A charming feature of Curzon Victoria’s shopfront is a cinema curtain that is used as a projection screen for those passing by to enjoy a glimpse of old movies. The classic marquee is built in a digital format, so it can display a static image of an analogue marquee as well as dynamic, non-static content. “It is about sparking interest when least expected and being giving something back for free,” says Krassa.
The space had to be designed and organised within the constraints of the building. The space is arranged on four levels with an intricate staircase linking all levels. The idea is to create different ‘paces’ for different levels, easing customers down to the auditoria. The big idea behind the design is for people to enjoy the Curzon experience beyond the auditoria and film and feel comfortable in an intimate, upmarket yet relaxed environment. The ground floor is a fast pace, busy and vibrant area, dominated by an over-sized marble bar (which doubles up as ticket office) and communal table to optimize socialisation.
The upper mezzanine is the sound & vision library where customers can lounge, relax and browse the archive of free-to-watch films on 46inches LCD screens, movie magazines and books and listen to curated sound content that is refreshed monthly and accompanies all new releases.
The designer turned an unused corridor into a small private hiring screening room, in which a small group of people can watch movies in a homely environment with a small private bar at their disposition. The staircase landing acts as a promotional wall for the Curzon home cinema service whilst the lower ground floor is a lounge bar for those last minute top ups.
The space gets slower, softer and darker as you approach the auditoria in the lower levels. Afroditi Krassa wanted the space to be dark and magical to optimize projections (second projector on lower ground floor) and create dramatic lighting, such as the double height the double height backlit anchor wall, going from ground floor to upper the mezzanine.
For the ultimate in movie-watching comfort, the chairs in the cinema’s five intimate screening rooms are custom built exclusively for Curzon in conjunction with a UK-based seating company and introduced for the first time in Victoria. The Pullman version has a reclining back with added lumbar support and will be installed with very generous legroom for even the tallest of people. Three screening rooms have drinks tables with built-in wine buckets, extra leg room and love seats for two.
After defining the design concept, Afroditi Krassa developed a visual language that drew inspiration from the Curzon brand itself which is based on witty wording and great use of typography. The brand logo and main brand font is Futura, a Bauhaus geometric sans serif designed in 1927. Afroditi Krassa took the visual qualities of Bauhaus and Modernism: classic and timeless, sophisticated but also down-to-earth and timelessly elegant.
Images courtesy of Sim Canetty-Clarke
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