2016 London Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design, design champion, best studio & best start-up, plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage, growing demand for design

Mercedes-Benz Living @ Fraser, Kensington

Image Credit : Christian Kretschmar for JOI-Design



Project Overview

The Mercedes-Benz Living @ Fraser serviced residences within the Fraser Suites Kensington in London have been conceived as a translation of Mercedes-Benz’s expertise in cutting-edge design, innovative technologies and state-of-the-art manufacturing into a luxury hospitality experience. JOI-Design’s concept adheres to the Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of ‘sensual purity’ whilst pushing the boundaries of conventional furnishings to create something new. Sensual surfaces and clean lines combine with intelligent functionality, fashioning a perfectly conceived world of modern luxury that promotes wellbeing and relaxation.

Project Commissioner

Frasers Hospitality UK Limited

Project Creator




Peter Joehnk founded interior architecture studio JOI-Design in 1984, and alongside his business partner and wife Corinna Kretschmar-Joehnk, has grown the Hamburg-based practice into one of Europe’s leading creators of refined and luxurious interiors for high-end, privately owned and independently operated boutique hotels as well as branded luxury groups.

For this project worked:
Peter Joehnk, managing director
Sabrina Voecks, senior designer & associate
Carola Ruehter, interior designer
Lora Billinger, draftsman

Project Brief

JOI-Design’s brief was to create a collection of six exclusive, long-stay residences within the Fraser Suites Kensington that would transport the values of the Mercedes-Benz brand into spaces for living and working. The design was developed in cooperation with Mercedes-Benz Style to communicate the philosophy of the luxury automobile manufacturer through bespoke furnishings and finishes so that guests with an affinity for the brand will immediately feel at home while they’re away from home. Residents can experience the familiarity of being in a Mercedes-Benz automobile - protected and safe, free and inspired.

Project Innovation/Need

Furniture elements that would typically be separate are instead combined to form a seamless installation, as seen for example with the 'Black Magic Wall'. Fitted with an integral smart TV, the sinuous, high-gloss media unit sports a sleek, futuristic appearance in an intentional juxtaposition with the genteel charms of the Victorian architecture of Kensington Street. This black monolith streamlines into a sideboard designed with curved elements reminiscent of the feature lines of cars.

In the bedroom, the headboard appears to flow seamlessly into the silver bedside tables and carpet. The base is set in slightly from the frame so that the bed appears to float. Integrated “headlights” within the headboard ensure an optimum level of illumination.

Design Challenge

It was essential that JOI-Design balanced the automobile’s renown for intelligent German engineering with emotional touchpoints to create an interior scheme that would feel sensual and poetic. An inspirational starting point for understanding the company’s DNA was the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart, an iconic building that captures the motion and power of the brand. The residences were planned with the Mercedes-Benz client in mind, with every requirement anticipated and meticulously refined to ensure supremely comfortable places to live. Sculptural furniture, atmospheric lighting and high-tech entertainment technology flow together to form apartments that instil a nurturing calm whilst indulging all the senses.
Fluid shapes mixed with contrasting hues and textures result in an aesthetically accomplished composition. The shimmering silver sofas in the living area have an assured and sculptural look, while their generous size and the sensual feel of the soft upholstery make them wonderfully comfortable. Reflected in the glass dining table is a sparkling chandelier designed especially for the apartments with Swarovski crystal in the shape of the letter “S” as a nod to both Swarovski and Mercedes-Benz’s celebrated S-Class automobiles. Ambient lighting behind the media wall and sideboard also convey sense of warmth and cosiness.


The residences are located in a listed Victorian building, and its existing heritage features were a major consideration when developing the new interior scheme. JOI-Design adheres to the philosophy that the most sustainable practice is to re-use what has already been constructed and modernize this with an energy-efficient infrastructure. In this spirit, the apartments’ historical details were retained and refreshed to form a pleasing contrast with the contemporary interiors. In addition, the apartments are fitted with low wattage LED light bulbs and top quality, energy-efficient kitchen appliances.

This award celebrates innovative and creative building interiors, with consideration given to space creation and planning, furnishings, finishes, aesthetic presentation and functionality. Consideration also given to space allocation, traffic flow, building services, lighting, fixtures, flooring, colours, furnishings and surface finishes.
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