The challenge was as epic as the proportions of the room itself – to produce and install a curtain pole over 26 metres in length around the gradually curving wall of one of London’s newest and most exclusive hotel restaurants. The computer generated images produced by the design team illustrated beautifully what the client required, but there were a number of issues that needed careful consideration:
Measuring: a curved pole of any size (let alone one of such vast proportions) needs to be carefully templated, and this pole was to be fixed nearly 6 metres off the floor. With between 6 and 8 metres between each measurement point around the curve, the preferred option of measuring at the installation height was impossible. Templating at this height was also out of the question for the same reasons.
We solved the problem by templating the curve at floor level, and subtracting from each measurement the floor level encumbrances (principally skirting boards) that were not repeated at ceiling level. Due to the proportions involved, a laser rule was used to accurately pinpoint each position around the curve.
Clearance: the shape of the walls presented their own challenges. Floor to ceiling pilasters flank each of the restaurant’s enormous arched windows, and over half of the curved area is recessed 100mm further back from the rest of the restaurant wall. The aesthetics would not allow for the curve of the pole to be affected by this recessed area.
The protrusion of the pilasters from the wall also meant that the pole projection from the wall and curtain eyelet spacing would be critical to ensure that the waves in the curtains undulated seemlessly without interruption from behind.
Finding the right supplier: it’s perhaps no surprise, all this considered, that the pole itself would need to be completely bespoke. It would need to be constructed in a series of sections, with the join between each section strategically positioned behind each curtain so as to create the effect of a continous pole spanning the width of the room. It also needed to be exactly the right colour and finish.
The Bradley Collection had a range of poles that we thought could fit the design brief, and we knew they had the expertise to manufacture to these exacting specifications in what was becoming a challenging timescale. To their eternal credit The Bradley Collection agreed to take on this challenge without hesitation – but there was much work to do.
The product we were asking them to produce was non-standard in almost every way, and as a single structure would be one of their largest UK projects to date. Their Steel Collection most obviously matched what we required, but at our required diameter of 50mm was 12mm wider than the Steel Collection standard. Also, the colour and finish we required was unique to the completely different Elysian product range. The adjustable brackets that we would require to deal with the varying recesses of the room were also non standard size and would need to be manufactured specially for the order.
The Result: The pole was manufactured in 14 uniquely shaped sections which were raised on towers and installed one by one. The adjustable brackets were cut to size individually on site to ensure the required projection was achieved. Six pairs of curtains were individually threaded onto the pole as each section was installed – with the eyelets carefully spaced to ensure that each curtain wave cleared the pilasters and other projections.