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Not as Usual


Blurring the lines between workspace and hotel, this buzzing lobby concept is re-defining the role of the business hotel.

With a low fidelity workspace product launched and being tested by IHG’s Crowne Plaza team in the US, there was a good understanding of what worked and what didn’t. Refining this further into a blueprint of typologies and a compelling creative brief.

Finding a creative partner that shares your ambition and vision isn’t always easy. Commissioning and working alongside globally acclaimed Conran+Partners, they achieved this. The team spent several months translating the insights and a ‘New Modern’ design style, into an aspirational and progressive design blueprint. It wasn’t just about creating beautiful design. It was about solving a multitude of challenges.

By doubling down on the elements that mattered most to guests and most importantly working with owners, we ensured they made operational and commercial sense. Further ensuring the designs could flex across an extremely varied and complex ‘European’ estate.

The style brings to life the functional and restorative qualities associated with work and downtime, doing so with a subtle wit and local charm. From arrival to exit, furniture to fittings, accessories to artwork – the new blueprint and design style inspires every aspect of how the brand comes to life.

Having undergone a detailed design process the team partnered with Soluis to translate and test the design with virtual reality. The technology and partnership pioneering an unparalleled immersive real-time environment, allowing the team to move from design vision to virtual prototype in a matter of weeks.

Debuting the designs at IHIF, Berlin, one of Europe’s largest industry investment conferences. Visitors could walk around the new concept and explore a flagship hotel via virtual reality. It gave hotel owners and investors the chance to experience and interact with the designs and an opportunity to iterate before launching in market.

A beacon to the brand.

Successfully launched in Europe, the design blueprint is debuting across the globe with a further five revamped flagship hotels opening soon and a blueprint that continues to inspire the global estate.

Hot-desking hots up.

– Wallpaper*

IHG’s Crowne Plaza is undergoing the biggest design innovation in the brand’s history. We sat down with the Founder of Abound, James Huntly, to discuss his previous role as Brand Innovation Director, IHG Hotels & Resorts - where he spearheaded a new global design and experience blueprint transforming the brand.

"It was and is, ever clearer, that our needs and the way we work, live and travel are changing. People expectations our heightened. They expect, seamless contactless service, ease and on-demand flexibility, born out of our interactions with the likes of Uber, Zoom and WeWork. But what if they could do that in a more hospitable and secure environment of a hotel? That was our challenge."

Together the team unpacked and re-imagined every aspect of the Crowne Plaza brand experience, to establish a compelling alternative to the boring business hotel.

Crowne Plaza
Paris Republique
Plaza Workspace

A place where guests and local businesses can switch effortlessly between work and downtime.

Bookable Spaces

On-demand bookable spaces for collaborative meetings by day and private dining by night.

Worklife Room

A calming environment designed with three distinct zones to support work, downtime and better sleep.

From first latte. To lights out.

Together the team interpreted the vision into a collection of agile spaces where guests can switch effortlessly between work and downtime.

Project Scope

Brand Strategy
Brand Design
Guest Experience

Virtual Reality

Project Details

Interior Architects
Conran & Partners


Anna Stathaki

Experience Crowne Plaza

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