For the design of the British Olympic house, the team at London-based Innovision, led by Claudia Douglass, chose to abandon tired British clichés for a peppy, colorful space—the perfect foil to the 19th-century building that hosts the U.K. delegation in Rio. They collaborated with an array of homegrown talents, from a backgammon board maker to fabric and furniture designers to installation artists. “The guiding principles of British House are celebration, inspiration, and collaboration. Most importantly, we needed to represent a ‘relaxed’ Great Britain, in celebration mode,” Douglass says. “Our logo, created by British illustrator Caroline Tomlinson, and brand identity defined our environmental design.”
The setting for Britain’s Olympic house is Parque Lage, a 19th-century stone mansion designed by Italian architect Mario Vordel for Brazilian entrepreneur Henrique Lage’s wife, a renowned opera singer. This handsome structure will be illuminated by carefully crafted lighting effects that will change with each celebratory moment.
The central courtyard of Parque Lage once housed a pool fed by a natural spring that would perfectly reflect Corcovado mountain, home to Rio’s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. To fill this space, Douglass and her team enlisted installation artist Liz West to craft a group of colorful prismatic boxes that, as Douglass explains, “create an inverted stained-glass window.”
Inside the villa, wood-paneled walls add a traditional touch to the lofty space. Central to the team room is the Britannia sofa, designed by Philip Watkin specifically for the house. Whimsical shelving with custom-printed patterns was provided by British furnituremaker DFS.