Tributes flood in following death of restaurant designer David Collins

17 July 2013 by
Tributes flood in following death of restaurant designer David Collins

Widespread tributes from the hospitality industry have been received following the sudden death of David Collins, one of the UK's most influential restaurant and bar designers.

Collins, who passed away last night having been diagnosed with a virulent form of skin cancer only three weeks ago, made a significant contribution to the plethora of glamorous bars and restaurants which have opened in London over the past 25 years, having launched the David Collins Studio in 1985.

Collins' other projects included Gordon Ramsay in Royal Hospital Road, Massimo at the Corinthia hotel, and Lime Wood in Lyndhurst, Hampshire.

Chris Corbin and Jeremy King of Rex restaurant Associates worked with Collins from 1998 on five of their restaurants - J Sheekey (now sold), the Wolseley, the Delaunay, Brasserie Zédel and Colbert.

"David understood restaurants so much more intuitively than almost any other interior designer and we like to think he produced much of his best work for us, primarily because, as he said himself, he enjoyed a rigorous collaboration," they said.

"We often disagreed but we always knew that whenever we insisted on our solution he would gracefully comply and then enhance our ideas!

"What was perceived as his arrogance was actually born out of a deep and endearing insecurity. Even when the plaudits were ringing in his ears, it was never reassurance enough for him. Unlike many of his peers he continued to fret, tinker and change long into the life of a project - a kindred spirit to ourselves. Ironically we have in our office a painting personally owned by him that was awaiting collection - it had hung at the Delaunay for 18 months - that is how much he cared.

"David has left a great legacy including the team of young designers that he trained and nurtured over the years, who themselves have gone on to create great works."

A spokesperson from the Maybourne Hotel Group said: "We are shocked and saddened by the passing of David Collins, an incomparable talent in the world of interior design and a longstanding friend of Maybourne Hotel Group.

"David has made a significant contribution to our hotels and will leave a lasting imprint on our design legacy. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and all those that knew and worked with him."

Collins' influence went much wider than just the hospitality industry as he also made his mark in the world of fashion, working with the likes of Alexander McQueen and Jimmy Choo as well as a host of wealthy residential clients worldwide.

Collins grew up in Dublin and studied architecture at the city's Bolton School of Architecture. He is survived by two sisters, a brother and his mother.

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