In The Hothouse with Jacu Strauss

In The Hothouse with Jacu Strauss

Jacu Strauss began his architectural training in New Zealand and studied at the Bartlett School of Architecture. But it’s in London that we sat down with him in one of his latest creations: One Hundred Shoreditch.

The Creative Director of Lore Group, Jacu told us all about his relationship with flowers and how they influence his designs and a few of his favourite things

Jacu Strauss at The Rooftop of One Hundred Shoreditch

Please tell us about your role as Creative Director of the Lore Group and recent inspirations.

I am the creative director of Lore Group based in London. My team and I design, transform, manage and operate hotels, restaurants and bars across Europe and the United States. I am a qualified architect and my career gradually developed towards all aspects of hotel and hospitality design. I continue to be inspired by new and evolving hotel trends but I am also inspired by people, and how we use and enjoy spaces, including work places, retail environments and our homes. Art and installations influence my work; recently this has included Jan Hendzel’s curated show for London Design Festival and seeing the work of up-and-coming designers at Maison Objet in Paris. I am also inspired by place: the cities and neighbourhoods in which our hotels are based provided endless inspiration when designing each of them.

What do flowers mean to you?

Flowers to me are pure delight; they are about treasuring something that is a connection with nature and a moment shared between people. It is not something fixed or permanent. Flowers are the ultimate “beauty by nature”, having evolved with such diversity with the aim of being noticed through form, colour and scent. I always say you must be a monster if you don’t like flowers.

Do you have a favourite cut flower and why?

I love the equal simplicity and boldness of tulips, and the way they change throughout the day, perhaps influenced by my time spent in the Netherlands during the renovation of Pulitzer Amsterdam.

Jacu Strauss in a Studio Suite at One Hundred Shoreditch
The Sissinghurst

What sort of flowers do you like to receive?

I love to receive flowers with noticeable scent. I adore the smell of scented roses and also the scent of fresh eucalyptus.

And what flowers do you like to give?

I tend to gift flowers on the dramatic side, I love giving hydrangeas. We should also do more to normalise presenting flowers to men (a hint to any of my friends reading this!).

The Sissinghurst in a Studio Suite at One Hundred Shoreditch

Is there a connection between flowers and your work? Do you ever think of flowers when imagining a space?

I use flowers sparingly but with intent. We position arrangements in our hotels in bold ways to celebrate them, rather than placing then everywhere for the sake of it. In some places where I could not use real flowers we create interpretations of flowers, such as the two-story high display case at Riggs Washington DC where we worked with MIO Gallery to install oversized paper flowers in a most spectacular installation.
I also have an upcoming project fully inspired by flowers. I can’t wait to see it come to life.

What exciting things do you have in the pipeline for Jacu or the Lore Group that you can share with us?

Hotels are living things and we are constantly adding to our hotel experiences. At Pulitzer Amsterdam, there is a particularly special new suite I’m working on that is entirely inspired by flowers…

Jacu Strauss at The Rooftop (One Hundred Shoreditch)
The Bailey British Branches

Quickfire questions:

Neutral or colourful flowers?

Both, everything has a place and the beauty of flowers is that you can match the mood.


Neat or wild arrangements?

I tend to veer towards wild, but neat is required on some occasions.


Pretty, dainty flowers or big, showy blooms?

I love both but do gravitate towards big and showy because of where I use them in our hotels.

What’s the next exciting project coming up?

The project I’m most excited about currently are some very special news suites we’re launching next year at Pulitzer Amsterdam.

Favourite piece from the PAUL THOMAS Collection?

I particularly love the British winter selection; it is generally a challenging season for local flowers but I find the Bailey British Branches perfect for the festive season.

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