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Town Hall Hotel & Apartments, London, United Kingdom 
Friday 06 May 2011
 
Making the grade 
 
 
 
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Award Entry

Grade 2 heritage listed Bethnal Green town hall has a rare makeover 

The Town Hall Hotel project, reinstating an abandoned landmark, physically transcribes the new avant-garde image of a fast-developing part of London's east end. A redevelopment of the Grade 2 heritage listed Bethnal Green town hall, completed in May 2010, the new ‘Town Hall Hotel & Apartments' features 98 separate accommodations - consisting of hotel rooms, serviced apartments and several luxury ‘feature' suites.

The sensitive and holistic design approach preserves the building's features whilst integrating contemporary inserts. The resulting hotel is a distinctive new entity where advanced design, modelling and manufacturing techniques see a complete reinvention of the building and by extension its surrounds.

The client's brief called for a variety of room typologies within a luxury hotel/serviced apartment complex, seamlessly distributed within the existing fabric. The resulting design allows for varied new functions to be placed or added to a highly heterogeneous structure - both physically and stylistically. The guests enter a place, which simultaneously offers a unique - sometimes unexpected - experience of space and a world of its own.

The new 1500 sq m extension, a unique feature of the design, is defined by the adjustment of its global geometry and the contextual adaptation of its skin through local variations. The facade skin's bespoke, laser-cut, adaptive pattern regulates solar gains, views and privacy, forming an ephemeral background set against the classical existing stone facades.

The use of high-end materials internally, such as Corian, brass, various stones and glazing enables a contemporary dialogue with the materials in the existing fabric of the building.

Within rooms, the geometry is balanced by a tactile work on materials; CNC milled partitions define the room's extents, with sliding partitions and curtains allowing functional flexibility. Pushing these principles further, in some rooms partitions were excluded, and furniture, as self-contained islands, is the sole defining feature within these highly ornate spaces.

The Town Hall Hotel, as a luxurious accommodation facility offers a holistic design inclusive of highly contemporary and restored spaces elegantly juxtaposed, creating a unique experience for visitors. The considered merging of contemporary forms and traditional materials provides a visual and tactile richness, which has created a new architectural landmark in the area.

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