Work begins on Jestico + Whiles' kaleidoscopic Aloft London ExCeL
Work has started on site of the Aloft London ExCeL, a sleek new hotel at ExCeL in London’s Docklands. Designed by architects Jestico + Whiles, the hotel is scheduled to open at the end of 2011, in readiness for the London Olympics. The project is being developed by ExCeL London’s parent company, Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) in partnership with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
Jestico + Whiles’ innovative design provides 252 guest bedrooms of different sizes, front of house areas including a triple height entrance hall, bar, lounge, meeting rooms and fitness suite, back of house areas with offices, and a separate bar and restaurant which will spill out onto a new pedestrian piazza. The scheme is targeting a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and employs highly insulated façades, CHP and ground source heat pump technology.
The building is formed of three elements: a central ‘spine’ contains bedrooms and vertical circulation and is flanked by two crescents which house further bedrooms and gently curving corridors. The ‘serpentine’ form of the building helps to define external spaces and is also driven by a number of restrictions on construction allied to the clients’ requirements in terms of guestroom types and mix. The primary constraints include a strategic services corridor running across the site and the flight operation demands of the nearby London City Airport.
The hotel will be clad in several thousand coloured, textured stainless-steel shingles. The glazed façades will feature a large-scale screen-printed pattern, inspired by the illusion of depth seen in some of Bridget Riley’s paintings. The material will reflect the sunshine, adding warmth and liveliness to the building’s exterior spaces. Located at ExCeL’s Eastern entrance at the Royal Victoria Dock the hotel will have a direct access to Prince Regent Station on the Docklands Light Railway and London’s first International Convention Centre.