As well as the rooms the hotel will provide private dining and conference facilities, restaurants and bars. These will include a brasserie and bar on the ground floor and a 7th floor rooftop restaurant with an outdoor terrace, overlooking the City skyline. Conran and Partners are to deliver the interiors.
Located at 3 & 4 South Place, near Liverpool Street station, the consented plan by Allies and Morrison absorbs the site’s irregular geometries and creates a very simple, U-shaped building that completes the city block. Echoing the tripartite division of the surrounding buildings, the design creates a crisp and truncated form. Rising vertically through five and a half storeys, before folding inwards along each of its three elevations, the form also establishes a datum line, again similar to the building’s neighbours.
The facade is conceived as two layers. The inner layer, with its thermal insulation and waterproofing duties, is composed of glass and a dark, warm coloured metal. The interplay between glass and metal within this layer is responsive to the function behind. Free from technical requirements, the reflective metal outer layer is delicate and lively. It acts as a counterpoint to the simplicity of the inner layer and articulates the building’s underlying structure as it traces the lines of the columns, walls and slabs behind in a composition of slender verticals and horizontals.
Vicky Thornton, Allies and Morrison, comments: “We have designed the facades to strengthen and elaborate the building’s basic composition and to respond to its immediate context. We hope the hotel will, as a result, be not only a sustainable addition to the neighbourhood but also improve the unity of the streetscape.”
Across the typical room floors, vertical metal fins are ‘folded’ out of the outer layer within each of the repeating room bays, casting deep shadows onto the back layer of metal and glass and distinguishing the steady rhythm of the middle section from the informality of the top and base.
The ground floor plan has been arranged in order to maximize the frontage that is active at street level. The consent allows an 80-person brasserie and bar to be developed along the entirety of the glazed frontage. A widened pavement on Wilson Street will allow the brasserie seating to spill out onto the pavement.
Demolition of the existing buildings on site and construction work on the new hotel is scheduled to start later this year. The hotel is due to open to the public in summer 2012.