The new building replaces a lacklustre 1960s structure and has been designed to complement the surrounding urban fabric, re-establish medieval street edges, enliven the streetscape and maximise rooftop public access. The brief also required the highest sustainability credentials, all to be delivered intight budgetary and programme restraints, in a historically significant part of the City of London.
Crisply detailed jura stone and zinc clad bedroom floor façades reflect the traditional surrounding Victorian buildings and, in contrast, the ground and first floor public spaces are fully glazed to maximise transparency into the hotel, and animate the streetscape. To soften the roofscape, the top two floorsare clad as vertical gardens accentuating the contrast between the rooftop skylounge and the more solid façades below.
In a reference to the Parisian residential courtyards, a generous central full height internal courtyard forms the ‘heart' of the hotel and incorporates the foyer, reception, conference break-out and lobby bar. Upon arrival, the guest experiences an evolving sequence of spaces, from the spectacular double height entrance colonnade to the dramatic full height internal courtyard which incorporates Europe's tallest green wall and can be seen soaring upwards above a vaulted glass ceiling.
Hovering above the hotel's roof, sits the cantilevered SkyLounge. This separate metallic element, set above the surrounding rooflines, contains a penthouse bar and links to external roof terraces which include herb gardens, green roofs and incredible 360º views of London.
Working closely with Laing O'Rourke from an early stage, innovative low-energy off-site construction techniques have been used to ensure the project was delivered on programme and budget. Extensive passive and active environmental measures have also been integrated into the building ensuring that the hotel achieves a BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good'.