The Corinthia Hotel, London, UK

by Sarah 18 December 2012
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    Opened in February 2011, The Corinthia Hotel is a 294 room, five star hotel housed within former Ministry of Defence headquarters in Whitehall, London. 70 years of occupation by the MoD proceeded 50 years of the Metropole Hotel, known as a home for European royalty and London's society elite.

    The brief from the client was simple; they wanted a 21st Century ‘Grand Hotel'.

    We were presented with a very rare and unique gift in that the decades of MoD use resulted in their being no heritage listing on the building, our core objective was to leave the exterior unaltered but internally the challenge was to identify the base structure and recognise its potential as its previous aesthetics free adjustments and insertions were chaotic. 

    The design is sympathetic to the location and history of the building a grand four metre high Baccarat chandelier was commissioned for the glass domed lobby reflecting natural light which pours through the colonnade which surrounds the internal courtyard, this hidden green oasis is a first amongst the leading hotels of the London scene.

    Classical elegantly proportioned corridors feature original detailing and modern sculptures. The Northall Restaurant, a bright and airy space designed as a space reflecting traditional detailing and daring color.

    The bronze clad detailing on the lift doors are cast from moulds of actual leaves found within St. James Park. On the guestroom floors we initially found some 600 original rooms, which we reduced and configured along the original corridor footprint. Combing two rooms into one for every standard double gives an average floor plan area of 46.5m2 - among the largest in London. We used Calcatta marble from Tuscany and it features heavily within the bathrooms which are afforded natural light. Most rooms feature a walk-in wardrobe clad with cow hide and French oak. Bespoke cocktail cabinets, oversized sofas and a study area placed next to the fireplace welcome guests to a familiar, residential feel.

    7 signature Penthouse suites and the Royal Suite- London's largest; two storeys with two bedrooms, gym, spa and wine cellar are placed within the original turret roofs many feature terraces affording the occupants unrivalled view across the capital.

    The Hotel features Europe's largest spa facility, at 3,300m2 over 4 floors ESPA's new flagship spa has black and white veined marble cladding walls and floors around the indoor pool, plunge pool, a glass enclosed sunken sauna with wet rooms, sleeping and relaxation pods, 17 treatment rooms offering a combination of complementary and alternative treatments alongside cosmetic and fitness treatments.  12 fireplaces arranged around the entire spa complements the oyster coloured shagreen walls highlighting the richness and luxuriousness of this exclusive enclave.

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