International architecture firm Foster + Partners’ first flagship hotel has opened in the heart of the West End in London, UK. The 157-bed ME Hotel is located close to Waterloo Bridge and merges cutting-edge interior design and construction with the restoration of the adjacent 1904 Marconi House, which now houses 87 apartments. Occupying a prestigious triangular site between the Aldwych Crescent and the Strand, the building is clad in Portland stone and has been designed to match the height and scale of the neighbouring building.
David Nelson, Head of Design at Foster + Partners said of the project: “Our intention has been to make sure that the hotel will be a unique experience, efficient to run and appropriate to the level of service that the ME hotel wishes to deliver. We put ourselves in the guests’ position to make sure that their experience would be exceptional - we extensively prototyped the rooms and made many changes to improve design and to stay within agreed budgets. The result combines a high level of functionality with a simple, refined aesthetic.”
The project features an elliptical tower, located at the corner of the hotel, which marks the main street level entrance and is topped with a glass cupola. The design of the copola recalls the Edwardian-style architecture of the nearby buildings, and houses the ME Penthouse Suite. Other features include rooftop terraces on the tenth floor, with the new Radio Rooftop Bar offering stunning views of the London skyline.
As part of the design, pioneering technology was used for the glazing of the triangular bays in the hotel rooms to create an invisible join and also to insulate heat and ensure acoustic insulation. Internally the windows can be screened through the use of two layers of opaque glass sliding panels, which was used to maintain the minimal design of the building and its interiors.