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This project was designed by Nick de Klerk at Aukett Swanke London, with Ed McCartney and Enrico Cannas. Interior design by Isabella Lonardi. Visuals by Avixual. Copyright Aukett Swanke.

This was a detailed feasibility study undertaken for a client to explore the development of a hotel on a site in London's West End. The site has party walls on three sides, one of which forms the south facing aspect, with the street facing frontage on the northern boundary of the site. 

One of the initial drivers for the project was to establish a floor plate in which all rooms could achieve an external aspect. In previous proposals seen for the site, this had been compromised. This led to the development of a U-shaped courtyard proposal, drawing natural light deep into the centre of the plan, and simultaneously addressing rights-of-light and overlooking issues. 

A second imperative was to consider how this project might both contribute to and draw from local cultures and economies, creating the potential for dialogue between local communities and hotel guests. This implied developing an approach to the public areas which both addressed hotel operational issues, but also speculated how it might open up to and embrace multiple and flexible uses. The design drew on archetypal London town house typologies with public uses on the ground and lower ground levels, and residential accommodation on the upper levels.

We inserted a grand staircase into the centre of the plan leading down the the courtyard on the lower ground level, and arranged the cores and front of house areas around it. This is a space for work, leisure and performance and forms a dramatic termination to the entrance axis, opening up to the courtyard and southern aspect. The street level facade was set in, creating a covered loggia (wrapped in polished Carrara marble), a zone between the urban realm and the 'public' areas of the hotel, which also provides discrete service access and escape routes. 

A column of rough-cut, unpolished marble, positioned off-axis as a totem or sign adjacent to the hotel entrance, stops just short of the loggia ceiling - obliquely referencing Lubetkin's caryatids beneath the cantilevered entrance canopy of Highpoint II in Highgate.

The scheme was widely published in industry and trade press, including in the Architect’s Journal in November 2016

Great Marlborough Street

London W1

Sleep Set
The Relais Henley
Cromwell Place
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