The building’s sculpted massing and careful attention to materiality establish a high quality design benchmark for the area’s regeneration, creating a distinctive sense of place and providing a new destination for the wider area.
The hotel comprises a 172 bedrooms, including accessible, family, twin and interconnecting rooms, with café/bar, restaurant and meeting facilities across 9 storeys. The design proposals were developed in conjunction with AC Hotels by Marriott (ACHM), who offers hotels sought after by clients who travel frequently for business and who seek to experience the city culture. Designing services and facilities that fit in accordance with what these clients value most was paramount.
Setting back the ground floor entrance, which leads into the reception area and bar, creates a natural route underneath the accommodation space above, promoting movement towards the city. Power and data are provided throughout the ground floor bar and library area if guests wish to stay in the hotel and carry out business activities. The generous floor to ceiling height at ground floor allows for high coffered ceilings and sculptural light fittings, while the open plan environment creates views across the hotel’s varied functions and to the street outside.
Externally, brick was chosen as the predominant material as it provides a visual mass, depth and variation that sits comfortably within the surrounding Victorian shops and warehouses. Rather than replicating the dark red brick materiality of these warehouses, a lighter coloured white/grey brick with a light grey mortar establishes a visual contrast with the existing buildings and enhances the feeling of light and space around the building. A powdered finish adds depth and variation as opposed to a ‘clean cut’ contemporary appearance.
Carefully positioned windows promote natural day lighting within circulation spaces where possible and enhance views. The light and reflective properties of the glazing provides a visual contrast with the rough and heavyweight brick frame.
The external façade and structural walls are constructed in precast concrete panels. This system allowed the design team to coordinate and construct most of the building offsite while site preparations and foundations were taking place, reducing the overall programme time. This system and offsite bathroom PODs reduced the number of wet trades on site and overcame challenges of working within limited space around the site.