The First Street North site forms an important gateway to the city. Our designs for these four plots took inspiration from the ambition to create a new cultural quarter within the city, so that they support and enhance the unique character of this new place and enhance the setting of the new cultural facility, now built as HOME.
We designed these surrounding buildings to maximise, where possible, views of HOME, despite the visual barriers formed by the rail viaduct and the relatively low massing needed to support HOME’s programmatic needs. The elevations across all four buildings support and enhance the setting of this new cultural facility by creating a rich and inviting new place. The buildings’ relationship to one another, to HOME, and to the important public spaces and routes, was carefully considered throughout the design process.
As a result, the hotel’s form is designed to maximise views of HOME from Medlock Street, including a ‘notch’ to the southern elevation. The lower levels feature a double height glazed element to the southern elevation of the restaurant to further enhance the view.
The hotel’s west elevations we designed under the theme of a theatre curtain, in response to the unique context in which the building sits, adjacent to HOME. All elevations are clad in red, glazed terracotta panels with a waved profile designed to represent a curtain on the east façade. The terracotta panels and hotel bedroom windows are vertically aligned, while incorporating a ‘shift’ related to the notched massing in the south elevation.