This nine-storey aparthotel will transform the surface car park currently on the site. At ground floor on the southern corner, the building is cut back forming a south facing public space and creating a natural entrance point. The building is also cut back at ground floor to the north eastern and southern edges improving interface with highway and enhancing pedestrian experience. Active frontage is maximized along Cross Keys Street with an element of active frontage on Mason Street.
The aparthotel comprises a mixture of one-bed and studio units. The ground floor provides front of house accommodation including reception foyer, cafe, exercise room and guest laundry in addition to the back of house support and staff areas. The ground floor also includes a small number of aparthotel units facing into a secure courtyard.
The massing of the proposed building is split into two distinct volumes, an outer and inner volume, arranged in a u-shape around a central courtyard. The outer volume provides a simple robust outer shell extending from ground to level seven. The inner volume is more articulated and delicate in nature, and slides within the outer shell revealing itself at ground level, within the courtyard and ultimately crowning the building at level eight.
A light buff coloured brick will clad the outer volume of the building, so as not to compete with or mimic the red brick of the immediate historic context, instead providing a contrast between new and old. A rough rustic finish to the outer face brickwork adds texture and a hand crafted appearance to the facade.
The Addington Street and Cable Street facades have windows which are stacked in elevation, providing order and rhythm particularly when viewed alongside the regular elevational grid of emerging Marriot Hotel adjacent. The Cross Keys Street and Mason Street elevations have windows which stagger at each floor level. These elevations represent a more playful facade language as they are viewed relative to areas of active frontage and above/opposite main entrance points.
To contrast the robust and heavyweight mass of the brickwork, a glass panel cladding system is proposed for the inner volume, providing a delicate, light and reflective surface incorporating a white interlayer. At level eight the external wall is profiled in plan and stepped back forming a crown to the building, which promotes variation in the way light moves across its surface. When viewed from ground level, this profiles gives the illusion of a pitched warehouse roof profile referencing the historical context of the area.