Canada Hotel Redevelopment
OVERVIEW The Canada Hotel redevelopment is a student accommodation project that provides 219 one bedroom apartments on the site of the historic Canada Hotel. A new 13 level tower stands over the reinvigorated hotel, its distinctive form and language acknowledging the historic building as ancestor. The architectural dialogue between the historic hotel and the new tower is explicit and publically engaging: insertion of the tower’s window motif into the hotel’s former openings provides a literal depiction of the hotel’s reinvention. The student accommodation typology is often criticised for the isolation it elicits and the Canada project is notable for the spaces it provides for interaction, both planned and organic. The laundry is cast as the social heart of the building while a lecture theatre allows for informal gatherings, performance and film events. The project continues the evolution of the Pelham Precinct with a robust architectural language that relates to neighbouring projects. Comment on the diverse local context is found in a Liquorice Allsorts motif that is introduced externally as coloured balcony reveals and continued throughout the interior. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK The Canada Hotel redevelopment is a student accommodation project that provides 219 one bedroom apartments on the site of the historic Canada Hotel. A new 13 level tower stands over the reinvigorated hotel, its distinctive form and language acknowledging the historic building as ancestor. The entry to the building is marked by a dark fissure that is seemingly carved between the new and existing structures. An undulating, blackened ceiling completes the cave-like experience and escorts entrants to the reception and lift lobby. PUBLIC BENEFITS The architectural dialogue between the historic hotel and the new tower is explicit and publically engaging: insertion of the tower’s window motif into the hotel’s former openings provides a literal depiction of the hotel’s reinvention. Retail and cafe tenancies fill the ground floor, building on the vibrancy of a young and diverse resident population. CONTEXT The project continues the evolution of the Pelham Precinct with a robust architectural language that relates to neighbouring projects. Comment on the diverse local context is found in a Liquorice Allsorts motif that is introduced externally as coloured balcony reveals and continued in the lift interior, laundry ceiling and stair nosings. PROGRAM RESOLUTION Each tenancy has a discernable address, character and internal quality. Carefully designed apartment interiors offer reconfigurable spaces while reflecting the role of technology in students’ lives with high level data capability and international cable television. ALLIED DISCLIPINES Innovative Fire Engineering allowed for a single stair to be installed. Lifts were designated as means for escape by use of a BMS system that in the event of fire allows access to all ‘safe’ floors. COST / VALUE OUTCOME Precast concrete panels were integral to cost efficiency and buildability. The overlapping façade panels were fixed to the steel structure to (along with truss decks) provide permanent formwork for poured concrete floor slabs. No propping was required allowing other work to proceed concurrently. The patterning of the panels describes their spiral installation. The architectural complexity of the façade design belies its cost efficiency and role in accelerating a conventional construction process. SUSTAINABILITY Urban regeneration projects target sustainability at an urban scale: the Canada Hotel works to increase density at the city’s edge, occupies a chief public transport route and provides accommodation for residents that study and socialise locally. Inset balconies and extruded window frames shade the northern elevation. RESPONSE TO USER NEEDS The student accommodation typology is often criticised for the isolation it elicits and the Canada project is notable for the spaces it provides for interaction, both planned and organic. The laundry is cast as the social heart of the building and treated accordingly: all surfaces are wrapped with rubber tiles and lighting takes the form of a laser-cut Perspex ceiling. A lecture theatre formed from over-sized steps on the first floor allows for informal gatherings, performance and film events. The café becomes a shared space for the residents and the locale.

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Building Activity

  • OpenBuildings
    OpenBuildings added a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com