Town Hall Hotel & Apartments Internal FitoutEdit profile
A redevelopment of a Grade 2 heritage listed London town hall, the ‘Town Hall Hotel & Apartments’ features hotel rooms, serviced apartments, public conference facilities & a fine-dining restaurant. The sensitive design preserves original features whilst integrating contemporary inserts, including tailored furniture elements and a bespoke roof extension. The hotel features 98 hotel rooms/apartments along with a conference hall, meeting/banquet rooms, swimming pool & gym, a restaurant & bar. The design of the internal spaces was conceived with the desire to restore and revive valuable original features whilst providing a new common language and coherence throughout the building. Accommodation spaces are planned in a spatially ingenious fashion and due to the nature of the existing building and the client’s brief, multiple typologies co-exist – from hotel rooms to two bedroom apartments. This variety is supplemented by a differentiation of styles, dictated by features of the existing building. Continuity of the internal design principles is retained throughout the project, however subtle alterations in material finishes - ranging from the CNC milled kitchen enclosure finish to the stones in bathrooms - define different styles: the general aesthetic is common between rooms yet the substitution in colours & tactile qualities create variations. Within accommodation units, the aim was to allow a flexibility of use and a greater sense of space, with an emphasis on "spatial furniture` defining functions. Studio apartments contain all facilities in an open space in which a singular digitally crafted joinery element secludes zones. The carefully considered enclosure houses the essential service modules, with the kitchen & associated white goods within bespoke CNC milled cupboards which, when closed, form a striking feature defining the spatial divisions. Larger one & two bedroom apartments feature the CNC marquetry as a screen to seclude kitchen equipment as well as large sliding partitions thus opening the rooms up, to enhance the feeling of space, while responding to regulation requirements and allowing guests to configure their internal settings. The textured panels production process followed development of a motif derived from an ornamental air grille found in the existing building. The pattern was then produced using CNC technology with an extensive study undertaken to establish an efficient regulation of the panel types and production times, whilst maintaining the integrity of the design intent. The resulting three-dimensional motifs forming the kitchen enclosures essentially form an ornamental feature within the room, with the depth and texture creating an original and sensual identity. The desire to draw natural daylight into bathrooms, despite their deep location in the apartments in relation to the external windows, was achieved through the integration of large panes of clear glazing between the bedroom and bathroom spaces. The layering of transparencies formed by these glazed partitions, the mirrors and glass shower screens, create a series of reflections and provide an increased sense of depth and an ever transforming visual experience. Bespoke pristine Corian cabinetry pieces housing basins & bathtubs were detailed and designed for off-site production, reducing lead times & increasing the quality of the finished products. An emphasis was placed throughout the project upon both practicality of maintenance and the desire to disguise internal services such as air conditioning equipment. As such, bespoke detailing was developed, maintaining the holistic design approach – “shadow gap` air conditioning slots located in ceilings conceal any ventilation grilles, purpose made access panels for service equipment were developed to ensure integration within the design, and ornamented laser-cut AC enclosures decorate public spaces. Taking the approach of concealment of services, the design of such details are integral to ensuring the internal fit-out is surgical in nature & executed with precision. Luxurious “feature` rooms set in the former Edwardian public rooms are designed to create a contrast between the existing structure’s ornate qualities and the contemporary nature of the new installations. Surgical insertions have been designed, which provide the functionality of apartments with an emphasis on highlighting the existing features and differentiating them from the new. Highly ornate timber and plaster features are thus retained and any physical impact is avoided by creating new “islands` of spatial furniture. This design strategy is executed to its full potential in the magnificent De Montfort suite, the former Edwardian Council Chamber, which takes full advantage of the architecture and unique features. The beauty of the original fabric is emphasised by the pristine new installations in the former public galleries. The merging of two eras is plainly expressed, featuring decorative plasterwork, triple height ceilings with large arched and stained glass windows, commemorating the local area’s history and form the backdrop to the insertion of a unique contemporary accommodation facility. Also part of the hotel complex are Viajante restaurant & bar and the recreational facilities, featuring a pool and gym housing state-of-the-art equipment. The swimming pool is a feature of the guest facilities, located below a large skylight filtering natural daylight. A play of whites is a feature of the finish within the pool space - marble, mosaic tiling, terrazzo & white glass ensuring a common language is carried through with differing tactile qualities, providing further layers of richness. Viajante, the public face of the hotel, features bespoke designed furniture, light fittings and silicone artworks developed by RARE with specialist textile designer Tzuri Guetta. As a luxury hotel, the Town Hall Hotel & Apartments possesses contemporary facilities and designs, with a new language delivered through a comprehensive design process. Various spatial typologies provide unique and varied hotel experiences for returning visitors. With an emphasis placed upon the resolution of details and use of new production technologies combined with materials sourced in the existing building, the internal works creat a unique richness to the accommodation and public spaces. The building as a whole has been revived into a journey, through styles and eras; from Edwardian halls & Art Deco corridors through to the highly contemporary spaces of the roof extension.