The new hotel has had to incorporate a Grade II former fire station and re-establish a coherent corner of Waterloo Road blighted by insensitive post war office development. The challenge has been to design a new building without pretension or self-effacement that is sensitive to its context in scale and materials and respectful to the scale of the Old Fire Station. In addition, Lambeth Planners required the retention of Pear Place as a memory of a former historic street, which has effectively divided the hotel into two parts. This has necessitated the hotel being linked by glass bridges across Pear Place at upper levels. The Old Fire Station remains substantially unaltered at ground floor level with the retention of bar/restaurant uses, with the upper floors converted to bedrooms.
The new build part of the hotel incorporates the majority of the bedrooms with meeting rooms on the top floor to take advantage of the views across to the city. At ground floor is the new hotel entrance with a corner retail unit that ensures continuity of retail frontages linking Waterloo Road to the Lower Marsh shopping area. Pear Place, currently gated, will be re-landscaped and opened up for public use. The new brick façade on Waterloo Road makes reference to the elevational subdivision of the Old Fire Station façade without the need for architectural pastiche. The façade composition rises in height to the Baylis Road corner to provide a strong termination to this section of buildings along Waterloo Road and surrounding vistas such as from The Cut. The project is seen as part of a much needed up-grade for the Waterloo area south of the station and there has been extensive community consultations over the proposals.
Client: Hoxton Hotel | Services: Architecture | Size: 142 guestrooms