Situated in the heart of Russell Square, this historic Grade II* listed building (originally designed by the renowned architect Charles Fitzroy Doll) was one of the first purpose-built hotels in London. Much of the hotel’s lavish interior inspired Doll in his designs for the RMS Titanic.
Over the years a number of refurbishments and architectural interventions had destroyed many of the original features and much of the building’s innate glamour. In 2014, EPR Architects was appointed by Starwood Capital as lead designer to work alongside Principal Hotels, Tara Bernerd & Partners and Russell Sage Studio to restore this ‘grande dame’ back to its former glory whilst reinvigorating the space and adding a sense of modern luxury.
The renovation included a hard refurbishment of guest rooms to create 334 individual custom-finished rooms with 39 new luxury suites. These suites seek to address the historical significance of the building with locations on the front façade and principal suites on the first floor, where historically the finest guest rooms would have been accommodated.
The public areas were also completely reconfigured to significantly improve the guest arrival experience and make way for new restaurants, bars and event spaces. At the heart of the building is the reintroduction of a Palm Court with a new external seating area and winter garden. This is surrounded by the dramatically refurbished bars and restaurant alongside a new all-day coffee house.
Externally, the building is distinctively clad in decorative thé-au-lait terracotta which has been extensively cleaned and restored where possible, with a reconfiguration to the external entrances. Redundant later additions have been removed with a new entrance to the restaurant and new doors and marble steps throughout.
Client: Starwood Capital | Services: Executive Architect | Size: Undisclosed | Collaborators: Tara Bernerd & Partners; Russell Sage Studio