This dramatic redevelopment and renovation close to the banks of the River Thames transforms a Grade II listed building into a stylish hotel, sensitively restoring its Great Hall into a restaurant and event space.
Situated on the South Bank in the Tower Bridge Conservation Area, the Lalit London occupies the former home of renowned London grammar school St Olave’s. The school was built in two phases between 1893 and 1896 and was the grand design of Edward Mountford, the eminent Victorian architect behind such iconic buildings as the Old Bailey and Sheffield Town Hall. It housed St Olave’s until 1968 when the school relocated to its present home in Orpington; in 1972 it received Grade II listed status.
As lead architect, EPR, working alongside Archer Humphryes as interior designers, was tasked with fulfilling the Lalit family’s vision of creating a 70-bedroom luxury boutique hotel redolent of Indian opulence, combined with the charm of an old-fashioned English school.
An ambitious and sensitive restoration programme including extensions of the existing buildings and internal alterations accommodated a change of use. A new slate roof was initiated with brickwork and rotten timbers and cracked plaster ceiling panels were all painstakingly replaced or refurbished to restore the building to its former splendour.
The original plaster cornices and dado mouldings were kept throughout and refurbished, as were all the windows and doors, with non-original windows being replaced with new timber windows that replicated the original design.
The imposing Headmasters' Room on the first floor has been transformed into a luxury suite and the Governors' Room, with its panelled walls and an elaborate plaster ceiling, converted into a cocktail bar.
The spa, gymnasium and changing areas are located in the newly constructed basement underneath the existing building and the main back of house areas are located in another newly constructed double basement under the forecourt.