Southwark Council has granted planning and listed building consent for redevelopment of the Tower Bridge Magistrates Court into a luxury boutique hotel.
The 1906 Grade II listed Edwardian baroque style building was originally designed by John Dixon Butler, architect and surveyor to the Metropolitan Police.
The design by Dexter Moren Associates aims to rejuvenate the historic building by restoring the listed elements and adapting it sensitively to its new function.
Two discreet new mansard roofs have been integrated above the east and west bays of the main facade, based on an interpretation of other Dixon Butler buildings of this age, importance and genre. The distinctive courtroom number one will be converted into a fine dining area. Much of its internal timberwork and other original features will be retained and a grand clerestory roof light will be reinstated.
The more utilitarian rear of the site, currently housing a very un-neighbourly block of cells, will be regenerated by a new urban form to Queen Elizabeth Street. The proposed facade, while unashamedly contemporary in design, draws inspiration from the composition and materiality of Dixon Butler’s architecture. Some of the original holding cells will be restored and reintegrated inside the new restaurant area.
The provision of facilities accessible to the local community and wider public was a key component of the brief. The extension to the listed building includes a ground floor restaurant and delicatessen with a separate entrance at Queen Elizabeth Street adding local amenity and creating an active street level frontage.
The project builds on DMA’s extensive experience in the hotel sector. Other recent projects in central London include The Curtain hotel in Shoreditch, Hilton London Bankside, Westin St Paul’s and the Shangri-La in the Shard.
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