This eight story hotel creates a dynamic new presence along Union Street, the main pedestrian route from Southwark Station to Tate Modern at Bankside. The building incorporates two very different elevational languages which relate directly to the surrounding context.
Located adjacent the Palestra our objective was to achieve a design that would not compete with the Palestra, but rather pick up on Palestra’s nuances and rhythm to create a landmark building in its own right. This has been achieved by using silver metal clad modules with blue vertical trims in a staggered rhythm. A corner projection fronting Union and Gambia Streets adds further interest. The rear elevations fronting rail viaducts have been designed as robust brick facades with regimented windows framed with blue metal hoods. At street level the building features a tall glazed ground floor designed as sub-divisible commercial outlets.
Internally the spaces are conceived as a “donut” form around a central courtyard and accommodate 202 bedrooms, a bar and restaurant facilities.
Significantly this project explores the concept of having little to no street presence for the hotel – guests take an elevator to the first floor where they are greeted at reception. Freeing up valuable ground floor space and frontage for other commercial uses creates the most efficient space plan which enables site values to be maximised. This helps to realise a high quality design for a budget hotel in a prime inner city location. DMA has explored this concept on a number of other inner city sites such as the Trocadero at Piccadilly – designing a 500 bedroom Ibis hotel atop a third floor transfer deck, and Euston Square Travelodge, a 150 bed hotel with upper level housing and ground floor retail.