Designed by Grzywinski + Pons,  is a new 168 room hotel situated in the rapidly evolving East London neighbourhood of Aldgate. “This commission allowed us to continue our interrogation of the intersection of hotel and residential programs,” explains the design team. “We (and our client) had in mind that young, creative professionals who are increasingly nomadic for purposes of their work might like to have an option that combines the best of two worlds from a hospitality perspective: The design-led and convivial atmosphere one often finds in good boutique hotels, mixed with the convenience of an extended stay product.” The design process was driven by the search for a way to hold on to the aspirational excitement of a hotel stay, while enjoying the advantages of something more akin to a home in one’s adoptive city.

The scheme was to be built within a newly constructed and rather sterile tower, which meant Grzywinski + Pons couldn’t lean on the existing building to augment the character of the spaces. Some of the structural aspects of the building envelope became a challenge for the planning – for example, the reception and the cafe-bar space are divided by the lift lobby, which were later designed as distinctly separate spaces. “We created a feature stair that almost demands to be climbed to foster the connection between the cafe-bar-forthcoming restaurant space (that we are currently designing) that spans the ground and first floors and is sectionally legible from the street.”

Grzywinski + Pons designed nearly all of the furniture within the rooms. This was driven by the desire to create a unique and harmonious aesthetic while maximising the function and economy of space. “We wanted to avoid the ‘transformer’ vibe apparent in a lot of current micro-residential products that include murphy beds, retractable desks and flip up tables. While that approach appeals to the ‘inventor’ side of us as architects, we hoped to spare guests from the chore of clearing up and manipulating their furniture when finishing a meal or getting ready for bed.”

 

See other projects from Grzywinski + Pons on Yellowtrace here.

 

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