Green light for Bennetts’ Queen Hithe Hotel
8 May 2012 16:16:49 GMT
Plans for Bennetts Associates Architects’ new 5-star Queen Hithe Hotel were approved by the City of London this week. The project for Resolution Properties will redevelop a historic, riverside site southeast of St Paul’s Cathedral, replacing a disparate group of buildings with a new, elegant piece of architecture.
The project will see the replacement of three tired 1960s buildings, including one which spans Upper Thames Street and the retention of an existing bridge structure over Upper Thames Street, with a new 200,000 sq ft, 224 bedroom hotel and adjoining private riverside residential block.
Constrained by St Paul’s Cathedral’s heights and the retained bridge structure, the hotel forms a distinctive wedge-shape which extends over the full length of the tight site. Where the building touches the ground it also has to negotiate the Scheduled Ancient Monuments which partially occupy the site, including the remains of Huggin Hill Roman Baths to the north and the original Queenhithe dock to the south.
The building’s facades will consist of layered materials, with a stone base below podium level, anchoring the building in the City. Upper floors will be clad in lighter, reflective materials and include recesses to provide solar shading and brightly coloured reveals to further animate the façade.
The lower levels of the eight storey hotel building will house public spaces, including restaurant and conference facilities. At the south end of the hotel, a double-height glazed reception area and first floor hotel bar will have spectacular river views, overlooking Shakespeare’s Globe and South Bank.
Hotel bedrooms predominantly face east and west and will have angled windows, maximising views to the tower of St Mary Somerset to the northwest and sightlines to St Paul’s Cathedral and the tower of St James Garlickhythe at higher levels.
Three of the nine riverside apartments will sit above the hotel bar at the south of the main hotel building, whilst the remainder will be housed in the adjoining block to the east.
The project will also allow for a new walkway between Queens Quay House and Bull Wharf, completing the final link in the City of London’s riverside pedestrian route.
Rab Bennetts, Director at Bennetts Associates, said: “This project finally unlocks two elements of public access with a single strong architectural idea; first, it completes the northern riverbank walkway and, second, it provides a unique connection between the area near St Paul’s and the old Queenhithe dock through the hotel’s public foyers. After years of neglect, the site finally seems ready for regeneration.”
The scheme is scheduled to start on site in early 2012.