New social 'anchor' hotel as focus for 'Destination City'
Above: CGI from Sheppard Robson of Boundary House, City of London, developed by the Ploberger Hotel Group
How do traditional office districts such as those in the City of London, transform into areas where the local community benefit? How can new hotels be designed for visitors but also offer facilities where students can train and local people have access to free meeting rooms?
Sheppard Robson describes below its new social 'anchor' for the 'Fenchurch Triangle' through the building of its hotel 'Boundary House'.
The architecture practice states:
'Boundary House is 311-room hotel that will sit at the heart of the reimagined ‘Fenchurch Triangle’ at the eastern edge of the City of London, inspired by the creative character of the area and finding new ways of engaging with the surrounding neighbourhood.
'The design looks to add a new social focus to the area, embodying the aspiration of the ‘Destination City’ vision, to drive forward the recovery from the pandemic and increase its appeal to new and existing audiences. The project builds on this ambition by taking a constrained infill site and adding a mix of leisure, entertainment, cultural and educational spaces.
'This range of uses are brought together on the lower ground floors, which have been created through in-depth consultation with local stakeholders, producers, and education organisations. This social “anchor” for the area moves past the familiar notions of hotel reception, creating flexible spaces and studios available to hotel guests, local organisations and the general public to book.
'The spaces open to the community include 456m2 of workspace that are focused on education, skills and training, with the project making several commitments to the community, including: free meeting rooms for students and free room hire for the wider community; discounted podcast studio time; and hospitality-focused apprenticeship schemes to support the City Fringe Opportunity Area.
'As well as public seating and greening at street level, the 14th floor rooftop restaurant and bar will be a new local destination nestled within a mini oasis of mature trees on the rooftop overlooking east London. The addition of 45 new trees across the site contributes to the project’s high urban greening factor.
'A key component of the sustainability strategy of the BREEAM Excellent building is the retention of the basement and ground structure, meaning 17% of the embodied carbon of the existing structure can be retained. Working with engineers Elliott Wood and Hoare Lea, different options were evaluated, producing a solution that balances elements of reuse with creating a new core and column-free floorplates that allow the building to be easily repurposed for another use in the future.
'The building’s distinctive curved form follows the alignment of the historic Jewry Street, with the base articulated by arched vaults which echo the Victorian railway arches nearby. The main façade has deep set windows with glazed brick reveals. A strong cornice two-thirds up the building negotiates the transition in scale, and, above this, a “crown” of brick fins taper upwards, with the greenery of the rooftop visible at the very top.
'The material palette has been used to situate the building within its surrounding, with accents helping mark the arrival of a major new building for the area. The building’s external form is characterised by a warm palette of red-chestnut tones in matt and glazed bricks, complementing the listed building nearby.'