On November 8, 2018, Woods Bagot’s London studio and Edwardian Hotels London celebrated the topping out of the new five-star hotel, The Londoner, at an on-site ceremony in Leicester Square. The £300 million (USD $392 million) development is set to transform the city’s hospitality scene while complementing the West End’s heritage.
"Woods Bagot is delighted to be part of such a groundbreaking and exciting project. After several years of hard work and collaboration with all the many partners involved, its great to get to this momentous point in the build," Helen Taylor, Project Lead, said.
The first nine floors of the 15-story building will include 350 hotel rooms and 35 luxury suites as well as concept restaurants and lounges. Acting as a “Vertical Club,” the spine of the building incorporates a series of amenities, such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, a spa and meeting rooms inserted into the surrounding hotel rooms that wrap around it. This arrangement not only allows guests to look out to the West End’s views but optimizes its building footprint by vertically stacking the various facilities. Venues are connected by a vertically-oriented, open atrium and sculptural staircases that will lead guests to either the restaurant, ballroom, and meeting rooms downstairs or upstairs to the floating mezzanine or bars.
Guests will also enjoy the spectacular rooftop bar area—where the ceremony took place—which boasts unmatched views across Leicester Square and the surrounding neighborhood celebrated for its entertainment including Piccadilly Circus, Chinatown, and the National Portrait Gallery. Skylights integrated into the floor of the rooftop bar also allow for views into the open atrium, playing on an inside-outside relationship throughout the project.
The remaining four stories will be one of the deepest commercial basements in Europe —at 30 meters deep—comprised of a ballroom, leisure facilities, two Odeon Luxe cinemas, spa, and state-of-the-art conference facilities. The entire structure sits on a series of 20-meter-long, single-cast steel trusses each weighing 55 tons.
To stay sympathetic to the surrounding historic buildings—such as the Gregorian Westminster Reference Library—the façade was developed to project a bold language while using traditional materials. Glass and white granite are fashioned in a contemporary way at the ground while Portuguese stone, blue faience, and bronze fins form the middle of the building. Geometric faience tiles and bronze fins articulate the tower form while more transparent materials are used for the roof.
Both passive and active measures were applied to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions by over 30 percent. This includes a high-performance building fabric and façade optimization, mixed mode ventilation, integrated photovoltaic, high-efficiency adiabatic coolers, and extensive use of LED lighting and digital controls. Most of the central plant is located in the basement level while other services, such as air intake and lighting, will be installed along the mezzanine level. The team hopes to achieve a BREAM Excellence Award.
It is estimated that once the structure is complete in 2020, it will create 500 jobs.