London, United Kingdom
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New-Build for Firmdale Hotel Line Energizes Neglected Corner of London’s Soho Neighborhood
This mixed-use project redevelops a long-neglected site in the southwest corner of Soho, London’s entertainment district. The plan keeps the neighborhood’s historical standing as a source for the service-industry and a traditionally bohemian population in mind, while including a hotel, residences, and commercial spaces. Its alleyways were also treated with deliberation to repair the grain and allow for travel within the densely constructed location, as well as public green areas to anchor the new development.
Talk to Julian Cross about Hotels
Because the new build stands within a historic neighborhood, the scale is sympathetic to its local heritage. Although the scheme is comprised of several volumes taking up nearly 17,000 square meters, they were arranged as a collection of smaller buildings to both break down the building mass as well as fit in with the scale of the surrounding architecture, which is typically vertical. Standing at five stories, its elevation blends in with the district’s skyline. Its façades also line up with the immediate neighbor’s cornice lines. Setbacks were integrated within the fourth and fifth levels to allow for visibility.
Different types of materials and typologies are fashioned in a contemporary yet refined arrangement. Protruding glass frames set for both the courtyard and Denman Street-facing façades are reused to allude to the warehouses’ typology apropos to the neighborhood. The use of stone along the Denman Street-facing exterior also helps to blend in the construction, which frames each window opening and infill panels.
Microhabitats throughout the ground level and on the roofs provide green space for both inhabitants and visitors. The central Garden Square features large trees and potted plants and lead into the Courtyard Terrace – another public green at the northern end of the site. The rooftop terraces of the multifamily complexes and the hotel also include greenery.