A New West End Story

The completion and successful launch of The Londoner is a signal of the revival of London and a confidence in our city’s future as a springboard out of a global pandemic

The Londoner

Hotels

EU

Woods Bagot has spent the last near-decade creating The Londoner, a luxury urban resort that will offer an extraordinary visitor experience and exceptional service. This 16-story project has been sensitively integrated into the historic urban fabric of Leicester Square—the famous entertainment district in London.

This is London’s first ‘Super-Boutique’ hotel, comprising an epic masterplan of interconnecting volumes, spaces and shafts of light and providing a one-of-a-kind guest experience.

 

Project details

Originally a 1930’s stage-theatre, the building has undergone several iterations to form the 350-room hotel. This is complemented by two underground Odeon cinemas, six restaurants and bars, a spa and wellness facility, conference and meeting rooms, and one of London’s largest event spaces.

To achieve the above on an incredibly tight urban site – also affected by height restrictions due to the site’s historical context – Woods Bagot worked closely with Arup to deliver one of the world’s deepest habitable basements. Using complex engineering methods, this meant The Londoner could contain multiple levels of amenities and back of house (BOH) facilities, all comfortably situated up to 31.5 meters below ground.

With a basement this deep, every detail in the design was carefully considered – movement, air flow and lighting being key. The result is a feat of engineering, and an incredibly complex array of spaces with numerous height levels and volumes which seamlessly flow with the back-of-house operations.

In addition to those structural challenges, creative architectural solutions allow people to experience the front-of-house spaces in a vertical rather than horizontal manner. Upon entering the building, guests engage with the ‘vertical club’ – a series of stacked facilities stabilised by the internal spine, which also help to lessen the building footprint, earning a BREEAM “Excellent” rating, while inhibiting circulation for guests to explore via an underground grand stair.

This internal makeup is supported by six, 55-ton steel trusses installed to transfer the weight of the above-ground structure over the area of the basement. It has also provided the space for a 16-by-6.5-meter underground ballroom, as well as the two adjacent Odeon Luxe cinema screens and an atria without any columns.

Externally, art and design come together in the form of The Londoner’s façade. Wrapped in a faceted, ultramarine blue faience skin made up of 30 different mosaic patterns and 15,000 hand-made terracotta tiles, this was designed in collaboration with artist Ian Monroe. The façade has also taken careful consideration of the history and context of the local area. The Londoner stands at the intersection of four neighbourhoods, each with their own aesthetics and scale. The detail and materiality of the facade has been carefully designed to respond to each neighbourhood.

The Londoner is a destination for both visitors and locals alike, creating a significant number of jobs and reconnecting this corner of Leicester Square to the buzz of London’s West End. Having opened its doors in 2021, not only does this building reinforce Westminster Council’s ‘City for All’ plan but it is an exemplary show of collaboration. Woods Bagot worked very closely alongside The Edwardian’s own creative design team, engineering firm Arup, interior designers Yabu Pushelberg and construction / PMs Blue Sky Building to achieve something truly unique within the heart of London.

Location
London, United Kingdom
Client
Edwardian Pastoria Hotels Ltd
Size
32,000 square meters
Status
Construction
Completion
2021
Collaborators
Yabu Pushelberg
ARUP

Journal

Digital-design specialists realize 15,000-tile mosaic with local artist for The Londoner

As a condition for its planning approval, the Londoner—a 14-story luxury hotel under construction in the British capital’s fabled Leicester Square—was required to contribute an artwork to the surrounding community. Developers Edwardian Hotels London chose to integrate the piece into the building itself, holding a competition for ideas that Ian Monroe, a locally based painter,

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