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The Westin London City 

A milestone project inspired
by city and river 

Interior Design

The brand’s UK debut, The Westin London City is described by Sleeper Magazine as a ‘milestone project’.

The hotel has nine luxury apartments, 222 guestrooms, a spa and swimming pool, extensive conference and banqueting facilities, a riverside restaurant and bar.

We were approached by developer 4C Hotel Group to redesign a scheme with existing hotel planning permission. The site, between the City of London and the River Thames, is constrained by three scheduled monuments below ground, the river, the St. Paul’s Cathedral height limitations, and a retained bridge structure.

In response to this challenging plot we designed a distinctive wedge-shaped building. As well as making good use of the site, this created two important public access elements, connecting the City with the river and joining the walkway between Albert Embankment and the Tower of London. 

Architecture and construction

The building is anchored by solid stone bases. Glass and metal cladding relieve the upper storeys where angled bedroom windows create fantastic city views. The building’s lower levels house the hotel’s public areas. A double-height glazed lobby and bar provide panoramic views across the River Thames towards Shakespeare’s Globe and Bankside.

The existing bridge structure was used to house public areas, four floors of guestrooms, and a plant deck, along with the necessary structure, and M&E. The entire site sits within the viewing corridor between Greenwich and St Paul’s Cathedral. For such a large building, the hotel only touches the ground in a few places and more or less fills the site where it does.

The centre section of the building bridges a major arterial road through the City of London. Large crash decks had to be built over the road on both sides to allow demolition and then construction to take place safely. 

“The Westin London City has it all: three scheduled monuments, four sites, archaeological works, an existing bridge structure over one of the primary arterial routes through the City of London, the St Paul’s height limitations and a brief to create an exemplar distinct hotel & apartments, with two restaurants, a spa, ballroom and meeting facilities.”

Ed Murray Associate Studio Moren

“Working on a project of this scale, on a land-locked site as complex as this, comes with its challenges – but out of the challenges comes a remarkable hotel, capturing both the vibrancy of the City and the historic power and restfulness of the river. It has taken eleven years to come to fruition but we are overjoyed at what has been achieved.”

Ed Murray Associate Studio Moren

“Studio Moren’s design is both sensitive to our requirements and the demands of the challenging plot. The complicated nature of the build meant we had to develop a close working relationship during the design and construction phases. We have been impressed by their ability to problem-solve, and provide a workable design, without compromising the architectural integrity of the building.”

Neil Taylor  Managing Director 4C Hotel Group

We couldn’t be more pleased with the results. What was once a collection of four outdated office buildings, is now a cohesive piece of landmark architecture.

Neil Taylor Managing Director at 4C Hotel Group

Interior Design overview

We used Westin’s biophilic design ethos and wellbeing brand pillars as the starting point for our interior scheme. Our concept contrasts ideas of natural and man-made, city and river, with elements responding to the concept of an estuary where the two forms can meet and merge together.

Neutral backdrops, built upon with soft tonal colourways, create undistracted views of the river and city. Layering materials introduces depth and interest, while the serene palette of natural colours is enlivened with contrasting tones and textures.

Materials in the City side of the hotel are inspired by the surrounding architecture, suiting and history of fabric dying, referenced through formal linear oak wall panelling, deep ink dyed hues and crisp tailored fabrics within the conference areas to the north.

As guests move south towards the river they experience more free-flowing organic forms with a feature paper sculpture, by Dutch paper artist Peter Gentenaar, cascading through the atrium, and a wave-like ceiling in the bar which sits above the water. Spaces are unified through the use of bath stone on the walls which relates back to the Roman Bathhouse that originally formed part of the site.

Channelling modern elegance, in the guestrooms and suites we used natural calm colours to create rooms that are personal, instinctive and have a sense of renewal. Bespoke lighting captures Westin’s biophilic ethos. Original statement pieces have been incorporated where possible, as well as custom joinery such as curved sofas, desks and headboards.

“Our philosophy is to create original and unique designs specific to each project. The steep site stretching from St Paul’s to the River Thames, with guest entry points at the north and south, demanded a distinctive response. We created a unique layout with the main reception centrally located on the 4th floor, and the creation of an impressive space known as The Haven on the ground floor to welcome guests.”

Ed Murray Associate Studio Moren

“While the different areas of the hotel retain their own character reflecting their immediate context, we managed to skilfully link and unify these spaces using a curated selection of finishes, furniture, fixtures and equipment and artwork. Our intention was to approach the brand’s look and feel from a fresh perspective, creating a hotel that would truly encompass contemporary elegance. The overall effect is one of paired back luxury with a modern residential look and feel.”

Ed Murray Associate Studio Moren

The interiors truly root the hotel in the neighbourhood, with a modern elegance which communicates a fresh perspective on the Westin brand.

Neil Taylor Managing Director at 4C Hotel Group

Awards and nominations

  • International Hotel & Property Awards
    Hotel over 200 rooms - Global
    The Westin London City
  • Building Design
    Architect of the Year (Retail and Leisure)
    The Westin London City
  • London Construction Awards
    Architectural Design of the Year
    The Westin London City
  • City of London
    Building of the Year
    The Westin London City
  • Blue Badge Access Awards
    Best Luxury Hotel
    The Westin London City
  • AJ Architecture Awards
    Leisure Project
    The Westin London City
  • World Interiors News Awards
    Hotels and other overnight accommodation
    The Westin London City
4C Hotel Group
London, United Kingdom
Completed 2021
222 keys
BREEAM Excellent
Andy Stagg

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