This existing six-storey hotel will become a landmark 355-room hotel on a prominent corner site in the Waterloo area of London, directly opposite the Grade II listed Imperial War Museum. Having acquired the site following previous unsuccessful attempts at securing planning, Palm Holdings appointed Studio Moren to rigorously re-evaluate the project and its context to produce a completely fresh design solution, which won over planners at Lambeth Council and the Greater London Authority.
We saw the potential of the prominent site to support increased density in a way that was sensitive to neighbouring residents and without requiring complete demolition of the existing hotel. The consented proposal refurbishes and extends the existing six-storey hotel on the site and adds a new-build landmark 14-storey tower extension, more than doubling the existing key count.
The internal layouts maximise space and efficiency, and add a dynamic combination of standard guest rooms and suites designed to appeal to a range of hotel brands.
The proposal embodies innovation in improving local public amenity to increase much-needed footfall to local businesses while showcasing how more can be done to work toward a net-zero carbon future.
The decision to retain the existing building reduces significant amounts of construction carbon emissions, whilst the redevelopment as a whole has been designed to reduce carbon emissions by nearly double those required by building regulations.
The proposed interventions to the existing hotel focused on upgrades to its building fabric, fenestration and quality of accommodation, and include a metal clad roof extension, new accessible rooms and innovative window pods to replace the existing fenestration, which expand the guest rooms, give more privacy, and incorporate decentralised ventilation systems to each room.
The design of the 14-storey extension and ground-level link building emerged from an evaluation of the existing architecture on site, the local character of Lambeth and the site's history. Lambeth's Design Review Panel noted the potential for this redevelopment to have greater personality, character and activity owing to the prominent intersection site across from the Imperial War Museum and welcomed our approach.
We designed a striking, dark brick building with gold-coloured metal accents and balconies, to complement the architecture of the existing hotel, enliven all tower fa ades and restore a prominence to the area that the former Surrey Lodge, an ornate Victorian brick building with an arcade of shopfronts, once expressed on this site. Our design took cues from the Lodge by treating the entire ground-level link with glazed active frontage, creating a new place within the community to eat, drink and work.
Although the principle of a tall building on this site was deemed acceptable by planners, the height of the tower raised concerns with heritage bodies given the site's proximity to Lambeth Palace and protected local viewpoints along the river Thames. The design team and Lambeth Council were aligned in evidencing that the scheme would have no negative impacts on local and national heritage assets.
Working together with Phil Allen Design, an integrated landscape has been created which includes converting a service yard into a restaurant garden, replacing the existing landscaped forecourt with nearly three times as many new trees and shrubs, landscaped breakout areas, and a new arrival garden on Lambeth Road. The proposal positively contributes to the Urban Greening Factor for the site, achieves a net gain of biodiversity on ground level and roofs, and maximises biophilic design features for occupants and the community.
The redevelopment is targeting BREEAM Excellent and has been designed to reduce carbon emissions by 66% over building regulations. In combination with air source heat pumps, a substantial roof PV array and going all electric, the sustainable approach to this design will significantly decrease the energy demand typically required from the grid, an endeavour that Studio Moren Head of Sustainability, Bryan Oknyansky, notes is quickly becoming the new normal.
- Palm Holdings
- London, United Kingdom
- Planning consented 2022
- 355 keys