(Video exclusive) In conversation with: Simon Whittaker, Architect of the Year 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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    (Video exclusive) In conversation with: Simon Whittaker, Architect of the Year 2019

    Simon Whittaker, architect and Associate Director at Orms, joined editor Hamish Kilburn to exclusively reveal details of the firm’s latest project: to redesign the former Central St Martins building in London…

    Lover of retro-buildings, Simon Whittaker is a modest architect with a modern vision. Partly responsible for designing the impressive building that now shelters The Standard London – a hotel that in many ways challenges conventional hospitality in London – Whittaker was rightfully crowned Architect of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2019.

    With this year’s awards ceremony imminently approaching, Whitaker joined me to launch the Interior Design & Architecture Summit (IDAS). In an exclusive interview, the award-winning architect revealed for the first time the mix-used development plans for an iconic site in London. Over the years, Central St Martins Building in Holborn sheltered significant moments in time for legendary figures in design and fashion, such as Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Christopher Kane and Stella McCartney.

    Nearly a decade after University of Arts London moved out of the site, Orms is currently working with a world-renowned team to sensitively restore the building and give it a new lease of life as a mixed-used development site, which will include a new lifestyle hotel.

    “We were very conscious that had to be more than just a hotel.” – Simon Whittaker, Associate Director, Orms.

    At a pinnacle moment in the project’s development – having just secured planning permission – Whittaker reveals all, as well as discussing The Standard London’s statement and architecture in a pandemic world.

    Watch the full interview below.

    > While you’re here: check out our review of The Standard London.

    Orms were approached last year to, through the power of architecture, secure consent for a hotel on the iconic site. The plot within the Holborn area includes the Grade II listed building, formerly Central St Martins, that fronts Southampton Row as well as a collection of 60s buildings behind. “We were very conscious that it had to be more than just a hotel,” Whittaker told Hotel Designs. “As a result, we have developed the concept for a new neighbourhood that happens to include a hotel.”

    The ‘new neighbourhood’ has Whittaker describes it will include a new lifestyle hotel, exhibition spaces, a refurbished lecture theatre, a screening room, various F&B outlets, a library, a series of function rooms and co-working spaces. “There’s a huge variety which will offer real benefits to the local area,” Whittaker adds.

    Orms and the wider team have recently been granted the necessary planning permission they need, with a unanimous consent from the committee, in order start work on the new urban development.

    About the Interior Design & Architecture Summit (IDAS)

    The Interior Design & Architecture Summit (IDAS) is Hotel Designs’ premium meet-the-buyer event for designers, architects and suppliers.

    “Couldn’t fault the organisation and we also got some decent opportunities.” – Schlüter Systems (supplier)

    “I thought the calibre of delegates was high and all seemed open to discussion.” – The Soho lighting Company (supplier)

    “It was great to meet new people and the meetings were largely a success.” – Anglepoise (supplier)

    “Fast-paced event with quality contacts and lots of opportunities for new work.” – Vivid Hospitality (supplier) 

    If you are interested in learning more about the event, please contact our team. For all supplier enquiries, please speak to Jennie Lane on 01992 374098, or email j.lane@forumevents.co.uk. If you are a senior designer and/or architect, please contact Victoria Petch on 01992 374082, or email v.petch@forumevents.co.uk.

    Main image credit: Orms/The Standard London

    Hamish Kilburn / 26.10.2020


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