Planning permission secured for one of London’s largest new hotels

Studio Moren was part of the team that secured planning consent on behalf of Frogmore and C1 Capital for one of London’s largest new hotel projects – a 905-key hotel for Hilton…

view from across the street to facade of Kensington High Street Hotel

The new hotel for Hilton from the boards of Studio Moren, will be replacing the existing 404-room Hilton London Olympia on Kensington High Street, London. Working with Elliott Wood, Applied Energy, Phil Allen Design, DP9 and Gardner Theobold, the design which retains part of the existing structure on site, is sustainability and biodiversity led. The concept offers an innovative flexible hotel room model which allows multiple connecting rooms to meet guest requirements and changing seasonal demand.

“The proposed hotel takes inspiration from the mansion blocks that are a typology that feature strongly throughout the royal borough and the design of the façades are a contemporary interpretation of the mansion block,” discussed Herbert Lui, Project Partner. “The use of red brick is an appropriate choice on the hotel along the Kensington High Street frontage transitioning to buff tonality in response to the terraces along the side roads. A strong repetition of windows together with light stone base, surrounds and banding in a contemporary manner further accentuate and reflect the local character. The scalloped facia to the upper floor façades brings a sense of movement and creates a dynamic roofscape. Proposed engraved stone panels draw inspiration from the metal work of the historic Olympia London roof structure, adding subtle embellishments to the façade design.”

render of entrance to proposed Kensington High Street Hotel

Image credit: Studio Moren

The existing hotel evolved from linking three separate buildings, with consequent accessibility issues and compromised guest and servicing experience. With the client and the design team keen to pursue a strategy to retain as much of the existing structure as possible, all options to preserve embodied carbon and maximise operational energy efficiency were considered and integrated with the retained concrete structure of the largest building component.

Aside from the environmental benefits of the publicly accessible roof garden, the comprehensive planting scheme will transform a grey, urban, built-up series of roofs into a green and verdant urban landscape.

“This approach will provide privacy for hotel guests within bedrooms and enhance the site’s biodiversity credentials and adding natural elements to the neighbours’ gardens by way of bee bricks and bird nests in the flank walls,” added Teodoro Mastrantonio, Project Architect.

render of proposed west facade of Kensignton High Street Hotel by Studio Moren

Image credit: Studio Moren

“This is an exciting and ambitious project that will help regenerate this part of the borough,” said Dexter Moren, Founding Partner, Studio Moren. “Together with the completion of the Olympia London Masterplan’ which will attract an estimated 12 million visitors per year, the new hotel will be a key contributor to the vibrancy of the area. It is an opportunity to give this hotel a much-needed facelift, enhance its sustainability credentials, marking the gateway into Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.”

The planning committee report positively praised the proposal stating that “The scheme is well considered and provides a high-quality building which would positively contribute to the wider townscape when compared to the existing building, which has little architectural merit. Overall, the development would respect the existing context, character and appearance of the surrounding townscape and would contribute positively through the architecture and general urban form of the building. The development would be of the highest architectural quality and has been designed to be functional, robust, attractive, inclusive, and secure. The building responds well to the architectural style of the surrounding area …and would achieve the highest standards of architecture and design.”

Main image credit: Studio Moren