Miniview: The Arch continues a tradition of English style

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
    • 0

    The best of style is created by owners seeking quality and caring for details rather the hype and spin of fame or fashion in design. The Arch is the latest in showcasing the best of English design.Despite the employment of French and US designers on such British icons as the Savoy, there is still an English design style that is setting new standards of comfort and refinement in London hotels.

    This style is currently evident in a number of properties. Most of these are independently run, which is interesting given the tendency for the chains to proclaim a brand at a star rating and then provide interiors and facilities which don’t match their self-proclaimed level.

    The latest of these lovely properties to open in London is the Arch, a hotel that has been six years in gestation in part because of the architectural complexity facing Seabrook Architects and the building and interior difficulties to be resolved in partnership with the interior designers RDD. Fortunately a patient client with a clear set of standards was persistent in seeing through to completion what is one of the most perfectly formed independent hotels to hit the London market for some time.

    Setting this hotel apart from many others is the attention to detail that can be seen in everything from the plinth block and skirting board details to the careful restoration of the historic plasterwork throughout the building.

    From the outside, little distinguishes the hotel from other parts of the Georgian Terrace it is set into. Parts of this street were rebuilt after being bombed in WW2, and the opportunity was taken to tidy up the post war construction, bringing the fenestration into line with that from earlier times. Inevitably the reconciliation of level changes between the buildings and the need to retain plasterwork and staircases from earlier centuries, all imposed constraints on what could be achieved in the interior.

    The success of the designers is made remarkable by the fact that there is no visible evidence of their struggle to make the seven buildings work as one. Spaces flow naturally one into another, whilst corridors have quirky kinks and changes of level and direction that feel almost natural.

    Daniel Fountain / 18.04.2010

    Editor, Hotel Designs


    • 0