The Prince of Wales Officially Reopens The Savoy

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    The Prince of Wales officially reopened The Savoy on 2nd November after one of the most ambitious hotel restoration projects ever undertaken in London. The architectural practice on the project was ReardonSmith who, for over four years, provided a dedicated, senior team of architects and technicians, many of whom were permanently on-site to oversee the re-birth of this great hotel tradition.Working closely with the planners and heritage bodies, as well as with interior design company, PYR, and structural engineers, Buro Happold, ReardonSmith has handed over a building fit for the 21st Century which is also spectacularly glamorous and beautifully groomed. Importantly, it remains every bit The Savoy with its spirit and design heritage intact, since the Edwardian age – when the hotel was originally built – and the Art Deco period – when it was significantly extended – are now clarified and celebrated to their full. Behind the scenes, the building has been taken back to its early structure, stabilised and given an entirely new services infrastructure, spaces have been rationalised, existing architectural and design gems carefully restored or replicated, a new lift and new kitchens have been introduced and rooms returned to look just as they did before while other areas have been “rediscovered” to become glamorous new spaces.

    Riverside Façade Riverside Faience The first architectural milestone in the restoration was the stabilisation of the riverside façade. In 1911, an extension to this elevation had made The Savoy London’s first all en-suite hotel and had involved the construction of massive steel trusses on the roof overhanging the existing façade from which the new frontage was suspended. A feat of engineering in its day, the structure had inevitably moved and corroded over the intervening years, calling for a new and innovative solution. This was also the opportunity to rationalise the space within the riverside guestrooms, removing some of the internal structure so that bathrooms could be totally re-organised and more space released into the bedroom.

    Temporary steels were driven into the building to support it while the façade was inched upwards over a period of weeks – monitored by infrared beams from across the River Thames – so that remedial work could be undertaken.

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    Daniel Fountain / 18.11.2010

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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