Location: London
Date: 2012-2020
Client: 4C Hotel Group
Status: Construction
Size: 38,000 sqm
Credits: Luka Anic, Michel Bosauder, Monica Capitanio, Anna Czigler, Friedrich Ludewig, Eleni Meladaki, Paolo Moretto, Elisha Nathoo, Jolanda Putri, David Rieser, Gemma Serra, Azizah Sulor, Maria Perez Vera, Hexuam Yu
Aldgate was one of the busiest medieval gateways into the city, with a rich historic and cultural background spanning centuries. Since the 1950s, the Minories street and the adjacent area have been the preferred location for the insurance industry. Radical reconfiguration of the built fabric is now needed to accompany the expansion of the City of London.
Within its site boundary the Minories development is a microcosm of its evolving environment, converting old buildings when possible or replacing unusable ones, re-creating an urban fabric with streets, squares and landscaping. Among other programmes, a new Canopy by Hilton hotel will occupy the refurbished and extended old Aon Insurance offices.
The design seeks to create a hotel experience that is relevant to the neighbourhood by taking inspiration in the architectural language of the late modernist existing building and by echoing the history of the area, inhabited by various immigrants throughout the centuries. The concrete façade of the building has been over clad in anodized aluminium, and that formal language has been re-interpreted as timber canopies for the hotel beds. The room shelving is designed in the spirit of Jean Prouvé as lightweight steel and timber structures. Carpets and wall fabrics use a pattern which evokes the woven legacy of the Huguenots. A letterpress tray forms the central element in each room, curated using new works by local artists and objects found in Petticoat Lane Market.