Location: London, UK
Client: Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts
Status: Concept Design
Size: 2.900 m2 total GIA (43 rooms, 160 m2 restaurant and cafe-bar, 170 m2 Halkin Terrace)
Credits: ACME (Christoph Emenlauer, Katrina Hollis, Friedrich Ludewig, Paolo Moretto, Thomas Soo, Azizah Sulor, Jack Taylor, Antonio Torres Tebar)
CONSULTANTS: Peter Stewart Consultancy, Savills
Lowndes Square is one of the imposing old squares of Knightsbridge, spanning from Harvey Nichols on its northern end to the High Commission for Pakistan at its southern end. Most of the residential buildings and embassies on the square date from the mid 19th and early 20th century. The Lowndes Hotel is a 1960s concrete building that has little relationship to its urban context, in its size, height, alignment and materiality. The internal ceiling heights are low, and the bedrooms are tiny.
To reposition the hotel, the building has been stripped back to its concrete frame, and re-clad entirely. The surrounding facades of Lowndes Square are characterised by grand terraces in white or light yellow tones of stucco. The new Lowndes hotel facade consists of reconstituted stone panels that reinterpret the proportions, tectonics, punctuation and colours of the context, to create a sense of vertical and horizontal order in a 21st century idiom.
The ground floor and first floor have been unified into a public plinth structured by double-height arches. Halkin Arcade, an existing urban passageway, has been converted into a double-story arcade leading to new courtyard restaurants. The key-count of the hotel has been halved, making this a very upmarket and discrete boutique hotel, in an amazing Knightsbridge location.