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Arad 'shocked' at 'relaxed version' of new Shoreditch hotel

Renowned designer Ron Arad has expressed his dismay at being replaced on a high-profile hotel scheme in Shoreditch, London

Arad’s studio steered the 156-room hotel for the Nobu chain through planning. But after an eighteen month hiatus, his firm was replaced by Southwark-based Ben Adams Architects.

On being told that work had started on Adam’s version, Arad said:  ‘We were shocked to see major elements that undoubtedly came from my desk.  We had a lot of meetings with Hackney..,,[and some] very intense discussion.

‘Then we see a relaxed version of our scheme. If I was a planner I don’t know what I would think about it.’

But a spokesman for Ben Adams Architects said: ‘Ron Arad left the project 18 months ago. It was dormant for quite a while before Ben and his team were appointed eight months ago.

‘Ben inherited the project, it wasn’t a blank slate. The practice has redesigned the facade, it uses different materials more suited Ben Adams architecture. It is a complete design in terms of the internal rooms and space and the entrance has been relocated.’

Practise founder, Ben Adams, said: ‘The building has been designed to reflect their [Nobu’s] incredibly high standards and a simple palette of materials has been developed into a set of beautiful, refined finishes.’

Backed by boutique hotel developer Meir Abdul, the scheme on Willow Street will also include a landscaped garden, terracing, a ‘triple height’ restaurant and bar.

The hotel is Nobu’s first in Europe and will feature ‘a palette of concrete, bronze, timber and glass overlaid with creative textiles and warm fabrics’.

The scheme, which has just started on site, is due for completion in early 2016.

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