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Dexter Moren riffs off Shoreditch industrial heritage with new hotel

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The Curtain Hotel is a new-build, nine-storey, 120-room hotel and members club, the shell of which pays homage to the historic 19th-century warehousing of the area

The building, designed by Dexter Moren, is located on the site of a former 1970s office block on the corner of Curtain Road, and has a purposefully industrial feel. In this it interprets the vision of the client, hotelier Michael Achenbaum, whose Gansevoort Hotel Group has two hotels in New York – Gansevoort Meatpacking and Gansevoort Park Avenue – which also pick up on their areas’ architectural and industrial history.

As well as a hotel, The Curtain contains three restaurants and a members-only bar, a live music venue in a fully soundproofed basement, a gym, wellness area with treatment and steam rooms, screening room, ballroom and a 1,600ft² rooftop restaurant bar, with heated pool.

The Curtain Hotel Entrance high  c  Andy Stagg

The Curtain Hotel Entrance high c Andy Stagg

Source: Andy Stagg

Architect’s view

Our design reflects and reinterprets the area’s 19th-century warehouse heritage, with inspiration for the exterior drawn from the cabinet factories and colour warehouses that previously stood on the site.

This was achieved through the use of urban red brickwork, profiled metal panels, and large-framed Crittall-style windows with deep reveals and bullnose brick sills. These both complement the urban / industrial aesthetic and give the building a modern character with an identity of its own.

Utiltising space below ground was also critical to the success of the project. We were limited by a restrictive Rights of Light envelope constraining us above ground - which meant there was nowhere to go but down, resulting in a well-appointed three-storey basement. We have 4,000m² below ground, vs 6,000m² above ground – an unusual ratio for a project of this size.

Zoe Tallon, architect, Dexter Moren

Dexter Moren Associates The Curtain Ground Floor Plan copy

Dexter Moren Associates The Curtain Ground Floor Plan copy

Source: Dexter Moren Associates

Ground floor plan

Project data

Start on site December 2014
Completion  May 2017
Gross internal floor area 8,343m² nett
Gross (internal + external) floor area 10,739m²
Form of contract or procurement route Design and Build
Construction cost £70 million
Construction cost per m² £6,518.30
Architect Dexter Moren Associates
Client Gansevoort Hotel Group and SUSD
Structural engineer Davies Maquire & Whitby & TERRELL
M&E consultant Red Engineering and Kane Group
QS Arcadis
Interior design Duncan Miller Ullmann
Acoustic consultant Gillieron Scott
Project manager Arcadis
CDM coordinator Bouygues UK
Approved building inspector MLM
Main contractor Bouygues UK
CAD software used REVIT
Annual CO2 emissions Rated BREEAM Excellent 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • The exterior aesthetic is in striking contrast to that of the lift lobby - I wonder what layer of society that's designed to appeal to?

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