Squire & Partners’ contentious 18-storey Art’otel scheme in Shoreditch won planning permission from Hackney Council last night (4 February), despite local opposition
The 350-room hotel development on the prominent City fringe site was approved subject to further review of the detailed design by the planning committee.
The art-themed hotel will replace alternative arts collective The Foundry, which, for the last 11 years, occupied a derelict bank building on the site.
The scheme was approved despite a critical review by design watchdog CABE which was concerned about the maintenance and low quality appearance of the facade.
Objectors to the proposal last night swamped the public gallery at Hackney Town Hall.
One objector told the committee: ‘If [the Foundry] was to close down now it would go down in history as another example of a blinkered local council unable to recognise a treasure at its heart.’
A spokesperson for the Shoreditch Conservation Area Committee said: ‘The sheer width of the drum leads to an overbearingly weighty building for its location,’ adding that: ‘Significant improvement to scale, massing and materials should be sought.’
Michael Squire of Squire & Partners said: ‘We look forward to delivering a world class building, the design of which is routed in the physical and cultural character of Shoreditch.
‘Squire and Partners have been working with The Foundry preparing proposals for potential new premises, and we will continue to help with their relocation.’
The proposal by the London-based practice, which is currently masterplanning the Chelsea barracks site with Dixon Jones, features an 18-story cylindrical structure with bronze-coloured anodized aluminium cladding.
Art’otel developer Aspirations expect to commence work on the scheme as soon as possible.