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Dexter Moren gets green light for pruned Westminster hotel

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Westminster councillors have approved a smaller version of a Dexter Moren Associates hotel they rejected almost two years ago on height grounds

The city council’s planning applications sub-committee voted in favour of the Camden practice’s revised eight-storey proposals at 268-282 Vauxhall Bridge Road in the heart of London.

An application for a 10-storey hotel on the same site was turned down in September 2018, when councillors felt it would result in unacceptable ‘sense of enclosure and loss of light’ to neighbouring residents.

With two storeys lopped off the top of the building, and the number of rooms scaled back from 169 to 137, councillors this time gave the plans the green light.

The hotel, for the 4C hospitality chain, will be located close to Victoria station in central London. As well as the rooms, it will feature a restaurant/bar and a gym.

Plant, cycle storage and staff amenities will be located in the basement, with two residential apartments at first floor level using their own entrance. The building will feature a green roof.

The site currently includes six properties, predominately used as offices as well as a smaller hotel and some housing.

Planning officers told councillors the latest hotel designs ‘sought to address the amenity issues forming part of the reason for refusal for the previously considered scheme’. As well as the reduction in height, this included step backs to reduce massing, they said.

As with the rejected scheme, the approved hotel features an external frame of chamfered vertical and horizontal stone and red masonry members that look different when viewed from the north and south. Planners said this ‘allows the scheme to blend into the surrounding buildings’.

The facade of Dexter Moren Associates' approved Westminster hotel looks different from north and south

The facade of Dexter Moren Associates’ approved Westminster hotel looks different from north and south

Source: Dexter Moren Associates

The facade of Dexter Moren Associates’ approved Westminster hotel looks different from north and south

Dexter Moren Associates said its design had been influenced by the nearby Westminster Cathedral Conservation Area and neighbouring buildings.

‘The sculptural façade geometry creates an interesting play of materiality, with the tonal elements changing depending on the viewer’s standpoint,’ said the practice.

‘When viewed from the south, the building appears white framed with subtle accents of brickwork; viewed from the north, in the context of the reddish masonry, terracotta and stone of Cathedral Mansions, the building shows itself predominantly of varied tones of brick panels with hints of light stone.’

Mark Wood, partner at the practice, said: ‘This is far from the old-fashioned cookie cutter hotel façade. In order to break the composition of the building within its streetscape setting, the overall façade has been broken up into several tonal elements, giving it two appearances.’

Work could start on site in early 2021 with completion expected in summer 2022.

Project data

Location 268-282 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London

Local authority Westminster City Council

Type of project Hotel

Client 4C Hotel Group

Architect Dexter Moren Associates

Planning consultant ROK Planning

Structural engineer Barret Mahony

M&E consultant Sabinus

Main contractor Not appointed

Start on site Jan 2021 approximately

Completion July 2022 approximately

Contract duration 18 Months approximately

 

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • So very banal and characterless in comparison with its neighbours - but maybe they'll be replaced with similar stuff in due course.
    'Blending in' in this context is stretching the imagination in favour of dumbing down the character of the city - the design would blend in better if sited on the edge of an industrial estate / retail park / motorway service area .

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