Georgian and contemporary architecture merge at One Crown Place
Judging by the level of construction activity taking place around London, it really does feel as if the UK is in the midst of a building bonanza. Case in point is the Kuala Lumpur-based infrastructure giant AlloyMtd’s ambitious One Crown Place development – featuring 246 luxury apartments and nine penthouses, designed by interiors studios Bowler James Brindley, and Sophie Ashby alongside 15,500 sqm of prime office space – that’s currently in the works in London’s buzzy East End.
Over the next couple of years, commuters emerging from Liverpool Street station will have front row seats to watch the Shanghai- and New York-based architect KPF’s sparkling residential towers take form. Sharper eyes will also note, almost unnoticed, at the foot of the steel, glass and terracotta-clad development, a row of six low-slung Georgian townhouses. Originally designed by George Dance the Younger and abandoned for years, the historic five-storey piles will, on completion of the renovations in 2020, reopen as a 41-room boutique hotel – whose name won’t be revealed till later this year – operated by Bespoke.
In the lower levels especially, Bowler James Brindley is knitting together the hotel’s Georgian bones to create unified communal spaces that include a café, deli, art gallery, club lounge, bar and library. These lead upstairs to guestrooms dressed in warm brown hues and framed by oversized sash-windows and dressed with stylised four-poster beds, broad-beamed timber floors, Asian rugs and ornate wallpaper.
For guests at loose ends, the hotel’s address places it firmly in the crosshairs of London’s gentrified Shoreditch, Old Street and City neighbourhoods, whose lively swathe of ethnic and upmarket contemporary restaurants, cafés, creative agencies, galleries and boutiques make for entertaining diversions.
Still, there’s something to be said for hunkering down in the hotel’s conservatory restaurant– a light-washed courtyard styled like an orangery and lined with black and white floor tiles, creeper vines and wispy ceiling drapes.