ME London — London, UK
Located at the western tip of London’s 1920s Aldwych crescent, on the site of the former Gaiety Theatre, ME London is the latest project of Spanish chain Meliá, which has recruited architects Foster Partners to design its 157-room luxury hotel. And the practice has overseen every detail of the project, from the shell of the building to the bathroom fittings. The triangular new build boasts a glass and Portland stone façade and oriel windows with views of the Strand and Somerset House. But the design’s centrepiece, a dramatic atrium, housing a white marble lobby, is hidden at the core of the structure. ‘The 11-storey atrium is the hotel’s elegant internal focus. Its pyramidal form follows the triangular footprint of the building,’ says Nigel Dancey, senior partner at Foster Partners. ‘Everything radiates from this core: the black marble corridors wrap around it; the rooms extend towards the street to take advantage of views; and the angled windows flood the rooms with daylight.’ The minimalist rooms come with white leather walls and black lacquered cabinets, while the duplex penthouse suite is topped by a glass cupola offering panoramic views. More stunning views of the city’s landmarks, from Big Ben to Canary Wharf, are on offer at the hotel’s glamorous rooftop terrace bar. ME London opens in summer 2012.