The Lofts at The Stratford — London, UK

The Lofts at The Stratford — London, UK

Once, the world’s more interesting hotels had as many (famous) permanent residents as they did guests. Travellers loved the possibility of glimpsing Chanel or Hendrix at check-in, residents loved the comfort and convenience of five-star service.

With the Stratford Skyscraper, a sleek, double cantilever tower designed by SOM, Harry Handelsman aims to revive this grand but fading tradition in brave new east London.

The kind of building Mies might have sketched while working on the Seagram, it contains two distinct but interrelated elements; the soon-to-open 145-room boutique hotel designed by Space Copenhagen and the Lofts, 248 raw but luxuriously furnished apartments, by Paris’ Studio KO.

Like some 21st-century Carlyle, the division between hotel and lofts is more a question of duration. The Stratford caters to short stays while the Lofts, which are serviced by the hotel, are aimed at those intending to remain for months, years, or maybe forever. §

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