Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands hotel defines: ‘Shoebox, Snug, Cosy, Roomy and Biggy’

Georgina Johnston
14 Feb 2020

Eat, rest or work: The Hoxton Southwark hotel accommodates all

The Hoxton, Southwark, is a mixed use scheme integrating 192 hotel rooms, restaurants, bars and function rooms, plus 4,000m² of flexible coworking office space, all stacked within a slender 17 storey building. It is a welcoming, blended space where workers, guests, locals and diners overlap day and night.

As architects we had to create internal layouts, incorporating workspaces with lots of amenity space; relaxed lounge areas as you walk in, bars, restaurants, even a gallery. Combining all these elements to create an exciting new urban community that works for the people inside the building and for members of the local community to come in and exchange ideas and inspiration. We delivered a raw, warehouse aesthetic both externally and internally, presenting a facade that is in sympathy with the conservation area that the building stands in and also in keeping with the Hoxton brand.

A. Lifschutz, Director of LIfschutz Davidson Sandilands

The building is situated on the busy Blackfriars Road, nicknamed ‘Blackfriars Boulevard’ because of the way in which it has gradually become a destination in its own right over the past few years. The narrow site sits just to the south of a Grade II listed 1950s church and charming church gardens. The Colombo Centre, a small community sports hub lies to the west.

The basement contains logistics and kitchens with the ground and first storeys given over to public areas that include restaurants and bars, banqueting and conference rooms plus a terrace that looks over the churchyard. Six floors of hotel rooms provide rooms of different sizes, ‘Shoebox, Snug, Cosy, Roomy and Biggy’, ranging from 16m² to 25m². A further six floors of flexible office space provide new offices for startups and sole traders with the taller ceilinged 13th floor a winter garden breakout, crossover space for coworkers to mingle. HVAC and other plants are on the interstitial 14th floor and the top 15th floor features a high quality seafood restaurant and skybar with spectacular views over London.

Materiality, adaptability and generosity were emphasised in the design. The building is clad in precast brick panels in buff and dark brown brick, which sit comfortably with the closeby Roupell Street conservation area and the overall look and feel of the building is in distinct contrast to the more monolithic glass buildings that have been put up nearer the river. It sits comfortably on Blackfriars Road, and thanks to its brick façade, will weather well.

All the floors can be served by six passenger lifts allowing great flexibility in the way in which the hotel, office and function room floors interconnect. So, for instance, the coworkers on levels seven through to level 12 can directly access either the rooftop restaurant and bar or the meeting or banquet rooms at mezzanine. The hotel and the office floors lend themselves to conversion to apartments and vice versa to workspace.

The building has a very permeable, active and attractive ground and mezzanine floor on the street with abundant planting and sitting out spaces that are sheltered by awnings and heaters for all season use. Chiming with Hoxton’s open-door policy, visitors are welcome to enter the building without having to check in and go up to the mezzanine function rooms and bar, the coworking suites or the sky bar and restaurant. 

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