Combining the luxury of boutique hotels with the freewheeling spirit of international backpacking, this new concept for the first Backpacker Hotel was designed to colonise an existing building in Hoxton in London’s dynamic East End. The project reconfigures and transforms a redundant nightclub into a unique ‘hybrid accommodation’ that is both affordable yet with the distinctive design ethos of a boutique hotel.
The client asked that the existing buildings be extended and remodelled with a new public bar, shop and other facilities to accommodate a new generation of backpackers. Paul McAneary Architects inventive proposal proposal adds a double height space and unifies the overall composition with a new screen of expanded Corten mesh that veils and wraps the main street facade. The fine metal mesh allows light to flow into the depths of the building while simultaneously ensuring privacy for the hotel’s clientele. Corten’s pre-rusted, proto-industrial quality aptly reflects the studied grunginess of its surroundings and dramatically emphasises the hotel’s presence as a new city landmark.
The original Victorian facade is retained and enhanced by the presence of the new Corten screen. During the day, the fine mesh creates beautiful changing reflections while at night, the building becomes a softly glowing lantern, blending with London’s orange street lights. The impact is striking; urban and sophisticated at the same time, epitomising the architectural and programmatic impetus of the project. [By Catherine Slessor*]
Contract Value Undisclosed
Location Hoxton, London
Date 2012 – Ongoing
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design, interior design, lighting design, 3D visualisation
Press 2013 BD New Architects 2013 2012 ‘Hackney hotel breaks mould’, BD Magazine, 5 April 2012