Mace Group has been awarded the construction management contract for the redevelopment of Quadrant 1, the former Café Royal block, by client Alrov. Home to the National Sporting Club for many years, as well as being a venue for banquets and conferences, the Café has been leased on a 125-year basis by the Crown Estate to Alrov, which specialises in developing landmark buildings and has a number of properties in Israel and Europe.
Quadrant 1 is located at the lower end of Regent Street, adjacent to Piccadilly and is formed from three existing buildings formally known as Café Royal, Oddeninos Hotel and County Mark building.
The Café Royal scheme will result in the creation of a five star boutique hotel comprising 160 luxury bedrooms, spa facilities, health club with pool, business centre and prime Regent Street retail space at ground level. The new hotel will also include a spa, gym and restaurant, expected to be presided over by one of London’s leading chefs.
The scope of the works includes total demolition to the Oddeninos Hotel building with further works including a façade support system, removal of the top two floors and part demolition to the Café Royal building to create additional floor plates and the formation of new core and riser distribution.
Extensive mini-piling and foundation strengthening was completed to support the new structure.
Steel construction and concrete floors replace the central building forming a new core, light well and common floor plates for the hotel bedrooms.
Spa facilities will be located within the basement and will require extensive modifications, which must protect the special areas of interest within the Café Royal and County Mark building.
There will be five extensive fit out packages following the base build construction to include the 160 guest rooms, spa and leisure facilities, public and back of house areas.
The project will carefully renovate the listed interiors of the Café Royal including the marble Entrance Hall, the Grill Room and the Domino Room.
The project will also reinstate an interpretation of the original Ten Room as a new double height foyer on Air Street, which until recently had been obscured. Five other historic rooms will be converted to large VIP Suites, including one beneath the copper dome at the apex of Piccadilly Circus and Glasshouse Street, with views of Big Ben and St James’s Park.
David Chipperfield Architects, who designed the new luxury 5 star hotel commented: “We are tremendously excited to work on this project, providing a new luxury hotel for London on such a significant site with a remarkable past. Our project aims to ensure that the existing building’s Louis XVI interiors sit comfortably within the framework of an entirely new, state of the art hotel.”
Akirov, Managing Director of Alrov’s luxury hotel business, said: “We look forward to delivering a world class hotel in this exciting location, in time for the 2012 London Olympics.
“Café Royal occupies a unique place in London’s history, culture and heritage. Alrov has a proud history of developing projects, within landmark buildings around the world, which respect and build on the cultural heritage of the site.”
The scheme at the Café Royal, where Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley were once regulars in the Grill Room, is expected to be completed in time for the 2012 Olympics and would be ideally placed to capitalise on the huge demand for rooms in central London.
It could also act as a suitably prestigious base for bodies such as the International Olympic Committee.
The Café Royal, currently in the hands of the Stanwood Hotel group, was established in the 1860s by Daniel Thevenon, a bankrupt French wine merchant who fled his home country to try his hand in London.
By the 1890s it had become one of the centres of fashionable London, and frequented by such figures as Wilde, as well as the artist James McNeill Whistler and Max Beerbohm, the caricaturist.
The café was frequented by Edward VIII and George VI in the early part of the 20th century.
Since 1951, it has been home to the National Sporting Club, which stages boxing matches and other events, usually attended by a host of sporting stars and celebrities.
The Café Royal will be the centrepiece of the Quadrant development which is designed to revitalise and open up the southern end of Regent Street and create a 44,000 square foot public space.