Qbic Hotel London has been unveiled in the city’s thriving financial zone. The hotel comprises of 171 rooms and has cost £5 million in total.
The project has seen the transformation of an office block into an innovative, vibrant new hotel venue for business people and tourists alike.
Premier Hospitality caught up with Qbic Hotels Managing Director, Paul Janmaat, to find out more about the Qbic brand and their newest venture. Paul said the office building had been built and decorated in the 1970’s and was in need of an overhaul.
“We started work on site at the beginning of April 2013 and transformed the venue into a hotel in six months. The grand opening occurred on the 19th October and since its unveiling we have had a very high occupancy rate; with 98% of the hotel’s rooms being occupied at all times.”
With only one other Qbic Hotel in Amsterdam, Paul and the Qbic team are keen to keep expanding. Paul is eager to introduce Qbic hotels to every major city in the world, but hopes to find more locations in London first. He feels the Qbic concept itself can work everywhere and the firm are continually looking for sites to develop.
LabordusProjects is specialist project designer, overseeing and advising on projects, taking them from conception through to reality. Working with its partners, LabordusProjects develops inspiring and sustainable working, living and recreation areas.
For the Qbic Hotel, LabordusProjects was responsible for the complete management, consultancy and delivery of key aspects of the scheme. The company was responsible for the lobby, entrance, the corridors, flooring and curtains including the loose furniture for the rooms.
Ebe Labordus, LabordusProjects, said:
“This project was special because it provided us with the opportunity to demonstrate our way of working in the UK instead of our domestic market the Netherlands.”
The London project began with a complete strip out of the interior office space. Main contractors A J Contracts then continued to install the infrastructure of the building including the water, gas, ventilation and drainage.
The partitioning, floor finishes and wall finishes were completed before Qbic’s very own Cubi invention was placed within all of the hotel’s rooms. Qbic’s modular bedrooms are a key part of their innovative design; the Cubis are futuristic and add quirky living spaces to the hotel environment.
Made off-site, the Cubi, is 100% aluminium and combines a variety of features including sleeping areas, bathroom facilities and cooking resources. Effectively the Cubi is a pod of pre-built furniture that plugs into the hotels main infrastructure and is up and running within five hours.
Qbic have not changed the shape of the building and have maintained the same framework. The windows have been changed and the venue has been thoroughly cleaned. The company used recycled materials from the office block; so 98% of the materials used are recycled.
Architects March and White were the project architects and completed detailed drawings for the hotel. Blacksheep interior design agency designed a range of bespoke Qbic icons based on the hotel’s core offering, ‘the cube’ that could also act as signature design features in future hotels.
Side tables resembling cubes equipped with integrated ipads, colourful metal cubic signage and striking pendant lights also in cubic form, are just some of the elements which can be found within every hotel room.
Blacksheep Founder Tim Mutton added:
“Qbic’s coming to London marks the growth in the trend of affordable luxury. People are demanding more for their money and brands like Qbic are answering this demand by creating unique design and hospitality experiences for their guests but at an affordable price. It’s all about bringing a different concept to the market.”
The five storey building echoes Qbic’s goal to create a welcoming and flexible space for all to enjoy and belong. Inspiration for the hotel has been taken from the creative energy of the East End and has been mixed with Qbic’s brand values of Humanity, Fashion, Food, Art and Design.
Qbic’s Managing Director Paul Janmeet ran his own airline for 18 years and so is well versed in the leisure and tourism industry. He says his plan for Qbic is similar to his goals whilst in aviation; to start a business and watch it grow. Paul said that the Qbic team are extremely pleased with end result of the project as they managed to remain on time and within budget.