Apex City of Glasgow – The inside story of prestigious hotel’s transformation
Enhancing the heart of the city, the former Marks Hotel on Bath Street has been transformed into the stylish new 104-bedroom Apex City of Glasgow hotel in a development cost of around £10.5m for the overall project.
The impressive interior fit-out, for Apex Hotels who have commended the project, was designed by Ian Springford Architects.
The work involved the comprehensive refurbishment of the eight storey hotel’s existing bedrooms, reception, restaurant, bar and public areas to upgrade the hotel to a luxury 4 star standard. Refurbishment work also involved external fabric repairs and upgrading the building services.
The new hotel has 104 elegant bedrooms including five duplex suites with striking views over the city. All rooms include plush king size beds, Sky Box-equipped 42” LCD TVs, spacious bathrooms, and free Wi-Fi.
The Club Lounge runs a new restaurant concept exclusive within the group to Apex City of Glasgow, providing a fixed tariff for guests to enjoy all day refreshments and light meals from the dedicated servery, whilst making full use of the lounge areas for working, meeting and relaxation.
The basement of the building contains back of house staff accommodation, with the ground floor incorporating the new-look reception, restaurant, bar and lounge, and seven floors of bedrooms above. The suites are located on the top floor which has a glazed, angular double height façade and projected canopy. All of the suites incorporate a mezzanine level for sleeping with a private lounge area below.
Emma Franks of ISA said: “Because the clients were keen to avoid altering the main fabric of the building, the original positions of the reception, lounges and restaurant on the ground floor were retained.
“We designed new white corian reception ‘pods’ and changed the orientation of the reception area to create a better connection with the bar. We also completely refurbished the floor and wall finishes such as the Japanese style cherry blossom patterned wall covering behind the reception desks, a theme which was extended through to the lounge. In addition, a specially commissioned brass pigeon sculpture was installed in reception as the chosen animal for Apex City of Glasgow.”
“In the restaurant and bar area we removed the original central bar and replaced it with a smaller corner version by the restaurant entrance, opening up the whole space from front to back to create a larger area for dining and to provide the number of covers that the client wanted.”
The new marble-topped bar has a sliding screen to hide the back bar in the morning. The marble topped cold servery counter opposite the bar has fridges and cupboards beneath and is complete with hot drinks machines, installed to be used by guests as an all-day facility providing tea, coffee, food and drinks.
A more intimate low-lit lounge area was created to the rear of the space in what was previously a dark low-ceilinged section of the room.
Seating of varying types and tables of different heights were provided to ensure flexible use of the space. Overall, the colour palette embodied a concept of varying shades of Scandinavian grey, with horizontal wall tiling and larger floor tiles, combined with timber, red leather upholstered seating, Carrara marble and elements of the cherry blossom wallcovering carried through from the reception.
The same Scandinavian grey colour theme was repeated in the standard bedrooms, with textured wall coverings, this time combined with bold mustard coloured curtains and mustard coloured fabrics on the bed. New carpets and timber flooring was also laid. All new furniture was installed, complete with built-in wardrobes, LCD TVs and full height mirrors, with the overall aim being to provide a spacious, streamlined, uncluttered look.
The bathroom walls and floors were re-tiled and new sanitary ware was fitted throughout, with the baths being removed and replaced by walk-in showers.
A similar colour theme and specification was used in the suites, although here the curtains and bed fabrics are in textured grey, creating a sophisticated, slightly masculine look, with splashes of colour added through bright cushions and yellow painted recesses in the lounge area below.
A new bathroom was added in one of the suites to allow a previously linked bedroom to be separated and some of the original bathrooms were extended.
Emma Franks said: “This was a fast track project with finished areas of the hotel being handed over to the client in phases, to allow the hotel to start business as quickly as possible. Particularly challenging elements of the scheme for both the hotel and the contract team were the phases involving the bar and restaurant, with the hotel having to function without these for a short time whilst still providing a breakfast offer off premises.”
“Although the basic fabric of the building is still the same, the interior is so different and the feedback from Apex and guests has been very positive. The main contractors did a very good job.”
Helen Gallagher, general manager of Apex City of Glasgow, commented: “The Glasgow market continues to boom. It made perfect sense to us to choose the city for our newest hotel.
“We’ve created a stylish hotel that offers everything you’d expect from four star accommodation and more.”
The hotel, which Apex said has created 60 new jobs in the city, is the group’s ninth property in its portfolio, joining hotels in locations including Edinburgh, Dundee and London.
Avesta Scotland Ltd
Avesta Scotland specialise in fire protection, air sealing, thermal insulation, concrete cutting and acoustic seating. The company has been in operation since October 2010.
Previous clients include the British Museum, Hilton Hotels, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and NHS. Working on Apex City Glasgow, Avesta Group worked to provide and install passive fire protection as well as concrete cutting.
Sharon Lobban from Avesta said:
“We pride ourselves in offering a one stop multi-disciplined high quality service throughout the UK on a wide range of projects. We provide bespoke passive fire protection solutions, particularly on refurbishment contracts where the fire protection details need to be analysed in more detail to ensure compliance with manufacturers tested solutions.”