Tamburlaine Hotel – An exemplar of inspired design
Creating a stunning new focal point in Cambridge, is the ultra-stylish £50m 155-bed Tamburlaine Hotel, the construction of which was completed in March for the O’Callaghan Group.
Located in Station Road, just a few minutes’ walk from the train station, the hotel plays a key role in the transformation of the new city quarter in which it is situated. The hotel is seven storeys high, with the top two storeys being set back and glazed.
Lead Architect and design team coordinator from project inception through to completion were Oppermann Associates, who also developed the detailed design for all aspects of the bedrooms and ensuites and for the upper floors. In addition, Oppermann Associates worked closely with Bryan O’Sullivan Studio to coordinate and deliver the hotel’s front of house facilities.
Main Contractors for the project were the UK branch of John Paul Construction, whose headquarters are located in Dublin.
The hotel features executive suites on the 6th and 7th floors – each with wall-to-wall glazing and spacious outdoor terraces offering magnificent views over Cambridge and beyond. The standard bedrooms are a spacious 28m².
Dornbracht brassware, backlit vanity mirrors, large walk in showers and large-format marble effect tiles combine to create contemporary sleek ensuite bathrooms. Sliding doors are concealed in the walls to maximise space.
Wardrobes have a dedicated space for suitcases to keep the main bedroom space clear, and the dark stained finish on the main bedroom and ensuite bathroom doors is echoed in the wardrobe finish. A bronze colour theme dominates throughout the bedrooms and corridors and is featured on ironmongery, lamps, sockets, furniture bases, and headboard lights. Concealed LED strip lighting within curtain pelmets provides relaxing ambient lighting.
The wide corridors are designed to allow free circulation of guests with suitcases, and have concealed ambient lighting to provide a welcoming feel.
Other facilities include The Brasserie Restaurant, the Garden Room and ‘Steam’ café deli, on the ground floor – all of which open out onto newly landscaped squares. Folding doors open up the facades onto al fresco dining and drinking areas blurring the division between inside and out.
The first floor features a beautifully landscaped roof garden, bringing nature and greenery into the heart of the hotel.
There is also a fully equipped state of the art gym overlooking the park to the north of the hotel.
External works include the creation of a designated drop off area adjacent to the main hotel entrance, to allow convenient access for guests.
The use of awnings with fabric by Timourous Beasties beautifully highlights the hotel entrance, and also provides stylish outdoor cover for al fresco dining to the east.
Michele Sweeney, director and senior project architect at Oppermann Associates said: “The site falls within the central Cambridge Conservation Area. In seeking to arrive at a scheme of excellence, a comprehensive appraisal of the site and surrounding area was undertaken to inform the design solution. The objective was to establish an exemplar architectural statement, forming a gateway to Cambridge.
“In establishing a symmetrical south elevation, we have created a grand central statement.
“The hotel’s sheltered arcade space at ground floor is reminiscent of the colonnade to the nearby train station. The lower level of the building is architecturally defined by a colonnade that sets the enclosure line back and establishes a scale that relates to the listed station. In conceptual terms, the colonnade extends around the square and defines public activity.
“At ground level, the floor to ceiling height is taller than that of the other floors. This gives a feeling of grandeur at this level. We have created double height voids in the main hotel foyer and brasserie areas that visually link to the first floor.
“Large areas of glazing along the ground floor will encourage an interaction between inside and outside.”
The building is ’L’ shaped in plan from the first floor upwards, with a double-loaded corridor running through the centre of the ‘L’. All elevations are finished to ensure a good visual relationship with Station Road, as well as the soon to be completed pocket parks located to the east and north of the hotel.
The architects were keen to avoid the same detail repeated through the entire height of the building elevation and studied the elevational order of classical buildings using the basic principles of vertical order in the design.
In carrying up the ground floor columns and openings to first the floor, the impression of double height is achieved – as well as greater animation of the first floor plinth.
To successfully complete the cornice detail, the fifth floor windows have been staggered, effectively giving this floor a different look, while keeping the bedroom window sizes the same.
Michele Sweeney concluded: “This vertical ordering is successfully seen in many classical buildings, and we have provided a contemporary interpretation of this.”
IN2 Engineering Design Partnership
IN2 Engineering Design Partnership is a modern MEP and environmental engineering consultancy dedicated to developing innovative and sustainable engineering solutions for a diverse client base. The practice was founded in 2002 and over the past 14 years has increased its personnel to approaching 50 staff, with headquarters in Dublin and offices in London, Belfast and Athlone.
Current and past projects for IN2 include: Crowne Plaza / Holiday Inn Express, at Heathrow T4; Hilton Garden Inn, Heathrow T2; The Moxy, Dublin; Radisson SAS Farnham Estate, Cavan; Hotel Europe, Killarney; Park Hotel, Kenmare; Kilronan Castle, Roscommon; and g Hotel, Galway.
Most recently, IN2 Engineering Design Partnership has been involved with The Tamburlaine, Cambridge for the O’Callaghan Hotel Group.
Working on The Tamburlaine, IN2 Engineering Design Partnership was responsible for the design of MEP systems and the sustainable elements of the development. This involved mechanical, electrical and building mass and thermal modelling works.
IN2 was also responsible for the design of the audio-visual, music, PA, voice and data systems. Assistance was provided with the kitchen and laundry installation design, and responsibility for acoustic aspects of the M&E elements of the development.
IN2 Engineering Design Partnership Associate Director, Tim Gillen, said:
“This was an exciting boutique hotel project in an interesting location and afforded us the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with Oppermann Associates, the rest of the design team and the O’Callaghan Hotel Group.”
“IN2 Engineering Design Partnership is an outstanding building services engineering consultancy, due to our exceptional in-house capabilities including Airflow Simulation (CFD), Dynamic Thermal Modelling, Lighting Simulation, BIM, Passive Design and Sustainability. These capabilities, coupled with our focus on sustainable, low energy design solutions, offer our clients, and design team colleagues, a wholly integrated approach to projects which results in considerable efficiencies in both coordination of design and cost. IN2 Engineering Design Partnership provides a unique service to clients and aids the design team from the earliest stage of any project.”