Spirit of East London
A triumph of urban contemporary style reflecting its east London location, The East London Hotel opens this autumn in Bethnal Green.
Modern but unpretentious, comfortable but affordable, the 161-bedroom hotel will offer every convenience, and will combine local culture with comfort and connectivity. It will incorporate a restaurant and bar highlighting local food and drink suppliers.
The new seven storey hotel is located on Cambridge Heath Road in the heart of Bethnal Green, opposite the Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood, and beside the Paradise Row restaurants and bars.
Maith Design were architects for the building, with the interior design being carried out by Occa Design Studio. Main contractors for the construction and fit out were RGB Ltd, who were commended for their work. Forest Contracts carried out the shopfitting, and were also praised for their performance.
The hotel has been constructed on the site of a former office building which was demolished to make way for the new development.
Alan Grieve of Maith Design said: “The client wanted a limited service hotel with a small offering on the ground floor and the remainder of the building taken up by compact bedrooms. In keeping with the compact design and the need to maximise available space, some of the bedrooms are windowless.
“The hotel is located adjacent to a railway line which posed a challenge in that special consents were needed in order to carry out construction.”
The building’s two basements, ground and first floors are structured around a reinforced concrete frame, with the remaining five floors above being of a prefabricated Metsec construction.
External elevations are clad in an insulated brick slip system and the building has a flat Sarnafil roof. The building also incorporates a fully glazed colonnade to the front of house ground floor area, and bespoke glazing panels punctuate the elevations, capturing the reflections of nearby large trees and the adjacent Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood.
During the Victorian era, the area was home to the working classes employed in local industry as weavers and in other light industries. Following the aerial bombings of WW2, Post War architecture now also sits alongside the Victorian.
Bethnal Green is in the midst of an earthy urban renaissance, becoming increasingly popular with tech-savvy creatives, hipsters, and artists for whom the lure of nearby Shoreditch is appealing but the price tag is just out of reach.
The concept for The East London Hotel perfectly balances the heritage of the area with progressive contemporary design, creating spaces which are unique, stylish and appealing, whilst unifying the transient nature of ‘the hotel’ with the immediate neighbourhood and strong sense of local identity.
The hotel’s unique, contemporary offer comprises a stylish design-led interior brand, coupled with a limited service approach based on small format bedrooms with a high-quality fit-out.
This is geared to appeal to both leisure and business travellers wanting to be part of the Bethnal Green creative scene.
The hotel will feature an open-plan public area at street level, with a café bar feel designed to be very much part of the community.
The café bar transitions discreetly from breakfast service as a hotel to a buzzy, stylish bar. Check-in reception pods are located to the rear of the space, with the café concept leading the sense of arrival.
Concrete and aged timber floors create the beginnings of the contemporary palette, referencing both the Victorian and Post war eras. The use of subway tiles, metalwork and glass are a nod to the former industrial era, and an eclectic mix is seen throughout the mid-century styling of the furniture, fixtures, and lighting.
Bedrooms and ensuites are thoughtfully created around the compact floor space. Lighting adds a warm and inviting ambience, whilst aged timber style floors offer a sense of heritage and the contemporary design style of the furniture appeals to the target market of the brand.
Beds have bespoke, top of the range British made mattresses and walnut veneer and tan leather head and foot boards, adding a luxurious feel, together with super-fast Wi-Fi, 43inch 4k TVs and monsoon showers. The practicalities of maximum storage and easily accessible services are incorporated into the design.
Kate Mooney, Occa Design Studio design director said: “Given the concept of a limited service hotel, the design was all about providing guests with everything they need within a compact environment.
“The overall design was inspired by the location of the hotel and by the adjacent Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood, which includes many lovely examples of modernist tiles and finishes which we used as influences to direct our design.
“The public areas are one big open plan space and these were designed to connect with the neighbourhood – through the large areas of double height glazing, for example.
“We also created a really comfortable, relaxed cafe area which transitions from breakfast through to an afternoon and evening venue to attract not only hotel guests, but also people from the local neighbourhood.”
The relaxed ambience is enhanced by the furnishings used in this area, which are complemented by a timber block feature wall in a combination of Iroko wood and walnut, adding warmth to the space. The wall is hung with specially commissioned local photography taken in East London to add a sense of provenance to the design. Adjacent to this is a section of modernist style tan leather banquette seating.
Other finishes used in the design palette are quite eclectic and include tweeds and linens, with the harder finishes including Corian and marble which complement the light ash table tops.
A key feature of the public area space is the bar which features hand-made vintage style tiling combined with a Corian counter top.
Flooring includes polished concrete and herringbone block ash, with exposed services in the ceiling adding to the industrial feel. The colour palette features natural tones, including Inchyra Blue.
Kate Mooney concluded: “The project went very well, with RGB Ltd and Forest Contracts doing excellent work in translating our designs in the fit-out. Alan Maith added: “RGB Ltd did a great job and the project went smoothly.”
The East London hotel is the first hospitality venture from property investment and development company Definition Capital, led by Irfan Hussain and Marin Jakisic, who specialise in commercial and residential investments in London and the south east.
Hussain and Jakisic, who were also the founders of the property company JMH Group, are the owners and operators of the new venture.