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Leman Locke Modern hotel is a new 168 room hotel that Grzywinski+Pons, a New York City based practice, designed in the rapidly evolving East London neighborhood of Aldgate.
Grzywinski+Pons (and their client) had in mind that young, creative professionals who are increasingly nomadic for purposes of their work might like to have an option that combines the best of two worlds from a hospitality perspective: The design-led and convivial atmosphere one often finds in good boutique hotels, mixed with the convenience of an extended stay product.
Their process was driven by the search for a way to hold on to the aspirational excitement of a hotel stay while enjoying the advantages of something more akin to a home in one’s adoptive city no matter how long – or short – the stay. They faced an additional challenge in that the scheme was to be built within a newly constructed and rather sterile tower (that they did not design) so they couldn’t lean on the building to augment the character of the spaces.
The reception and the cafe-bar space are bifurcated by the lift lobby and they designed them to be distinct from one another yet congruent in their prioritization of light, warmth and texture. The practice also created a feature stair that almost demands to be climbed to foster the connection between the cafe-bar and the forthcoming restaurant space that spans the ground and first floors and is sectionally legible from the street.
They designed nearly all of the furniture within the rooms, from the sofas and beds to some of the light fixtures and tables.
Much of this was driven by the desire to create a unique and harmonious aesthetic, but our other imperative was maximization of function and economy of space. They wanted to avoid the “transformer” vibe apparent in a lot of current micro-residential products that include murphy beds, retractable desks and flip up tables. While that approach appeals to the “inventor” side of us as architects, they hoped to spare guests from the chore of clearing up and manipulating their furniture when finishing a meal or getting ready for bed.
Their intention was to dispel the underlying sense of being unsettled which complicates our self imposed directive to inculcate the feeling of being at home while away.
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