The Hoxton, Blackfriars is the latest in a series of open-house hotels in the UK, Europe and USA from The Hoxton hotel group, and the outcome of a collaboration with Derwent London, one of the capital’s most innovative office-specialist developers. The project marks the culmination of 12 years’ work in which change has been a constant theme; as the vision has changed, so the design has had to change with it, with separate, successful planning applications in 2005, 2015 and 2016, in which we secured new treatments to the façade and an increased height for the building to 14 storeys. These all accommodated a gradual change in ownership from Derwent to The Hoxton group, which took over the lead of the project as the hotel offering gained more prominence.
In the final design, the first two storeys of the new building contain public areas for the hotel, including on-street and terrace eating and dining and conference facilities that double as meeting rooms for the co-workers above. Six floors of hotel rooms provide 192 rooms, and five floors of flexible office space provide new offices for start-ups and sole traders, with a winter garden breakout space for workers to mingle on the 12th floor and a 14th-floor, top-floor bar and restaurant. As in all our buildings, we have designed the interiors with a ‘long-life, loose fit’ ethos in mind.
For the exterior design, we put an emphasis on verticality to give the building generosity and elegance, and spent a lot of time on the ground floor to create a civilised environment at street level, but it is the all-encompassing nature of The Hoxton, Blackfriars, that will make it special. Hotel guests, hotel staff, office co-workers and the general public will create a new urban community that is unlike anything else in London. The client has always had a clear vision of this new community, but the scale and ambition of the project has set their business a new benchmark for quality and pushed their brand and capabilities to a new level. We are proud to have been able to help in the design and delivery of that.