Sectors - Leisure

New Motel One hotel for The Minories

The Minories welcomes new Motel One Hotel

A new £18M contemporary hotel will be gracing the skylines of the EC3 district of the City of London later this year when developer Endurance Land / SWIPPT and main contractor McAleer & Rushe complete the construction of Minories Hotel for hotel the German operator Motel One.

The project at 24-26 The Minories has been underway since January 2013 and will result in the delivery of sustainable, two tower effect building consisting of 291 bedrooms and leisure facilities. Construction work began with the demolition of an existing 6 storey building which consisted of 5 floors of B1 office accommodation and a 380sq m ground floor which housed a Barclays Bank retail unit. The basement of the existing building was kept intact, extended and lowered to house the plant for the new hotel. 

The architect for the project, Mackay & Partners llp, worked to a high specification to ensure that the building made a dramatic yet inviting impact on its environment, made use of sustainable features and met the needs of its client.

The site is not part of a conservation area, however a Roman road was found to be running under the site and sparked the need for an archaeological dig conducted by the Museum of London Archaeology. This resulted in the discovery of a pristine Roman Eagle Sculpture dating back to the 1st or 2nd century AD. 

The hotel has been constructed using an in-situ reinforced concrete raft slab substructure on piled foundations. Its exterior is made up of a front ‘Corian cube’ tower which is 7 storeys in height and a 16 storey glass tower element to the rear, a stepped element is incorporated into the glass tower with an indent on the 12th floor level from the north to stay in line with the concept of steps and blocks from the surrounding buildings.

The ground floor the Minories street frontage comprises 3.5mm floor to ceiling heights with full glazing to the entrance and the cafè/bar and retail space. This continues down the south elevation on St Clare Street to maximise animation and street interaction.

The front cube façade comprising of a Corian solid surface, its façade zone is 0.35m deep, with inset full height double glazing windows to the hotel windows and the inset lining/insulated panel is clad in a translucent, textured Corian panel with integral vertical LED lighting which will provide interest and decoration both internally and externally. 

model of the new motel one hotel in the MinoriesThe higher tower will be enveloped in a unitised double glazing system which will have internal insulated vertical panels and spandrels on a 1.5M grid to meet building regulations and the requirements of the site. The panels will feature vertical LED lights on a staggered layout to gently activate the façade on en evening and those covered the insulated sections of the building will be coloured to activate interest dying the day. The east facing elevation features a 6 storey living wall which will be similarly clad with a single glazed unitised system above. The façade of the entire building was designed to achieve low noise levels from inside due to its central London location and the running of tube lines underneath. A façade noise performance level of less than 35 – 40 db will be achieved during the daytime and of less than 30-35 db at night.

The building has been designed to BREEAM excellent rating standards, with high thermal efficiency façades and a heat recovery system. The front tower aspect of the building will feature a bio-diverse green roof which will supply an improved thermal insulation to the building, reduced rainwater run off and help establish insect and bird wildlife. The design feature will also make it more visually attractive to neighbouring structures and the rear tower. The rear tower will feature a six storey vertical wall with planting suited to the local climate which will minimise the water required, it will also feature green and brown living roofs on publicly non-accesible roofs and terraces to create habitats and form environmental buffers. A full ecology assessment will be carried out to explore suitable locations for bird and bat boxes and bee and insect hives on the development. 

To the front on the building there will be a continuation of external materials internally to incorporate a coherent link from outside to inside. There will be a range of graphics and lighting used to create a brand identity which will be fully integrated into the design of the building itself. A 3m cantilevered canopy will be installed above the hotel entrance lobby which will extend across the cafè/ bar area to provide external dining options within the site boundary. An open and attractive street frontage will be created using hard landscaping in-line with the City of London Street scene requirements. The hard landscaping will include the planting of replacement trees and new external signage and lighting will be provided. 

Access to the hotel will be provided in one location, the front entrance, which will feature fully automatic sliding doors. The whole building has been designed with the end users in mind, to provide an inclusive environment and experience for all. With this in mind the architects incorporated a step free layout of the ground floor from the entrance throughout, to ensure everyone can access the whole of the building. A central core will hold the stairs, lifts and service risers for all 15 upper floors and the hotel will have 30 designated accessible rooms. A mixture of standard and basic accessible room types will be offered, providing a choice of location and bathroom type. At least one standard type fully accessible room will be located on each floor of the hotel and the use of glass and glazing has been designed to with the appropriate manifestation in accordance with the ADM regulations to ensure people with visual impairments are in no doubt as to the location of glass doors and can differentiate between glazed screens and glass doors. 

The safety security features incorporated into the building include electronic security systems, CCTV which will include coverage of all external areas of the site, including lobbies, loading bays, and fire escapes, emergency lighting, emergency assistance alarms and wheelchair accessible reset buttons within all accessible bedrooms and bathrooms, fire alarms in all bedrooms, bathrooms, WCs and wheelchair accessible WCs, and escape stair. The escape stair will incorporate a wheelchair refuge on each floor and has been designed in accordance with AD M, with an emergency voice communication system, which is hearing-aid compatible. 

Main Contractor McAleer and Rushe are expected to complete work on this development in October 2014. The hotel will be open for guests towards the end of autumn.

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