Construction of the first Canopy hotel by Hilton in the UK will provide a 342 bed, 16,500 sqm facility on this prime City site in Aldgate. An inspiring design that converts the old building with a radical reconfiguration is a fitting development to accompany the expansion of the City of London.
- Total façade package including full design responsibility
- Fully unitised construction including storey height aluminium fins
- Overcladding of existing concrete columns with bespoke fin construction
- High specification finishes
- Complex site constraints and logistical strategy
Commissioned by the client, 4C Hotel Group, in January 2017 under a PCSA, Colorminium worked on developing the detailed design of the façade with Acme architects and consultant Murphy Façade Studio. To assist the client in capitalising on his return, a cost ceiling for the complete envelope was provided with a brief to understand, unpick and challenge the façade methodology in terms of construction, methodology and programme – all with the view of providing best value.
With a cost ceiling agreed, Colorminium’s contract was novated across to main contractor Radford (now known as X Construct) with final detailed design, surveys and mock-ups proceeding with unitised fabrication commencing back in the middle of 2018.
Working on a stage C design, the various façade aspects were reviewed, and a detailed proposal was put together. Initially designed as a site constructed stick and window system, the benefits in terms of programme and off-site quality were quickly investigated and a unitised system came through as the more viable option in both regards – although on face value façade rates are higher. An integral part of this are the full storey height feature fins that clad the existing pre-cast frame and bridge between the unitised glazing. These are also designed to be fabricated off-site and unitised to give the speed of installation required that will enable the fit out to commence. At roof level, traditional stickwork curtain walling is used to create a rooftop restaurant and at ground floor level, canopies and entrance doorsets including cladding to an undercroft area complete the package.
With the majority of the hotel being an existing building, the in-situ pre-cast concrete vertical fins had to be accommodated by installing a new weathering line including fire-breaks ahead of the new unitised installation. The glazing passes all slab lines giving continuity of the performance of the system and effectively encapsulates the building envelope in a new high performance “skin”.
As well as detailed design, a sound approach was needed in finalising the methodology of what has been a challenging build. The constraints of an inner city environment are all there to be juggled with as well as an overlapped programme with the hotel fit-out.
The stand-out landmark project will be stunning when finished, and a fitting testament to the level of design interrogation at early stages once complete.