Escape to the Town Hall Hotel, London
The recently opened The Town Hall Hotel in London is 100 years in the making. The building first served as Bethnal Green’s town hall, opened in 1910 in a grand Georgian style, reflecting the Edwardians’ optimism – which within a very few years was to come crashing down. The building was then dramatically extended in 1937 with amazing Art Deco rooms, including the then ultra-modern Council Chambers. Now, thanks to the sensitivity and courage of the designers, Rare Architects, the building has been given a contemporary update by wrapping the back of the building and extension in a laser-cut power-coated aluminium skin, inspired by the buildings Art Deco details such as air con vents. To preserve the integrity of the original interiors, glass panels are cleverly used to display details, keep vistas and spaces open, yet offer the intimacy that hotel rooms demand. The result is a blend of three architecturally distinct, yet easily coexisting styles for which Rare was awarded the prestigious RICS prize for Building Conservation, as well as the national Project of the Year Award.
Maybe it’s my former life as a historian, but I do adore interiors which mix contemporary style while paying homage to the past but without stifling modern design. And, finally, if you read my blog regularly, you’ll also know I don’t shy away from eccentricity; here, there’s an award-winning restaurant, Viajante, but what really tickles my fancy is that the ‘Town Hall Tea Lady’, who is not always a lady, serves martinis!