22 Apr 2020 • Hospitality
Why a London boutique hotel promises to be more home than hostel
Locke at Broken Wharf opened in February 2020, before quarantine measures due to the COVID-19 crisis were enacted in the United Kingdom. The hotel is currently closed, although it is slated to re-open in the summer.
On the north bank of the river Thames, Locke Living’s second hotel in the English capital is designed as a destination for travellers who want more than a quick spot to sleep and shower. Designed by New York City-based practice Grzywinski+Pons – also the team behind the brand’s existing UK locations in London, Edinburgh and Manchester – the renovation and fit-out of a seven-storey former office building has converted the site into a 113-room boutique hotel.
‘Locke takes its cue from the evolving and varied demands of the contemporary traveller,’ says a spokesperson for the hotelier, ‘blending the advantages of a high-end lifestyle hotel with the space and flexibility of an apartment.’ The premise brings a new meaning to ‘home away from home’ by bringing together the benefits of a communal hostel – including communal amenities, a restaurant, bar and co-working area – but with a sophisticated and comfortable homely vibe. A combination of short-stay compact apartments (averaging 29 sq-m) or longer-term larger studios and suites (averaging 33 sq-m) create a co-living environment of ‘aparthotels’ for residents.
In reaction to the grim remains of the 1970s commercial block – and the site’s privileged location bordering the urbanity of central London and the cultural hub of museums and institutions on the south bank – Grzywinski+Pons expressed a duality in its material choices. The raw bones of the existing structure are enhanced with industrial materials such as perforated stainless steel and chainmail curtains. In contrast, lush fabrics like suede, leather and tweed upholstery bring a warmth to the interior design. Custom-designed furniture in the guest rooms brings a tension between matte and gloss finishes, while natural tones and pastel colours are also contrasted with brass details and timber finishes.
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