design et al are delighted to announce that EPR Architects / Universal Design Studio have successfully reached the shortlist of the International Hotel & Property Awards 2014. The Ace Hotel, located in Shoreditch, London, has been Shortlisted for the Hotel over 200 Rooms Award. The project has also been shortlisted for the Hotel Suite Award and the Restaurant within a Hotel Award.
The design brief called for the complete refurbishment of the existing Crowne Plaza hotel to create Ace Hotel’s first hotel outside of the US, Ace London. The design was to reflect the Ace brand but most importantly to be a hotel for London and reflective of its Shoreditch location. The Ace Hotel includes 258 guestrooms, a 1,800 square foot seventh floor event space, a destination restaurant and a 3,900 square foot lounge and reception area.
Ace were keen to remain true to the existing building form and draw inspiration from the site as an old music hall. Universal Design Studios were appointed to develop this concept with EPR Architects as Executive Architects providing the technical design. The guestrooms undertook a soft refurbishment while the ground floor and basement were completely stripped out and reconfigured to create all new public areas. The key element to these public areas being to bring the building back to the street with a complete refurbishment of the façade and a return to the idea of a traditional ‘high street’.
Collaboration and the use of traditional local craftsman and artists was also essential to the implementation of the Ace brand and a key factor throughout. All aspects of the design were to be considered in equal importance to create a building with ‘soul and spirit’ – music, acoustics, aesthetics, flexibility, functionality, comfort and public interaction were all vital to the success of the hotel. The public areas include a reception, lobby area, gallery bar, café, destination restaurant, basement live music venue and retail units.
The design works so well because it has incorporated the basic principles of the Ace brand but adapted them to suit the local market and the existing building. It draws inspiration from the local area and local traditions and has visually reduced the massing of the building and opened it up to bring it back to the street. Acoustics, services and design have all equally contributed to create an adaptable welcoming space now truly fitting to the neighbourhood.