The 5-star ME London is the first hotel in which the design of everything, from the shell of the building to the layout of the public spaces and guest rooms – down to the smallest details of the bathroom fittings – has been undertaken by the Foster studio. It has allowed the bold geometry of the structure to be exploited to dramatic spatial effect, and reinforced a sense of architectural cohesion between the interiors and exterior.
Arriving guests pass through the ground floor lounge and ascend to a dedicated hotel lobby and champagne bar on the first floor, which is located within the soaring volume of a nine-storey-high pyramid. Clad in white marble, and naturally lit from above, the pyramid engenders a strikingly theatrical sense of arrival.
Throughout the hotel, a monochrome palette gives the hotel a strong visual identity, while allowing the freedom to explore variations in scale, texture and materials to define the character of each space. The experience follows the idea of yin and yang, as guests move from dark to light spaces – the crisp white bedrooms are reached by black marble corridors, sculpted by the inclined walls of the pyramid. The only exceptions to this colour rule are the warm grey tones of the ground floor lounge and the walnut walls of the conference rooms.
The pyramid volume at the heart of the triangular plan generates an efficient floor layout, culminating in a generous roof garden and bar terraces. The 157 rooms were extensively prototyped and every detail – from the white leather walls to the marble bathrooms – was carefully considered.
Many items of furniture were designed specifically for the hotel, including desks, bedside tables and the black-lacquered cabinets with onyx shelves, which incorporate an entertainment system and mini bar. Full-height projecting windows in each room allow guests to ‘step out’ and enjoy the view along the Strand. The largest suites are arranged on the upper levels. The grandest of these, the duplex ‘Suite ME’ on the ninth and tenth floors, has a glazed outlook at the top of the corner tower with panoramic views of Covent Garden and the river.
Construction start: 2005
Area: 28 070 m²
Client: Grupo Urvasco S.A.
Structural Engineer: Buro Happold
Quantity Surveyor: Davis Langdon
M+E Engineer: BDSP
Lighting Engineer: Gordon Ingram Associates
Related Press Releases
ME Hotel opens in London