192 bed 5 star international luxury hotel with all ancillary facilities, including full specification cinema, 180 cover destination restaurant, spa and leisure centre, casino, conferencing rooms, ground floor “leisure retail” unit and 11 luxury penthouse apartments.
Located on the most prominent corner of Leicester Square, London, the hotel is at the geographical and cultural intersection of London’s most vibrant districts: Soho, Leicester Square and Chinatown, and at the epicentre of the West End prime leisure and retail zone. It is also at the intersection of three Conservation areas and within Westminster’s designated ‘stress zone.’ The site is a full city block defined by the historic street plan, with pedestrian access on two sides and limited vehicular access to the others.
While the whole complex is designed to low energy standards and incorporates several renewable energy systems, the most innovative element is the illuminated glass veil which surrounds the full building. The facade is veiled in translucent glass suspended off the face of the building like a floating sheer curtain, evoking the cinematic heritage of this part of the West End.
The architect’s intent to integrate lighting into the skin of the building was a deliberate response to the context of the site which is set in London’s theatre land, adjoining Piccadilly Circus. The site was occupied by the Swiss Centre (1964). The tower intruded significantly into the Westminster UDP and GLA’s London Plan strategic views. Westminster’s planning brief required this intrusion to be addressed. The redevelopment has restored key strategic views across the city that had been hidden for years providing visitors with outlooks over the capital that stretch all the way from Parliament Hill in North West London to the Houses of Parliament.