Concrete Architectural Associates | W Hotel
There is more to London than the obvious tourist attractions. Ultimately you’ll get the chance to see the city from within. We’d like to show you the real London and what true Londoners are about. A public and private tour guides you through the day and night life of a quintessential Englishman and woman. We follow the transition of a classic businessman in the morning to a dancing star on the bar at night, and imagining everything in between.
W London – Leicester Square reinvents 5-star luxury: a standard hotel room layout has been rearranged to create the ultimate dressing room. Getting ready for an evening on the West End red carpet turns into a party event on itself. This room, at this location is not just for a good night sleep, there’s far more to explore… This is about inclusive/exclusiveness, about being part of the business-club-and-party-culture in London. Experience the dual personality of a true Londoner by mixing private and social, work and play, formal and party, reserved and outrageous, day and night. We challenge you to change your expectations and tempt you to explore and push boundaries into unforeseen behaviour.
W Hotel entry & Welcome area: a 280+350pcs disco ball-cloud that creates a transition from hectic London street life to the W Lounge. W Lounge: 12m wide x 6m high Union Jack cabinet. W Lounge bar: a social landscape made out of one chesterfield couch for guests to live, meet, mingle and flirt on. WYLD bar: disco ball with a diameter of 3 metres. W Guest rooms: dressing desk: huge desk & vanity table combined into 1 signature furniture piece for the dressing room.
Walk trough the W Hotel
Guests make their entrance underneath a disco ball cloud sculpture made of 280 disco balls. Supported by black glass walls and dynamic spots that point towards the cloud, this hotel entry becomes a dazzling room of reflections. To walk inside this hotel is like stepping into a new world. A world in which travelling is not about burning up the road, but about exploring and being carried away by your surroundings. Hungry guests start their journey at the Spice Market restaurant, which is just a glance away, left from the hotel entry.
The disco ball-cloud sculpture guides you up the first floor, where it obscures the concierge table and follows its way through the welcome area, past W Store and into W Lounge. The welcome area holds three circular pods for guest services, such as check-in and information supply. All pods have equal modular parts, but each has been stacked differently to create three unique shapes. A soft purple light supports the different shapes and shines from underneath and above each pod. From here you can take a good look around, observe other guests, visit the store or sneak a peek into the lounge area.
London’s fashion boutiques are sensational, but if time is running short you’ll probably wish for something more nearby. The hotel’s W Store is like a jewellery box with padded leather walls and all products arranged around you. The store is conveniently located near the lifts on the first floor. It has no static walls but uses three pivot doors instead, to hide the store when it is closed and invite you for a glimpse inside when it is opened. The doors contain see through windows and illuminated displays and have black leather padding with Union Jack stitching design. The store configuration doesn’t distract guests approaching the welcome area, but is an attracting feature for guests on their way back to the lifts.
A broad passage stretches out from the welcome area to the other side of the hotel. A grand white Union Jack cabinet separates the first section where you can pick a book to read and take a seat in the archipelago of W Lounge. The seats and lights of W Lounge appear as one common piece of land at first sight, but once you get closer they all turn out to be different hideaways. Each island has its own furnishing design and a mobile-like light object that follows the shape of the seating. The cushions, seats and stools combine traditional textiles and patterns with a modern look. This contrast of being in the same space and time but on a differently designed level, tries to comfort guests in either way. The traditional English timber flooring extends along the wall and ceiling and creates a contemporary twist with ancient material.
W Lounge bar
This is not so much about the bar; it is the 37m-chesterfield couch that defines the social landscape for guests and friends to live, meet, mingle and flirt on. Everything, including the end-grain oak flooring and gold leaf ceiling, naturally follows the winding landscape. Loose elements cut away from the chesterfield landscape, function as coffee tables and offer a platform to the cylindrical fireplaces that follow the shape of the columns surrounding the couch. The chesterfield defines an important part of British heritage and the way the columns run through the chesterfield suggests the sofa was there long before the modern building was. The lounge bar is a good place to stay at any hour of the day. A striking framework of vertical blinds can be set in different positions and creates different light scenes according to the time of the day and use of the space. A third, loose fragment cut away from the chesterfield landscape has become a golden lit bar. It transforms from a breakfast bar in the morning into a bar at which one can prepare for a wild night out.
When the daily drag is done, guests can dance the night away at WYLD bar. The bar and two-storey high liquor cabinet, with jewel boxes to highlight the selection of drinks, overlook great Leicester Square – heart of the London cinema land. WYLD’s interior look combines the red carpet feel with spicy red & black leather furnishings and a grand finale 3m diameter disco ball. A circular booth surrounds bespoke cocktail tables that light up in red. You can stock away glasses and ice inside its stainless steel pockets. The high level walls are covered with black sequins referring to the West End and moving according to the beat of the music. The DJ looks down onto the dancing crowd and when the music starts to play, the sequins wall opens up to create a stage. Adding to the intimacy of the space, fibre optic strings hang from the windows and create a cocoon.
Core of the building
A backlit glass core wall finishing marks the central part of the building. The wall holds a pattern of silver and gold mirror strokes and frosted glass. The gold and silver strokes have been translated into graphic stripes on carpets and in lighting structures amongst others. The core connects the different characters inside the building and gives them an extra, central identity.
Being located at London’s West End, this hotel can’t do without its own professional screening room. Filmmakers can use state of the art facilities to conduct their pre-screenings. The interior is devoted to the film showing and follows classic cinema arrangement with red seats and black carpet, ceiling and walls. However, when the screening part is done, details in furnishing and lighting appear. The recessed lighting profiles in floor, walls and ceiling create spectacular cubes of light inside the room. They are a graphic reinterpretation of the gold and silver strokes of the core (of the building) and go wild on the walls. The screening room holds a distinguished black velvet wall and the chairs have a subtle variation of three different red fabrics adding to the luxurious feel of a personalised screening chair.
Studios (business centre)
The business centre features two meeting rooms with outstanding interior details and facilities to make your business work. The interior supports various presentational settings, such as on-screen, from the internet or on a magnetic whiteboard. There are comfortable black leather chairs and stools with cushions to choose from and high or low tables with grey lacquered oak laminate. One studio space can be connected to or separated from another by a folding partition wall or with curtains that come in silver velvet or white sheer variation. The studios have a contemporary carpet design of white, grey and silver strokes. It follows the strokes of the core (of the building) on the walls and goes wild on floor and ceiling. Outside the studio area you can overlook W lounge, so you can always be on the lookout for that one colleague or client that is still expected for the meeting. Or you can just be here breathing the energy of W lounge coming into this breakout area.
Sweat & AWAY Spa
After a stressful day or wild night out, guests can charge up at the hotel’s Sweat and AWAY Spa. The Sweat is a very light and spacious gym overlooking Leicester square. It has a dark grey rubber flooring that deadens sounds and cushions steps and is comfortable to exercise, stretch or skip rope on. Guests can use Technogym sporting equipment for a good work-out while enjoying the urban view, or check their posture in a large mirror wall. If watching cartoons or sitcoms makes a better support, there are multi flatscreens on the back wall. Those who take their inspiration and motivation from an uplifting art image should point their eyes towards the side walls. Dutch photographer Marcel van der Vlugt has created two special wallpaper pieces, depicting dancers in sparkles of light. Van der Vlugt is an internationally known fashion and commercial photographer who approaches his subjects with the eye of an autonomous painter. The sparkles of the light are inspired by the disco ball cloud and extravagant WYLD bar disco ball.
Guests who need a little extra relaxation can enjoy it at the AWAY Spa. Curtains of white and silver strings make a delicate entrance to the reception desk, where you can book a massage or a visit to the sauna or steam bath. Before or in between the treatments you can relax on bespoke sofas in the middle of the spa. The five treatment rooms have white leather daybeds and recessed high gloss white laminate walls with LED lighting to support any required mood. When a room is in use, the walls can be closed. When a treatment room is open (not in use), the round corners of the central relax area extend into the treatment room and create a different sense of space. Both the sauna (white space) and the steam room (black space) can be found behind the red glass doors. The red glass points out that you’re entering a hot-zone. Three unisex cubicles combine shower, toilets and changing facilities.
The lifts are ideal dressing rooms at the same time, with a large three-way mirror and integrated flatscreen in a surrounding of black granite tiles and soft padded walls with silver Union Jack stitching design.
Spice Market London
Imagine a wall of spices containing all the colours, flavours and fragrances of Asian cuisine. Imagine a spice cabinet, 2 floors high, 24 metres long and revealing every ingredient the chef will need to create the distinguished Spice Market dishes. This spice cabinet is here, as the centre-piece of the restaurant and starting point for a great dinnertime. When you look up from the street and see through the transparent restaurant façade, you can even see the cabinet from there. Spice Market London is a unique mix of the ethnic vintage feel of Spice Market New York and the contemporary architecture of the new building on Leicester Square in London. The eclectic and intimate design is a result of gold mesh sliding screens, brass screen lanterns, jatoba timbo flooring and cosy booths, a unique brass ‘birdcage’ spiral stairs and 600 wok-lights.
The restaurant is a two-level space connected by the grand iconic birdcage-staircase and a central void in the mezzanine floor, transporting the energy from the kitchen into the entire space. Guests can settle on both floors and choose from a wide variation of seats: cocktail bar, sushi bar and lounge seating on the ground floor and restaurant seating with an open kitchen on the mezzanine floor.
Monumental brass lanterns with laser-cut patterns give a warm and soft glow and shed an extraordinary decorative light throughout the restaurant area. Another eccentric light creation can be found when looking up into an endless sea of wok lamps hanging from the ceiling. Of course, Spice Market is not just about the cooking inside the kitchen. There are bar stools if you have to wait for a friend and have a drink in the meantime, there are armchairs at the bespoke dinner table for two, a black leather seating booth for the more intimate dinners and a black leather lounge chair or sofa with cushions to relax and have a chat over the coffee later.
Standard Guest rooms: Wonderful Room
W London Leicester Square guest rooms combine a comfortable sleeping zone with a luxurious vanity area. Whether you like to dress up for the party or need a good sleep after, the rooms are made to fulfil both. A standard hotel room layout has been rearranged into the ultimate dressing room. Here, your world evolves around the vanity desk and starts with a good preparation party before shifting over to a red carpet night on West End. This room, at this location, is not just for a good night sleep. There’s far more to explore…
Dressing room area
When you enter the room, you step into the dressing area. A white monumental vanity desk with matching vanity chair has been placed central of the area as the supporting piece for dressing up activities. It provides more than enough space for displaying fashion accessories and make-up articles as well as a notebook, phone and some paperwork among other things. From here guests can read mail, listen to the music and put on a refreshing facial mask at the same time. The vanity desk has multiple pockets with chromed trays that hold amenities, stationary and a wastebasket.
Large mirror walls on both sides of the vanity area enhance the dressing room experience. One of the mirror walls plays a double role by neatly hiding the entrance to the toilet and shower cubicle. Vertical coves with purple LED lighting inside the cubicles create a soft contrast to the white but warm LED lighting that is used in most other parts of the guest room. Another vanity feature, inspired by a traveller’s cabin trunk, is the champagne (artificial) leather and black veneer wardrobe. It combines randomly stacked boxes with one of them being the entrance to the room. The wardrobe has drawer compartments and a safe and has conveniently built-in lighting opportunities. A single sliding door, padded in champagne artificial leather, closes off the wardrobe (leaving the drawers and safe in sight) but can also be used to hide the entrance wall and create more intimacy inside the room.
This area offers soft surroundings to make you feel at ease and ready to relax. Here you have a lush, high pile, brown carpet to warm feet and large curtains to cover up the normally cold walls. A shiny silver sheer curtain has been placed behind the bed and a shiny silver velvet curtain on the opposite side. The façade wall is covered by a black-out curtain and sliding panel screen with graphic print depicting a distorted image of a girl. The bedroom interior is a soft antidote to the shiny mirror walls of the dressing room area. If a guest can’t catch sleep or feels too tired to get up, he can just stay in bed and watch late night news, music videos, his own photographs or a nice movie on the flatscreen that floats in front of the velvet curtain wall. One could also take a comfortable seat on the sofa and read a book, write a journal or have a glass of champagne from the circular minibar.
Room types: Spectacular-, Fabulous-, Cool Corner Rooms, Studio-, Fantastic-, Marvellous-, Spa- and Wow Suites
The various room types have their own layout, but are all built around the unifying concept: creating the ultimate dressing room around the monumental vanity desk: W suites have a separate entrance lobby, finished with wallpaper on one side and artificial leather padded cushion wall on the other. The wardrobe inside a suite is a bigger version of the one in a standard room and has an additional TV built-in. Guests can enjoy their favourite show while taking a shower. Various art pieces add to the luxurious feel of W suites. The larger the rooms or suites get, the closer they come to the one-and-only E-wow suite.
An extreme suite with entry lobby, gargantuan living room, private dining, master bedroom and last but not least your own spectacular dressing heaven. The Extreme WOW suite is not for wallies. The entry lobby connects to the central living room, dining area and bedroom. Its walls have been upholstered with champagne artificial leather stitching and there is a separate giant mirror wall. Before you enter the world of E-wow you can check on your suit or dress and show off your new fashion items. Coats and other outdoor clothing can be stocked away inside the black veneer cupboard. From here you can catch a glimpse of the work by Dutch photographer Marcel van der Vlugt: an image of the back of a model’s head. Her face shows on the artwork inside the living room.
The living room centre-piece is a splashing circular and rotating chesterfield couch with lush black carpet underneath and glitter ball sculpture hanging above. From here you can indulge and overlook London life on Leicester Square or turn away to hide inside with friends, read a book or watch a movie on the flatscreen wall. A striking framework of vertical blinds can be set in different positions and creates different light scenes according to the time of the day and use of the space. Among the furniture pieces inside this room are two bespoke black floor and table lamps, a sexy red high gloss minibar, black gloss cupboard and elegant desk with black base and bisque top. A fibre optic curtain divides the living room from the private dining area, which is a setting of bespoke dining-table and chairs on a lush high pole silver carpet, and includes a disco ball pendant and black veneer cupboard. To your liking, the window wall can again be screened by the rotating Perspex and mirror blinds.
We are not even halfway yet… There comes the vanity passage! This extreme dressing area is an extended version of the one in the standard room. A passage connects a giant walk-in-closet of black, randomly stacked boxes and artificial champagne leather upholstering, with a dressing room, bench and double vanity desk in the middle. The passage continues with a red glass twin shower and ends with a Jacuzzi and 62’’ flatscreen entertainment on the other side. Now, if that isn’t bathroom heaven! With an Extreme WOW suite you don’t necessarily think of sleeping, but a master bedroom that is fit for a bit of arousal or relaxation is an offer you can’t refuse. The bedroom area has an exciting gold mirror ceiling and wall (with integrated flatscreen). Behind the bed there is a black cushion wall and white sheer + silver velvet curtains to screen the window walls. The bed has been made of the same ice grey oak as the flooring; they merge into one sculptural piece. A black veneer wall with sliding door upholstered with champagne artificial leather stitching, closes off the entrance to the room.Location: London, UK Designer: Concrete Architectural Associates Project name: W Hotel London Leicester Square
Client: McAleer & Rushe Group, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Project Information Project team: Rob Wagemans, Jeroen Vester, Ulrike Lehner, Erik van Dillen, Melanie Knüwer, Jari van Lieshout, Sonja Wirl, Nina Schweitzer
Project architect: Jeroen Vester Architect building: Jestico + Whiles
Developer: McAleer & Rushe Group
Contractor: McAleer & Rushe Group
Specialist joinery guest rooms: Polcom Group
Specialist joinery public spaces: MJM Group
SJ Group (spa, gym)
Eclipse Furniture (loose furniture)
Special features Fire places: Modus Design
Disco ball features: RMB projects
Bespoke light pendants: Frandsen Lighting
Bird cage stair case: Smederij van Rijn
Lighting Consultant: Maurice Brill Lighting Design
Photography: Ewout Huibers
Total area: 8100 m2
Duration construction: 13 months
Opening February: the 14th, 2011