This new ten-storey building houses retail, leisure and residential accommodation spread over 200,000 sq ft, including a spa, 11 penthouse apartments and a new 35,000 sq ft retailleisure experience provided by a leading global brand. The redevelopment of the former Swiss Centre site has restored key strategic views across the city that have been hidden for years until now, providing visitors with outlooks over the capital that stretch all the way from Parliament Hill in North West London to the Houses of Parliament.
The façade of the hotel has been wrapped in a second skin of frameless glazing, which is suspended from the face of the building like a floating sheer veil and etched with an undulating, abstract pattern, reminiscent of the folds in a theatre curtain and evoking the cinematic legacy of the locale. The design allows for the façade of the building to function like a vast pixellated screen capable of projecting dynamic light installations during the hours of darkness. This striking visual effect is achieved by a sophisticated ceramic frit applied to the optically corrected glass of building’s outer skin, allowing it to ‘hold’ and project the light, without obstructing views outwards from the guestroom windows.
Internally, the design responds innovatively to the constrictions of the site by ‘pulling back’ certain blocks of rooms into the building envelope on each floor. This allows for the creation of dramatic double and triple height atria within the building, enhancing the sense of space and theatre throughout the entire hotel.Location: Wardour Street, London, UK Architect: Jestico & Whiles Project name: W London
Photos: Hufton Crow
Start on site: March 2009
Completion: February 2011
Award: MIPIM Award Winner 2011