Architectural firm ACME has completed work on the first guestroom of the Canopy by Hilton hotel in London. Located in Aldgate, the property is part refurbishment, part new construction, and draws inspiration from local history and the surrounding art scene.
With a rich and complex history that dates back to Roman settlements, the Aldgate neighbourhood has witnessed successive waves of immigrants, from the 18th century Huguenots, 19th century Jews and 20th century Bangladeshis. ACME will seek to evoke these forgotten layers of history through materials and patterns, while remaining true to the late modernist origins of the existing concrete frame, which will be exposed where possible.
Paying homage to the modernist building, guestrooms comprise of a wardrobe designed in the spirit of Jean Prouvé, featuring lightweight steel and timber structures temporarily inserted between floors and ceilings. Carpets and wall fabrics are inspired by the woven legacy of the Huguenots, using an abstracted floral pattern of Anna Maria Garthwaite.
Bespoke furniture and fabrics feature throughout the property, including a canopy over the bed, chaise longues and side tables, while a centrepiece rug takes influence from the ikat dyeing technique and encompasses an abstracted pattern in a neutral and tonal degraded effect.
ACME has further worked with Dais Contemporary to commission a series of artworks for the new development, with London-based artists Tom Gidley, Janne Malmros and Steven Quinn addressing aspects of the East London context of Whitechapel, Spitalfields and Shoreditch. Forming a key part of the hotel’s interior design, large-scale portraits from Mia Bergeron will also line the corridors to showcase the faces of characters living and working in the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Likewise, a letterpress tray containing new works by local artists and objects found in Petticoat Lane Market is curated for each guestroom, while Whitechapel Art Gallery and the Freedom Press also lie close to the hotel.
“We enjoyed the opportunity to define the look and feel of the UK’s first Canopy by Hilton hotel,” comments Friedrich Ludewig, Director, ACME. “The original 1977 building with its complex facade and waffle slab has been a great stage to work within. Each of the new fixtures and fittings for the guestroom have been developed using local discreet Aldgate and Whitechapel references, creating a guest experience rooted in the history of context of East London.”
Al Karim Nathoo, Managing Director, 4C Hotel Group, adds: “With a number of our hotels across East Africa & Canada operating under various Hilton brands, we are excited about the addition of the Canopy brand to our UK portfolio and the strengthening of our ongoing partnership with Hilton. As the hotel industry continues to evolve we believe this lifestyle hotel will be a game-changing development in London.”
The Aldgate branch marks the first foray into the UK market for Hilton’s new lifestyle hotel brand, and follows the opening of the world’s first Canopy by Hilton in Reykjavik, Iceland, which was unveiled in 2016.