Woods Bagot to design UK’s first Amano

Woods Bagot has been named lead architect and interior designer for the first Amano hotel in the UK, set in the heart of Covent Garden. Manex Properties – a joint venture between German hoteliers Amano Group and investment firm Excellion Capital – is developing the 141-room boutique property located on Drury Lane.

The team is now on site, having kicked off the redevelopment programme in Summer 2020. As part of the transformation, Drury House is being converted from a 1980s office building into a luxury hotel.

Once complete, the Amano Covent Garden Hotel will comprise 141 guestrooms and a rooftop bar, as well as a roof terrace offering panoramic views over Central London. At ground floor level, the food and retail provision will be retained and a new lounge bar is being introduced in the lower ground floor.

A rendering of Amano Hotel in Covent Garden, London

Drury House is located within a stone’s throw of Covent Garden’s Piazza, directly opposite the Theatre Royal in an area that welcomes more than 43 million visitors each year. As such, the hotel will serve tourists as well as business travellers, with careful consideration given to respect the building’s history and its local context.

“We are delighted to work with Manex Properties and support the Amano Group in establishing its presence in the UK hotel market,” says Julian Cross, Principal and Design Lead Europe at Woods Bagot. “Drury House is a unique asset in an exceptional location in what is one of the most renowned parts of Central London.

“The building’s outward appearance requires an overhaul, and our design will breathe new life into the building, reconnecting this part of Drury Lane with the buzz of Covent Garden. We are very excited that our architectural teams, as well as our interior design teams, are contributing to the creation of this unique hotel, bringing our full scope of expertise to the table to create an inside-out design that meets our client’s vision.”

A rendering of Amano Hotel in Covent Garden, London

Ariel Schiff, CEO of Amano Hotels, comments: “Amano Hotels are known to offer their customers a unique experience. Amano hotels are stylish but affordable, and our ethos is to provide a first-class urban living experience at a very fair price. We are delighted to introduce the Amano brand to the London market by creating the Amano Covent Garden as our flagship hotel. This is the first of multiple Amano hotels we are planning here in London and we look forward to opening this unique hotel over the coming year.”

Robert Stafler, Director at Manex Properties, adds: “Manex was created to repurpose unique properties in iconic locations and add a new flavour to London’s hotel landscape. Woods Bagot are full of creative ideas and continue to deliver solid execution. With their support and strong professionals across many other disciplines, the Manex team has been able to progress the Drury House transformation at remarkable speed, in spite of the difficulties posed by the pandemic. Across German cities, Amano Hotels and their bars and lounges offer a unique experience and we look forward to introducing the Amano vibe to London as well. I am particularly excited about our rooftop bar, which will offer spectacular views of the skyline to the south.”

The original building was developed as an office in the 1980s with a façade and frontage to match its time, with five floors of workspace, an accessible rooftop and a curved corner entrance. Woods Bagot’s new proposal will see the workspace levels converted and six floors of rooms as well as a breakfast area, a new lounge bar in the basement and a roof extension with a bar and terrace offering views across Central London.

A rendering of Amano Hotel in Covent Garden, London

Enhancements are to be made to the mansard, façade and windows to introduce better coherence with the neighbouring structures while ensuring a modern look. Careful consideration is being given to how the new hotel will interact with its vicinity while also protecting and enhancing local amenity. As part of the measures taken to benefit locale, the entrance and lobby are being repositioned further west along Russell Street.

The substantial re-development of Drury House includes renovating the original brick and stone whilst introducing high quality metal windows and Juliette balconies to create a contemporary yet timeless aesthetic, giving the building a new character to improve its relationship with the Covent Garden district.