Minories Hotel

Minories Hotel

Mackay + Partners
London, United Kingdom | View Map
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Mackay + Partners

Nick Kane Photography

Minories Hotel

Mackay + Partners as Architects

The new 291 bed hotel building designed by Mackay + Partners, for developers Endurance Land & Scottish Widows Investment Partnership (SWIP), will be operated by Motel One and opened pre-Christmas 2014. The 4 star hotel will support the tourism needs at the edge of the City. The building has created a new contemporary focus and identity on The Minories that will act as a benchmark for future neighbouring developments. From pre planning stage, the City of London planners gave full support to the design “bulk & mass” of the building height. The building comprises two forms a 7 storey “decorative cube” fronting the Minories and a 16 storey glass tower to the rear.

The use of a solid surface material was seen as a new innovative and interactive approach to cladding typology in the city. The planners were happy to explore a new material, rather than the traditional steel and glass or a Portland stone façade that is the general norm.

The design is entirely contemporary, yet fully responsive to its current and known future context. Mackay + Partners developed the etched Corian rain screen cladding through prototypes and mock ups with the cladding subcontractor and solid surface specialist Rosskopf AG + Partners in Germany. Corian supported the UK requirement for a 25 year warranty and full industry impact tests. The etch and use of LED lighting behind the façade allowed the building to be colour wheel changed on a computer controlled dimming system. The building brand and colour has been set to reflect the Motel One brand.

A high standard of sustainability has been achieved in all aspects of the development to reduce the environmental impact and to deliver a supportive sustainable working building. The building utilizes a number of intelligent building systems to help achieve a BREEAM excellent energy rating. These include the design of highly thermally efficient facades with just 35% glazing, heat recovery systems, and green roofs to help thermal efficiency and mitigate rainwater run-off. The scheme replaces an unoccupied 1960s office and retail bank building, with a state of the art hotel, providing much needed new facilities in this area of The City. Jonathan Fletcher Managing Director or Endurance Land: “Very pleased with the team performance and the way in which they tackled problems through the job. Excellent work”. Gwyn Richards of City of London: “The building’s vibrant and playful facades demonstrates that new hotel buildings need not have bland, monotonous and repetitive facades. The ground breaking use of Corian as a facing material is both innovative and convincing both during the day and illuminated at night. The building demonstrates the importance of an ingenious architectural approach being carried through to implementation in terms of the integrity of the original architectural concept but also the highest quality of detailing detailing and materials. The building sits comfortably within its surroundings whilst creating a highly convincing work of contemporary architecture which can be proud of its place in the City’s dynamic architectural character.”

This combination of rain screen and LED lighting has not been achieved in London before. Mackay + Partners first used changing internal lighting in the leading design for St Martins Lane hotel. There the rooms changed colour individually. At the Minories the building changes from dusk to midnight with a slow changing colour. The unitised glazed rear tower element is set in colour contrast to the front white Corian cube. This contrast allows for the height change and the high level set-backs that screen the double height plant room at roof level. The façade is punctuated inset flush LED strips that break up the bulk of the tower at night.

Motel One London-Tower Hill hotel

ROSSKOPF + PARTNER as Manufacturers

The use of Corian as a facade material at the Minories Hotel in London is innovative and convincing both during the day and when illuminated at night. Mackay + Partners developed this etched Corian rain screen facade concept through prototypes and mockups with solid surface specialist Rosskopf AG + Partner in Germany, who milled a polygonal pattern into the rear of the 12mm thick Corian panels. Because of its translucent properties, solid surface material is particularly suitable for backlit applications. Here, a computer-based colour wheel allows dimmable LEDs behind the solid surface material façade to light up in different RGB colours. Solid surface material is not only visually attractive. A composite material, consisting of approximately 75% natural minerals as well as acrylic colour and pigments, it is extremely durable and able to withstand extreme weathering effects including moisture, heat and frost.

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The new Minories Hotel is an architectural highlight in the London cityscape. As the first industrial building in Great Britain, it has an illuminated LED façade made of white solid surface material. During the day, it stands in uncomplicated elegance – in the dark, it enchants onlookers with a changing colour show of LED lighting. Rosskopf + Partner is responsible for the production of the solid surface material façade elements.

Not far from the Tower Bridge and London's busy financial district, the Motel One London-Tower Hill hotel was opened at the end of 2014. The hotel, designed by Mackay + Partners architects, offers nearly 300 rooms and consists of two structures: a 16-storey glass tower and, before it, a 7-storey cube on the street front. This makes the newly constructed building an “eye catcher” – because, as the first commercial building in the UK, the hotel features an illuminated curtain-like wall, for which the façade construction company, Architectural Aluminium Ltd. in Ireland, implemented the acrylic-bound solid surface material Corian from DuPont.

More than 700 square metres of the homogeneous sheet material were needed to clad the hotel structure and create this elegant façade. Rosskopf + Partner AG, as a processing specialist for solid surface material, was responsible for the production of the various façade elements. At the Thuringian location, Schlotheim, the project team of experienced engineers and craftsmen produced about 850 items for the extraordinary façade in three months. To reduce the number of joints in the façade, extra large sheets of Corian with a width of 1500 mm were used. During the daytime hours, the façade has a particularly puristic look – almost as if it were a single piece of material. At dusk, the façade comes to life; as if by magic, it begins to glow, revealing a regular pattern of changing colors.

Behind the impressive light installation is sophisticated technology and precise craftsmanship. A computer-based colour wheel allows dimmable LEDs behind the solid surface material façade to light up in different RGB colors. For the lighting to be seen from the outside, the processing experts at Rosskopf + Partner relief-milled the polygonal pattern into the rear of the 12 mm thick Corian panels in the color "Glacier White". Because of its translucent properties, solid surface material is particularly suitable for backlit applications; when the material thickness is reduced, its light transmittance is increased proportionately. Prior to production, the desired lighting effect was tested to precision in a 1:1 mock-up. The hexagonal structure of the pattern reminds one of honeycombs, which are sometimes open, sometimes partially open, or completely closed. The depth of milling in a honeycomb then results in greater or less intensive backlighting.

5D Engineering office in Dresden – a longstanding partner of Rosskopf + Partner was responsible for the project management and the engineering of the solid surface material cladding for the façade. Together with the façade construction company, Architectural Aluminium Ltd. in Ireland, who was contracted for the overall completion of the façade, they developed all the detailed solutions and prepared them for production. 5D Engineering’s Managing Director, Michael Schob, explained "The real challenge was to meet the technical requirements and still be able to implement the design idea in the best possible way." For that reason, an extensive series of tests on the stability of the material were necessary to ensure that the solid surface material façade would be able to withstand the high-standard long-term requirements. They include not only the durability of the material with regards to its own weight and wind resistance, but also a long-term stability in connection with the cleaning elevator, which is temporarily used again and again on the façade. "Architects and façade construction companies also place great value on rainwater drainage" Schob pointed out. "Since the London air is relatively dirty, the rainwater drainage doesn’t take place as usual on the front face, but largely between the façade layers – behind the Corian rainscreen and along the primary cassette façade". What remains of dust and dirt can easily be removed, thanks to the smooth non-porous solid surface material surface, which has a long-lasting attractive appearance.

But solid surface material is not only visually attractive as a façade solution. The composite material, which consists of about 75% natural minerals as well as acrylic and colour pigments, is extremely durable and long lasting. It is able to effortlessly withstand extreme weathering effects, such as moisture, heat or frost. In turn, this protects the façade insulation layer behind it. Also thaw, salt and UV light cannot harm the easy-to-maintain solid surface sheets. Their high-impact strength also protects the façade against vandalism – even large soiled areas, for example, those defaced with graffiti, can be removed without a trace. Moreover, Corian solid surface panels have excellent properties that hinder fire and meet the fire protection class B-s1-d0 according to EN-13501-1.

All in all, the solid surface material façade not only makes a good first impression, but its outstanding material properties provide a lasting one. This is reflected not least in the building’s award of the BREEAM®-seal "Excellent".

Product Spec Sheet

ManufacturersCORIAN® Design
Product Spec Sheet
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