St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel
Exactly 138 years after the original opening of Sir George Gilbert Scott’s masterpiece the Midland Grand Hotel at St Pancras Station, one of London’s most ambitious restoration projects - the five-star St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel is now complete.
Originally planned for demolition, an act described as “criminal folly” by the leader of the campaign to save the structure - Sir John Betjeman, and following an investment of close to £200M, the former Midland Grand Hotel will be taking its first paying guests in 76 years.
World famous for its extravagant Victorian gothic style, the distinct curved façade, arched windows, spires and polychromatic brickwork of St Pancras Chambers will once again become one of London’s most iconic hotels and dearly loved landmarks.
The London Borough of Camden closely monitored the works undertaken; along with English Heritage & The Victorian Society due to the structure’s Grade I listed status given in 1967.
After a painstakingly detailed restoration, the result is simply breathtaking; decorated in rich colours, the grand sweeping double staircase is a key focal point to the hotel with its windows measuring over 50 feet and rising to the elaborately painted and star covered vaulted ceiling. Carpets have been carefully selected, hand-blocked wallpapers recreated and chandeliers remodeled for electricity. The views are stunning, both inside and out – this is going to be one extraordinary hotel.
The original hotel, although rich in architectural detail and grand fireplaces in every guestroom, suffered from a total lack of plumbing in any of the guestrooms. With only eight bathrooms, two to each floor and many other deficiencies, the hotel was forced to close its doors in 1935.
Working in conjunction with main contractor Galliford Try, architects RHWL and Richard Griffiths, together with designers GA Design, Martek were tasked to create the very finest and most luxurious bathrooms throughout the hotel. For reasons of the extreme sensitivity of the original structure and to comply with its Grade I listed status, all internal construction was required to be independent of the original building and the resultant pods became an integral part of the design approach in the guestrooms.
Materials used followed the highest of specifications, with fine timbers, luxurious veneers and the finest Italian marbles, hand selected direct from the quarries, no detail has been overlooked in producing a truly magnificent result.
In addition to works on the major guest rooms, Martek contributed to the development of all of the major suites, many of the public areas including the new Gent’s Grooming area which opens onto the main station concourse.
Having completed works in the development of 66 apartments in the residential wing of St Pancras Chambers, Martek was contracted to move on to the prestigious hotel project in late 2009. Comprising 244 bedrooms in total, 186 of the rooms were completed as off-site construction projects leaving Martek to fit out 18 rooms in Barlow House, two in the West Wing and all 38 VIP rooms and Suites in the original St Pancras Chambers.
The works in Chambers were particularly complex for reasons of its Grade I status and the requirement for all construction activities to be independent of the original structure. In each of the VIP rooms, an independent pod was constructed, which housed the bathroom and other facilities and provided the structure for incorporation of air conditioning and other mechanical plant; at the same time, providing the backdrop to the bed and other guest facilities.
The bathrooms were designed with the highest levels of guest comfort in mind. Clad in Arabescato Faniello marble and hand selected from the quarry of Giacomo Bernacca in Northern Italy and supplied by Richard Smythe, the sanitary fittings and other equipment were supplied from Ideal Standard.
Exterior surfaces of the bathroom pod are clad in a variety of Zebrano veneered panels, solid oak cappings and the bed heads are hand upholstered in Gabriel Comfort+ from Gabriel Fabrics in Belgium.
In addition to the main guest rooms, Martek were responsible for similar works in a number of the public areas and for the fit out of the Gent’s Grooming area which opens onto the main station concourse.