Rationale behind the Massing, Layout and Building Concept proposed
The Proposed building footprint plan maintains the existing L-shaped footprint wrapping Chester & Warwick Roads. Building entrances and active frontage are provided along both roads and the widening of the public realm improves on the current narrow footpath.
Any possibility to overlook or intrude on the amenity and privacy of Hornby Road Housing has been removed. To achieve this, ‘oriel’ or screened windows, are oriented away from the residential area and oblique views screened by solid barriers. On these facades, glazing to provide natural daylight within the hotel is to be obscured to prevent staff or guests observing the residences.
Bulk & Massing
The concept has abandoned a tall, corner building with a lower podium, and evolved into a form which is responsive to its site and planning context. The current Area Action Plan policy document suggests that an 8-storey building would be appropriate for this key junction site.
The hotel proposal follows this existing precedent and height aspiration as well as previous officer guidance, to provide a taller corner feature which exceeds these predominant heights. The extruded frames atop the vertical format corner element evokes the idea of a lightweight ‘crown’, creating a landmark from distant viewpoints within the city. The topmost or 9th floor is expressed as a contrasting, nominally set back, ‘roof’ storey above this. The massing steps down towards Hornby Road and is not hugely different in scale when compared to the existing office.
The proposed massing strategy works in tandem with the façade strategy to reduce the apparent mass at height, in line with previous officer comment. This has resulted in an expressed structural frame, in brick, with large expanses of glazing. Splayed and recessed vertical brickwork add interest to the 8th storey. In addition, the hit-and-miss brickwork and setbacks to the vertical piers and pilasters assist in articulating the façade into legible elements through the varying shadow depths they cast.
At the outset, a decision was made to not design a solely brick and glass building in keeping with local architectural character. The contrasting infill within the brick structural frame makes use of perforated sheet metal as well as glass, evoking a slicker, machine aesthetic. This selection of materials assists in conveying lightness and quality.
© 701 Chester Road 2021.