Design Concept Illustrates the Two Sides of a Londoner –
Business by Day, Playful at Night
W Hotels Worldwide, the hotel category buster and industry innovator, today unveiled the eagerly anticipated design concept for W London – Leicester Square, premiering in the UK in the summer of 2010 in London’s lively West End. McAleer & Rushe Group and renowned London architects at Jestico + Whiles have created a new architectural icon for the city on the corner of Wardour Street and Leicester Square. The sleek new hotel, with a design ethos playing on the parallel personas of the English at work and at play, will feature 192 stylish guest rooms and 10 two-level, branded residences, a W The Store retail outlet, as well as a destination restaurant and a signature bar experience, where guests are invited to mix, mingle and flirt in a vibrant social atmosphere.
“As we continue to transform W into a global powerhouse, doubling our current footprint by 2011 in international ‘it’ locations, London is a perfect next destination for W Hotels as we share in the city’s passion for fashion, design, and entertainment,” said Carlos Becil, Vice President, Global Brand Management, W Hotels Worldwide. “Our shared passions, along with the unique British character of formality mixed with irreverence, has provided inspiration for the W London - Leicester Square design concept.”
Showcasing innovative interior design by Concrete, the award winning Dutch design agency, W London – Leicester Square has been designed for true ‘Londoners,’ offering a sophisticated urban sanctuary for global jetsetters and local London insiders. Headed by Rob Wagemans, Concrete will introduce a concept completely new and unique for London’s hotel scene.
“W London – Leicester Square guests will feel like insiders of the city rather than just visitors. The design concept takes the dual personality of the quintessential Englishman or woman and creates a hotel to service the needs and desires of work and play, formal and party, reserved and outrageous, day and night. The bedrooms and public areas are a contrast of themes, colours, textures and fun, so London as the destination is inside the hotel – not just outside,” said Rob Wagemans, Founder, Concrete.
Inspired by the immediate cultural context of film, theatre and performance and the tradition of graphic light display in Piccadilly, Jestico + Whiles – winners of this year’s European Hotel Design Award – has created a unique building by day dominated by a restrained palette of white Portland Stone and white stucco. By night, artificial lighting of every type and colour dominates the exterior.
“The building takes its architectural cues directly from its context but interprets them in a wholly contemporary way. Accordingly, it was decided early on that the hotel would have a cool, understated Englishness by day and then would glam up for a night in the vibrant West End,” said John Whiles, Director, Jestico + Whiles.
These two contradictory personalities are realised through use of a fine, frosted, translucent etched glass veil which hangs on a delicate filigree web over a stony, honed, monolithic inner shell. By day, the building is calm and restrained. However, as dusk falls, a delicate tinted light begins to stain etched veil. The light intensity, colour combinations and colour saturation rise and fall according to the time of night, the season or the special occasion, or in relation to the density of pedestrian traffic through the square.
W Hotels is partnering with one of Ireland’s leading construction and property development companies McAleer & Rushe Group to open W London – Leicester Square as part of a mixed-use development with ground and basement retail space both available through letting agents CBRE.
The ownership group’s Managing Director Eamonn Laverty added, “Having recently marked the structural completion of the building, today’s unveiling of Concrete’s interior design and vision for visitor experience is another step forward in the story of W London – Leicester Square. It is testament to the professionalism and experience of everyone involved that this landmark project continues at such pace and we all eagerly await the official opening in 2010.”
Leicester Square is host to numerous high-profile movie premiers and celebrity events throughout the year and W London – Leicester Square will provide an exciting new venue for such events. The hotel’s vibrant location gives guests access to the city’s theatres, restaurants, lounges and nightclubs and is within walking distance to Soho, Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and Piccadilly Circus.
W London – Leicester Square’s 192 rooms, which include nine suites, two WOW Suites and one Extreme WOW Suite, will all feature custom-made furnishings, with witty accents unique to London, W’s signature “munchie boxes” stocked with exclusive amenities, and the highly acclaimed W bed, a luxurious ensemble featuring a feather-top mattress, 350 thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets and goose-down comforter. Guest rooms will offer the latest in cutting-edge technology and the most advanced in-room entertainment systems in the industry.
W London – Leicester Square will provide guests with fully wired, innovative meeting space and the brand’s exclusive Whatever/Whenever® service commitment, a 24-hour concierge that provides whatever guests want – from box seats at a Premier League game to a private shopping excursion at Harrods – whenever they want it – as long as it’s legal!
W London – Leicester Square, will be the newest hotel in the UK for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, joining sister properties under the Sheraton, Le Méridien, St. Regis and The Luxury Collection brands in London, Heathrow, Edinburgh, and Ayrshire.