Royal Arsenal Hotel

Metal Cladding

Project

Royal Arsenal Hotel

Location

Woolwich, London

Architects

Allies & Morrison

Year complete

2017

Riverside heritage

The £1.2bn masterplan for the Royal Arsenal Riverside is an exciting high-quality, residential-led scheme that maximises the potential of its prominent city location adjacent to the River Thames. Master-planned by the renowned architects Allies & Morrison, the scheme blends the local historic architecture with contemporary style to completely revitalise the area and create a new vibrant and sustainable community.

Formerly an 88-acre brownfield site, the development is an award-winning masterplan, realised by project developers Berkeley Homes, that comprises extensive residential, commercial and leisure spaces. With the intent to create a completely integrated community, the site fuses modern architecture with neighbouring Grade I and II listed buildings to capture the extensive heritage of the site and bring much-needed regeneration to the South-East London area.

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Located in the Borough of Greenwich, Woolwich is a district with rich military history and is home to the Royal Artillery Museum, the Royal Artillery Barracks and the Old Royal Arsenal. It was from this local war time heritage that the architects drew their inspiration for the Royal Arsenal Hotel’s design; The bedroom windows of the brand new 6000m2 Premier Inn have been placed in a repetitive pattern and accentuated with deep reveals and slender brise soleil to cleverly echo the gun hatches of the eighteenth-century gunships that docked at Arsenal to receive their artillery.

Taylor Maxwell worked closely with Alumet, one of the UK’s leading façade installers, to identify a façade material that would achieve a contemporary aesthetic on the hotel’s elevations, whilst also reminiscent of traditional wartime defence and transportation. Taylor Maxwell’s planar metal façade system with secret fix proved to be a perfect choice to realise the architect’s original design concept.

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The unique metal cladding system allows for a smooth and continuous visual of ‘planks’ throughout the elevations, with seamless joints devoid of any visible fixings. The overlapping metal panels were fabricated in a modest palette of two colours, to meet the required aesthetic and imply the design of a ship’s hull. Challenges were presented when it came to the curved radius at the front of the hotel, but through detailed design discussions with Taylor Maxwell and Alumet, a solution was reached that successfully delivered the desired finish of the building.

The metal cladding system has been so well received that is also being used in other areas of the site, to add detail and help integrate the individual areas of the scheme into one striking and cohesive development.

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