Local stakeholders, including council representatives, occupiers, developers and investors, enjoyed a walking tour of the Growth Zone in Croydon and were offered an insight into how this major investment by LHG will act as a catalyst for regeneration of the area that will benefit visitors and staff of neighbouring Croydon University Hospital and Croydon Masjid Islamic Centre as well as local residents.
Located at 585-603 London Road, the new hospitality hub features high-quality contemporary design that is both striking and responsive to its neighbourhood. Framing elements, balconies and setbacks at top floors have been introduced to provide architectural articulation to each block, whilst a varied roofscape reflects the rhythm of the Victorian properties in the area.
The architectural design has been dovetailed with the landscape strategy to provide spaces of a human scale that will improve the experience of guests as well as local residents. The public realm will be further enhanced by a new landscaped public piazza and will bring about a significant improvement to London Road.
"Looking back at the first sketch, it has been an exciting journey with LHG and the design team to arrive at a planning-consented scheme that we are really proud of," comments Herbert Lui, Project Director, Dexter Moren Associates.
"The architecture is bold, punchy and complementary to the urban scale and context. We are also pleased with the public realm spaces that create a socially inclusive and inviting setting along London Road."
Christian Desira, Director, LHG, adds: "We pride ourselves on delivering modern, high-quality hotels and it is for that reason we have employed one of the best hotel designers in the word for our new hospitality hub in Croydon.
"This is one of LHG's largest development's to date and I am delighted that the designs for the scheme have been met with such enthusiasm by local stakeholders and that it will play an important role in the future growth of the Borough."
The first of the Mayor's Growth Zones, the London Borough of Croydon is currently experiencing £350 million worth of investment and its burgeoning reputation as a tech hub has recently seen the Borough identified as the UK's fastest growing economy.
The scheme will not only provide high-quality guest accommodation currently lacking in the area but also bring about an improvement to the townscape on this stretch of London Road, re-energising the corridor between Thornton Heath and Central Croydon.
Lee Parker, Director of Growth, Croydon Council explains "The proposals play a key part in the ongoing Growth of Croydon. It will help to meet the identified need of an additional 40,000 hotel rooms across London through to 2036 and directly enhance the number and quality of hotel accommodation in Croydon.
"In terms of regeneration and growth this represents a significant step forward for this part of London Road and complements regeneration plans in West Croydon and Thornton Heath. The design and appearance are of a high quality and will improve the street scene bringing high-quality public spaces within the site. The scheme will also bring forward jobs during the construction and operational phases, and offers a number of other public benefits."
The scheme will involve the demolition of three existing hotels - the Ibis Styles, Gilroy Court Hotel and Croydon Court Hotel, with a combined total of 256 rooms - to be replaced by a four- and five-storey 435-room hotel and 158-room aparthotel with dining, conference and leisure facilities. Visitors to Croydon University Hospital and Croydon Masjid Islamic Centre will also benefit from the hotel accommodation and additional car parking spaces.
The proposed masterplan for the scheme by Dexter Moren was positively received by local residents and was granted unanimous approval by the local council in May 2017. Construction of the new hospitality hub will commence in the second quarter of 2018.