A new hotel with restaurant and bar is proposed for Bermondsey High Street within the curtilage of the Bermondsey Street Conservation Area. The area is characterised by narrow medieval sites and industrial buildings associated with the leather industry. This creates a distinctive townscape of narrow streets and long building plots with narrow street frontages. The proposed site is typical of the area, land–locked on three sides, with confined street frontage, making a single–use scheme necessary. The response to the condition and cues of the conservation area, in combination with the consideration of the amenity and rights to light of neighbouring residential property, was important during the pre–application stage
The project requires the demolition of an existing three–storey building and one storey building at the rear, a former bakery with offices and storage on the upper floors. Whilst identified as being a positive contributor to the Conservation Area, the current building is characterised by poor workmanship and low quality post–war materials, it makes little contribution to the street. The proposal to replace the building with a high–quality contemporary addition was welcomed by the conservation and design officers who judged that the new proposal contributes more positively to the heritage of the conservation area, and responds in a considered and measured way to the architecture of Bermondsey Street.
A calmly ordered façade is proposed; a clearly delineated hierarchy of base, middle and top, referencing an order present throughout the street in a range of architectural languages. A recessed entrance creates an intimate point of entry from the street, well–lit with generous frontage. The choice of robust, ageless materials such as light brick, white stone and concrete, resonates with the local tradition of London stock bricks and the white stone prevalent along Bermondsey Street. The simplicity of the façade is reminiscent of the plain architectural style of Bermondsey’s low–rise warehouses, articulated by intricate brick and stonework details that will age appropriately. Windows and entry are designed to be set–back or into the brickwork, drawing the eye upwards to the top of the building, and celebrating the rich and varied roofline of the conservation area.
Planning permission was obtained in April 2017.