68-86 Farringdon Road Building / Sheppard Robson

Text description provided by the architects. 68-86 Farringdon Road’s complex and constrained site – previously a multi-story car park – informed a bold design language for a new hotel and office building that celebrates the area’s eclecticism. Situated between Bowling Green Lane and Vineyard Walk along Farringdon Road, the mixed-use development is formed of a new 180-key hotel for Whitbread’s hub by Premier Inn brand that neighbors a speculative office building for CLI Dartriver. Animating the streetscape of this bustling London thoroughfare are retail spaces, the hotel’s café, and the office’s reception at ground floor level.

68-86 Farringdon Road Building / Sheppard Robson - Image 3 of 21
68-86 Farringdon Road Building / Sheppard Robson - Image 18 of 21
68-86 Farringdon Road Building / Sheppard Robson - Exterior Photography, Facade

The two distinct buildings, with a carefully choreographed series of connections and differences, come together to redefine the linear urban block into distinct legible forms that scale to the neighborhood. The composition negotiates the sloping topography and responds to the different urban characters at either end of the development: to the north, the scale of the hotel respects the residential buildings surrounding it, while the design grows in height to address the larger-scale office buildings to the south. The design’s massing – a series of interconnecting bays – references the proportions and scale of the Victorian residential blocks that once occupied the site.

68-86 Farringdon Road Building / Sheppard Robson - Interior Photography, Windows, Facade

The project’s urban story is also shaped by the train lines that run underneath the site. This constraint meant that the most practical and sustainable approach was to retain the foundations and build a lightweight structure above that mitigated the noise and vibrations for the hotel rooms above, and an acoustically isolated concrete and steel structure for the office.

68-86 Farringdon Road Building / Sheppard Robson - Image 21 of 21

Out of the retained groundwork grew a lightweight steel-based superstructure, and loadings were minimized by using metal shingles to define the external appearance of the building. For the hotel, a bronze was selected that would naturally soften over time and relate to the neighboring red brick buildings. Denoting its own personality, the office building is articulated in a cooler zinc that acts as a counterpoint to the warmth of the bronze.

68-86 Farringdon Road Building / Sheppard Robson - Exterior Photography, Facade

The folded façades create depth and interest in the elevations, playing with the changeable quality of the material to create a surface that changes character according to the light. The rhythm of the facades has been carefully modulated to give each building its individual identity and to enliven the oblique views of the project. The finely detailed, more delicate ‘scales’ of the hotel are animated by the tighter concertinaed rhythm of the façade whilst the more robust, large ‘gills’ of the office optimize views out and provide passive cooling through shading along the west and south-facing frontages.

68-86 Farringdon Road Building / Sheppard Robson - Image 6 of 21

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *