Local Authority: City of London
Client: Sydell Group
Contract Value: £85m
We oversaw the major refurbishment of the Grade I-listed former Midland Bank Headquarters into the magnificent Ned hotel and club, one of the capital’s most ambitious hotel launches in recent times. We worked with developer Sydell Group and operator Soho House to turn the vast, early 20th-century building into one of London’s standout new hotels.
Originally designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1929, and completed in 1939, the listed former Midland Bank Headquarters in the City of London is renowned as one of the Capital’s most iconic buildings.
Today, the Ned is an incredibly successful 252-bedroom 5-star hotel providing an extensive food, beverage and amenity offer with nine restaurants, two swimming pools, a health spa and gym, meeting and event spaces and a private members’ club.
The main entrance from Poultry opens into the Grade I-listed grand banking hall, which is sandwiched between the original safety deposit vaults in the basement and the listed directors’ offices and meeting rooms above.
As part of the development we have carried out major internal structural alterations alongside the sensitive restoration of listed heritage features. We also delivered the high-quality fit-out of the extensive front-of-house areas, including restaurants, members club, bars, spa and two pools, as well as the fit-out of the 252 exquisite guestrooms.
Heritage & Restoration
The building houses a number of areas of significant conservational interest, including the original safety deposit vault, which has been converted into a new lounge and bar.
Throughout the conversion we have been able to retain many of the building’s original features, like the 92 green verdite marble columns and walnut banking hall within the 3,000 sqm former banking hall, now home to a spectacular lobby and eight distinct restaurants.
The upper floors are home to six Grade I-listed banqueting rooms, including the original directors’ smoking room which featured the largest tapestry in England when it was created in the 1920’s. We carried out the painstaking restoration of the original walnut panelling, parquet floors, crystal chandeliers and the breathtaking tapestry.
Throughout the expansive corridors, we have refurbished the original skirtings, dado, cornicing and panelling. The specialist restoration of the original chandeliers was carried out by the grandson of the original chandelier installer, working for the same company.
Further heritage features are found in the basement, where we have meticulously transformed the multi-room bank vaults, once home to deposits of over £15bn.
Behind the formidable two-metre wide, 25-tonne vault door – one of only two ever made – more than 3,000 original stainless steel safety deposit boxes have been restored and line the walls of a remarkable new lounge bar that fills the original space.
Extensive Structural Interventions
We have carried out extensive structural repairs and alterations within the heart of the building, accommodating its new use whilst protecting and maintaining the key characteristics of the original Grade-I listed structure.
Critical structural transformations included significant underpinning work within a newly excavated sub-basement prior to the demolition of an existing link between the original building and a 1970’s extension to allow a 13.5 storey high vertical circulation core.
We also installed a two storey roof extension, two new pools and carried out alterations to the building’s two existing domes.
The project required extensive problem solving due to the complexity of the existing structure, including altering load paths at the upper floors and roof level to avoid strengthening works on the lower floors. The new core is located directly above a proposed Northern line tube tunnel, severely limited piling depth.
Threading the extensive services required for a modern hotel required careful co-ordination and extensive builderswork, a task complicated by the building’s original use. The basement vaults had helical coil reinforced concrete walls and floors, in places up to a metre deep, making the formation of new openings a significant challenge.
The fit-out of the 252 bedrooms and front of house areas is full of vintage touches, taking more than a hint of inspiration from the glamour of the 1930’s and the grand hotels and ocean liners of the era.
Every element of joinery in the hotel has been handcrafted by our own expert joiners: from every door and window to the bookshelves and the bedroom cupboards to the bespoke bars and feature pieces in the banking hall.
In the grand banking hall, we have recreated the original black and white chequerboard floor from archive photography between the new walnut bars.
The luxurious spa is build around a 20m lap pool, in another basement vault. Enveloped in richly-veined marble and black and white tiles, the unbroken mosaic pattern flows through the spa, gradually changing colour through the changing rooms, hammam and treatment rooms.
“The beautiful existing rooms have kept their original glamour throughout this project, exemplifying a restrained approach in adding new elements. The results are upscale, high-end and plush, exactly what is expected of an events space.”
AHEAD Awards, 2017
Best In Class
Winner – RIBA London Regional Awards 2019 and RIBA London Project Architect of the Year Award 2019
Winner – “Europe Hotel of the Year”, AHEAD Awards 2018
“This is an extremely successful reuse of a complex site, carried out sensitively while retaining the character of the original Lutyens design […] Completed within an 18-24 month period on site (handed over in phases) it is testament to the team that there are no signs of compromise given the speed of construction.”
RIBA London Awards, 2019
The Ardmore Group is one of the largest wholly family owned and run construction companies in the UK. Founded by brothers Patrick and Cormac Byrne in 1974, the group remains a family-owned and family-run business to this day.
We’re well known for our extensive in-house capability and pro-active approach to delivery, which gives us the confidence to provide a cost certainty and a fixed price approach on major projects. By retaining direct control over critical work packages, we build resilience into our supply chain and take total ownership over delivery, cost and quality.
We have been at the forefront of London residential and luxury hotel sector for over a decade. In that time we’ve not only delivered some of the capital’s highest profile residential schemes like Chelsea Waterfront, Chapter House and Canaletto, but we have also delivered two of the World’s best new hotels: The Four Seasons at Ten Trinity Square and the Ned.
Our portfolio of London’s best prime and super-prime residential projects speaks for itself. Put simply, high build quality is embedded in everything we do.
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