Location Camden, London
Client London Buildings
Content 131-Bed Hotel | 3,600m² Office | 1,850m² Restaurant | 500m² Retail
The site, formerly a recycling centre, bounds the south side of Camden Lock and part of the adjacent pool on Regent’s Canal. The mouth of the lock is crossed diagonally by a listed footbridge, and the adjacent former Lock Keeper’s Cottage is also Grade II listed. The scheme is an employment-generating mixed-use development; the major uses are a hotel to the west, offices above restaurants to the east, a retail frontage to Camden High Street and a Canal Information Centre overlooking the pool, bridge and lock. The 131-bedroom hotel is arranged on the upper floors around a central axis running north-south from Jamestown Road to the canal basin, expressed externally at the highest part of the building with bow ends.
The office building element contrasts with the orthogonality of the hotel by using a ziggurat of curved façades running east-west facing the locks. The two building forms emphasise the two differing forms of the canal; a wide basin to the west and long narrow locks either side of the bridge to the east. The curved form also acts as a backdrop to the gaiety of the listed cottage – a free-standing folly with its own little garden. The site is served by a central roadway off the street which forms a route through the site from the south to the canal towpath, a deliberately business-like urban space of mixed vehicle and pedestrian activities.