ACME has completed work on the first room for the new Canopy by Hilton hotel in the City of London. Located in Aldgate in the heart of the capital, this hotel is part refurbishment, part new construction, with the designs for contemporary interiors and furniture inspired by local history and the surrounding art scene.
Canopy by Hilton is the new lifestyle hotel brand of Hilton, with the Aldgate branch marking their first foray into the UK market. The London City hotel follows the opening of the world’s first Canopy by Hilton in Reykjavik, Iceland, which opened in 2016.
“With a number of our hotels across across East Africa & Canada operating under various Hilton brands, we are excited about the addition of the Canopy brand to our UK portfolio and the strengthening of our ongoing partnership with Hilton. As the hotel industry continues to evolve we believe this lifestyle hotel will be a game-changing development in London.” – Al-karim Nathoo, Managing Director at 4C Hotel Group.
The Aldgate neighbourhood has a rich and complex history that dates back to Roman settlements, which was then followed by successive waves of immigrants, from the 18th century Huguenots, 19th century Jews and 20th century Bangladeshis. The hotel rooms will seek to evoke the forgotten layers of history that have created the context in which the Canopy sits through materials and patterns, while remaining true to the late modernist origins of the existing concrete frame, which will be exposed where possible.
“We enjoyed the opportunity to define the look and feel of the UK’s first Canopy by Hilton hotel. The original 1977 building with its complex facade and waffle slab has been a great stage to work within. Each of the new fixtures and fittings for the guest room have been developed using local discreet Aldgate and Whitechapel references, creating a guest experience rooted in the history of context of East London.” – Friedrich Ludewig, Director of ACME.
The interior design of the hotel rooms seeks to stay true to the modernist building, with a wardrobe designed in the spirit of Jean Prouvé, featuring lightweight steel and timber structures temporarily inserted between floors and ceilings. Carpets and wall fabrics are inspired by the woven legacy of the Huguenots, using an abstracted floral pattern of Anna Maria Garthwaite (1728-1763).
The rug takes influence from the ikat dyeing technique and includes an abstracted pattern in a neutral and tonal degraded effect. ACME has designed bespoke furniture and fabrics especially for this hotel, such the feature canopy over the bed, the chaise longue, cushions, chairs, the lights and the side table. Around the corner of the hotel is Freedom Press, the Anarchist Publisher founded in 1886, and Whitechapel Art Gallery, opened in 1901 as one of the first publicly funded galleries, which has supported local and challenging art over the last 100 years. A letterpress tray is curated for each room containing new works by local artists and objects found in Petticoat Lane Market.
ACME have worked with Dais Contemporary to commission a series of artworks for the new Canopy by Hilton opening in Aldgate in the City of London. Made by London-based artist, the works addresses aspects of the East London context of Whitechapel, Spitalfields and Shoreditch. Selected artists include Tom Gidley, Janne Malmros and Steven Quinn. The art will be a key part of the hotel interiors design and will include large-scale portraits in the corridors by artist Mia Bergeron showcasing the faces of everyday characters living and working in the surrounding neighbourhoods.
ACME is based in London, Berlin and Melbourne. Projects extend across scales and disciplines, from contemporary architecture and urban planning to interior design and product design for private, corporate and public clients. Since its founding in 2007, ACME has worked on 180 projects in 25 countries, across a wide range of functions – from palaces to parks, offices to museums, bridges to shopping centres, housing to sports facilities, car parks to power stations.