Robert Begley of pHp Architects talks about the design of Hotel La Tour BirminghamIt’s always a pleasant surprise when your design finally takes shape. You have a picture in your mind, but it is never as good as the real thing. Now that the cladding is going up on the outside of the hotel, so that the building form is more evident, what stands out is that this is a great site.
Not just because it is a great location, but because it is a triangular site on a slope. Difficult sites produce interesting results and the pointed shapes which resulted from fitting the building to the site are really dramatic. So much so that we will have to protect pedestrians from one corner!
With the detail and variety in the cladding we feel we have realised our goal to design a building whose character changes throughout the day, and especially between day and night, so that the customer’s experiences are always reflective of the very different moods a hotel can capture.
The complex forms now revealed mark the hotel out as distinctly urban, and achieves the sense of style and polish created by great Art Deco buildings. With that combination of angular geometry and simple style,we can get the sense that the design will be at once modern and classic.
The three most important features on a building used by the public are ease of wayfinding, levels of daylight and connection to the activity outside. At Hotel La Tour we’ve been able to create a clear entrance and routes where people will want to go, a foyer flooded with light and high levels of natural light in lift lobbies and bedrooms corridors which have full width windows. The design also connects well with outside activity so hotel guests can experience the location they are in.