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SSDA Awards

Other finalist – ME London Hotel, London

Architect: Foster + Partners
Structural Engineer: Buro Happold Ltd
Steelwork Contractor: Severfield (UK)
Main Contractor: Gleeds Management Services Ltd
Client: Melia Hotels International
The ME London Hotel is a new five-star hotel and residential development in Aldwych, central London. It consists of 157 rooms and 86 apartments and incorporates a retained seven-storey façade from Marconi House that previously stood on the site.

The new building is 10 storeys high and is structurally complex in order to achieve the architectural layout and flexibility.

“Using structural steelwork for the primary frame was the only way of satisfying the required criteria,” says Julian McFarland, Buro Happold Project Engineer.

A nine-storey high central stone clad atrium is the building’s main feature. The structure of the atrium is a load bearing braced steel frame, a substantial structure that provides stability to the building.

Open plan areas at the lower levels were required for function rooms, a restaurant and bars. However, the floors above needed a frequent column grid to limit the structural depth and to maximise their ceiling heights.

The conundrum was solved by installing a series of storey high transfer truss structures within partition lines between the first and third floors.

“By using steelwork we were also able to maximise the number of floors within the frame, even inserting an extra floor at the client’s request,” sums up Nick Ling, Foster + Partners Project Architect.

Judges’ Comment

At the Five-star ME London Hotel on the Aldwych, storey-height steel trusses are used effectively to carry several storeys of bedroom spaces across the long-span public areas needed at the lower levels. The trusses support the regular square grid for the bedroom floors, and have been closely integrated with the distribution of building services.

This prefabricated steel solution is light, and eased construction on this confined city site.

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