New hotel for Mayfair

(29 June 2010) An application for planning permission for the development, by Grosvenor with Corbin & King Hotels, of 8 Balderton Street in Mayfair into a luxury, bespoke hotel, has been approved by Westminster Planning Committee. Grosvenor is working in partnership with Corbin & King Hotels Limited (“CKHL”) to undertake the development of the grade II listed building and once completed, it is intended that CKHL will manage the hotel.

The Art Deco style building is currently occupied by Avis Rent-A-Car. Originally built as a garage, the building was designed by Wimperis & Simpson in 1926 and overlooks Brown Hart Gardens and King’s Weighhouse Chapel beyond. The planning application proposes 75 bedrooms & suites; public areas including a restaurant, and lobby bar/salon; a small private dining/meeting room and a spa. The plans adapt the existing fabric of the building, including the principal elevations. A comprehensive consultation process was undertaken with local residents, Westminster City Council, English Heritage and other stakeholder groups.

Sarah-Jane Curtis, Retail Investment Director at Grosvenor stated:
“We are delighted to have secured planning consent for this landmark building, and we are in detailed discussions with Chris Corbin and Jeremy King as partners for the investment in this project. They have a proven track record for not only operating high quality restaurants, but also their attention to detail and sympathetic treatment of buildings taking into account their environmental context. This will, we believe, facilitate the creation of a fabulous amenity in Mayfair for residents, workers and visitors.”

Jeremy King, Director Corbin & King Hotels added:
“We look forward to working with Grosvenor on this exciting project. Too many of London’s hotels have become homogenised, chain driven, luxury bed-factories lacking in character, individuality or indeed charm. This is not the plan for 8 Balderton Street. As restaurateurs and hoteliers our entire philosophy revolves around the quality of the visitor experience. Our vision for 8 Balderton Street is determined by the desire to provide excellence in service, value for money and quality of accommodation.”

Once construction starts, the development will take 18-20 months with the aim being to open early in 2013.

Artist Antony Gormley has been approached to develop public art which is integral to the scheme in the form of an inhabitable sculpture to be used as a guestroom. ReardonSmith are the architects on the project.

King continued:
“We believe that the art element will be symbiotic with the scheme rather than purely a decorative addition. This work by Antony Gormley is an exciting integration of a sculpture within the functions of the hotel, while providing a new landmark. The design has been developed so a unique guestroom can be accommodated within it. We have worked closely with ReardonSmith, the UK’s leading specialist Hotel Architect, in the search for an appropriate hotel site, while top planning consultants Gerald Eve have been instrumental in securing planning permission. With this location, ReardonSmith and Grosvenor we have the perfect collaboration.”

Patrick Reardon, of ReardonSmith Architects, added:
"It has been an absolute joy to work with Chris Corbin, Jeremy King and the team at Grosvenor on this exceptional project. All of us shared a single vision which will now be realised. A fundamental element of our initial concept was that public art must be an integral part of what we do rather than a tick-the-box add on. We're all thrilled that Antony Gormley's iconic contribution has fulfilled our dream in such a spectacular fashion".

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