Arad powers look of Battersea hotel

Ron Arad Associates has designed a radical luxury hotel concept to be housed at Battersea Power Station in London. The plans for the Upperworld Hotel will be officially revealed at the IX Biennale di Architettura in Venice later this month.

The hotel will be positioned on the roof of the iconic former power station, which is situated on the south bank of the River Thames. It forms part of a raft of development plans for the site by Parkview International, the family-owned Hong Kong company which is managing the project (DW 11 December 2003).

Geoff Crowther, associate architect at Ron Arad Associates and project lead on Upperworld, says Parkview president Victor Hwang approached Arad directly. The consultancy was then appointed in July last year after presenting its ideas.

‘Hwang has had the plans redrawn a number of times by different architects,’ says Crowther, adding that the project is currently at the concept stage and awaiting planning permission before more detailed designs are undertaken.

The Upperworld Hotel structure will run the length of the building, sitting below the building’s famous four towering chimneys, and above retail and leisure facilities housed below. Shuttles, running laterally down each side, will carry guests to their rooms.

‘In the centre is an incredibly big open space which originally contained the boilerhouse. Our aim is to keep this sense of space alive and not to lose it,’ explains Crowther. To achieve this, at each end of the hotel there sits a hub that overlooks the 30m ‘void’ to an exhibition area below.

Upperworld will contain 44 spiral-shaped suites, each at 150m2, along with a bar, two restaurants and function rooms. Ron Arad Associates will handle interior design for these areas.

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