Working on the (well-shod) hoof

A 1.5m spend in 13 weeks. That’s big bucks and quick work, especially when the job included new marble for damaged flooring and English Heritage’s insistence that new silk shades for wall lights matched the originals exactly.

This is how it was for Lees Associates, which has designed the Savoy hotel’s new foyer. “It had to be the fastest job in the UK this year,” pants partner John Lees, who skilfully moved the building work round the site during construction, as it had to be kept open throughout.

“How can you close down the front hall of the Savoy?” asks Lees. Fur-swathed visitors can’t be expected to tiptoe gingerly through piles of rubble in their Gucci loafers, one supposes.

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