Location: 53 Piccadilly, York Y01 9PL; Rooms: 100; Hotel Group: Choice Hotels; Franchise operator: Philip Down and Mike Hammill; Architect and design group: P&HS Architects
P&HS Architects was briefed to create a boutique hotel on a corner-shop budget with the Quality Hotel in York. The initial challenge for this franchise was trying to squeeze a 100-bedroom hotel with bar and restaurant into a tight site in the centre of York.
York’s tourist trade relies on its ‘olde worlde’ attractions, yet the local council also encourages modern buildings. This fitted in with the aspirations of the hotel operators, who wanted to create a modern hotel in the style of London’s The Metropolitan, or One Aldwych. ‘We knew we’d pay the price in housekeeping (all that white and silver), but we didn’t want to compromise the look,’ says hotel operator Philip Downs.
P&HS Architects came to the conclusion that, ‘The only way that we could achieve that simple, modern look on the budget we were given, was to design everything rigorously ourselves and spend time researching materials which looked the part, but were economical,’ says Chris Potter of P&HS Architects.
For instance, in the main reception they wanted a limestone floor – but at a quarter of the price. After some research, the architects found an Italian limestone floor tile with the same proportions, appearance and finish as the real thing. Similarly, all the furniture is made from a reconstituted wood material made from poplar trees that can be made to look like any exotic hardwood.
The modern look begins in the reception with a white-painted foyer with a ‘mahogany’ reception desk and bar divided by a trapezoidal silver column.
The corridor walls are clad in an off-white Muraspec finish with a subtle white square, a pattern that is repeated in the dark grey carpet. In the rooms there are no pictures on the walls and free-standing furniture is minimal, just a TV stand, a chest of drawers and beds.