The hotel sits on the original site of the Shoreditch Empire music hall, which opened in 1856, designed by Frank Matcham. The hotel comprises 258 guest rooms, an event space, a 100 cover restaurant and 50 cover bar, and lounge and reception area with retail units, a bar, a café and an art gallery.
The Ace Hotel chain is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. It operates hotels in Portland, New York, Palm Springs, Seattle and Washington and this is its first offeroutside America.
Universal Design Studio worked with the brand’s in-house team Atelier Ace on the designs, and was approached by Ace Hotels for the project around May last year.
Jason Holley, Universal Design Studio director, says, ‘We find it really interesting how [Ace Hotels] try and make each hotel become a genuine thread in the fabric of the neighbourhood. Within their DNA is this idea about responding to a locality.’
He adds, ‘They’re known for working with buildings with intrinsic value and history, so we took that idea and engaged with local designers and manufacturers’.
Universal Design Studio says that the Shoreditch hotel interiors are inspired by the area’s ‘making’ history, designing a ‘contemporary take’ on traditional buildings and shop fronts.
Holley says, ‘For the façade we celebrate the beauty and expressive quality of brickwork, using different configurations of bricks’.
Inspiration was also taken form the site’s theatrical history, taking the idea of ‘performance’ to create a custom theatre light grid installed in the external entrance foyer.
A gallery space will house changing exhibitions, and there will be several additional artist collaborations throughout the lobby.
Other features of the public areas include metalwork and Crittall glazing. A 16-seat communal table sits in the public lobby space, created from cast iron, oak and copper.
The first guest rooms open this week, with the lobby, café and retail space opening at the end of the month. The restaurant is due to open on 3 October.
Ace Hotel is due to open hotels in Los Angeles and Panama later this year.