FromTheMurkyDepths

Housing and Development in London

Woolwich

New hotel at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich

Here’s an image of a new hotel that will be springing up on Beresford Street in Woolwich, just inside the Royal Arsenal site, and opposite the councils Riverside House. It’s designed by Allies and Morrison.

Sadly it’s a bit of a dog. On the positive side, I like the form, and the curved end. One problem though is the windows, with small squares all along the facade. It looks cheap.

This is budget hotel architecture, and budget as seen on motorway service and airport hotels. More should be expected, and demanded, of town centre sites. Especially on a site by the Woolwich Arsenal, which has some brilliantly restored buildings, and is a flagship regeneration project. I can guess that the attitude is ‘it’s only Woolwich’ from the developers. But Woolwich won’t shake off that image as a second class dumping ground for poor ideas and buildings if a higher standard is not demanded. Surely putting up crap is just repeating the mistakes that Woolwich has seen in the past few decades. I wish the council would demand more.

The material on the facade is described by the developers as ‘planks of dove grey fibre cement board’. That’s right. Grey cement board. mmmm sexy.

I know it’s only a Holiday Inn type place. I’m not expecting a David Chipperfield. Just something that looks half decent and not cheap tat would be a start. Woolwich is not going to improve with this level of new builds.

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8 Comments

  1. Yikes, even if it was built in Lego it would look better!

  2. Charlton Lane Dave

    A budget hotel in Woolwich? Right across from the iconic Riverside House? Surely not? Grey cement fibre board – oh dear. You are so right on this. Standards in planning applications must be maintained to help break the cycle or the Royal Arsenal development will remain an island.

  3. Hmm, it’s not ground-breaking, but I’ve seen a lot worse.

    I don’t have a problem with the cement board cladding. Used well, such a material can look can be utterly beautiful, see the architecture of Tadao Ando. Used badly, it can look grim. I hope Allies & Morrison have included wall washers to skim light up the façade, just to give the building a gentle glow in the evenings.

    I also like the simple Art Deco inspired lines, but I agree about the repetition of windows, which is the unfortunate symptom of battery hen hotels.

  4. Collo

    The images you have found are really great.

    I have to agree that the building doesn’t seem to fit with the Arsenal buildings at all.

    Whilst a hotel is very welcome it just seems to be a pity that it wasn’t more in keeping.

    Is it really that hard a thing to do?

    I also see Paddy Powers are leasing part of Equitable House – not sure if another bookie is required but all the same, this building is great and deserves to be fully utilised.

  5. susy

    Agreed! Many people in the Royal Arsenal paid premium to live here because of it’s beauty and it’s history and new builds built since 2003 were carefully selected to keep up the standards and keep it as special as it is. Why this souless looking building be accepted? why can’t they try and keep up, surely must be a better solution! Woolwich has a chance to make better, please be sensible!

  6. yas

    come on folks the hotel is a very good idea o.k a bit grey but with happy faces it will shine, and yes woolwich has a lot to offer, i wish the council could get a move on and introduce the old co-op to a good developer or hopefully a chain of debenhams,john lewis, or house of fraser would be nice. We need to get rid of the old indoor market and change it into borough market,or greenwich indoor market.
    With the new grand theatre in woolwich hopefully soon, and tesco, we need designer shops just a few. There are quite a lot of people who live in woolwich and plumstead that go out to other places to shop. like the new stratford westfield that would be nice in woolwich on a smaller scale, or lakeside,bluewater then we would not have to keep going to westend and other places to shop.

  7. Kevin

    This Hotel will look absolutely superb and is in keeping with an Industrial Area look . The Grey colour is great .

  8. Delighted to see this unsightly, unfinished lump being dismantled today.

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