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Jestico + Whiles stunning design for the W London unveiled


a little seedy and unwelcoming. It does little to enhance London’s reputation as a city of culture or style. But all that is set to change. Behind the scaffolding and hoardings, new shops, restaurants, bars and hotels are being developed, and the first to reveal itself is the W Hotel, Starwood’s flagship brand and the first W to arrive in Britain. Such is the excitement surrounding this opening that the hotel has been packed day and night since it opened a few weeks ago, making it difficult to have a good look around without disturbing guests. However, the exterior skin of the hotel is unique and rather special so whilst we await our turn for an internal inspection, we have invited Jestico + Whiles, the hotel’s architects to comment on the fabric of the building...


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the epicentre of the city’s entertainment district, providing international travellers in London with an exciting new destination venue. In addition to the hotel, the new ten-storey building houses retail, leisure and residential accommodation spread


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eveloped by McAleer & Rushe, the new 192-bedroom luxury Starwood hotel is located in Leicester Square,


t’s about time Leicester Square was given a polish. Considering it is a part of the capital’s tourist trail, I have always thought that it appears


over 200,000 sq ft, including a spa, 11 penthouse apartments and a new 35,000 sq ft retail-leisure experience provided by a leading global brand. The redevelopment of the former Swiss Centre


site has restored key strategic views across the city that have been hidden for years until now, providing visitors with outlooks over the capital that stretch all the way from Parliament Hill in North West London to the Houses of Parliament. Jestico + Whiles’ design allows for the façade


of the building to function like a vast pixellated screen – the first of its kind in the UK – capable of projecting dynamic light installations in an exciting new collaboration between contemporary architecture and art. This striking visual effect is achieved by a sophisticated ceramic frit applied to the optically corrected glass of building’s outer skin, allowing it to ‘hold’ and project the light, without obstructing views outwards from the guestroom windows. The façade of the hotel has been wrapped suspended from the face of the building like a floating sheer veil and etched with an undulating, abstract pattern, reminiscent of the folds in a theatre curtain and evoking the cinematic legacy of the locale. The opening commission has been designed by well-known London based electronic artist


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