Located directly opposite St Pancras railway station, this is the US-based Standard hotel group’s first international outpost and the most exciting opening in London’s ever- evolving Kings Cross Quarter. The Brutalist property it occupies, formerly an office block and public library, has been heightened by a new glass extension, which hosts a restaurant and club accessed via a bubble- like external elevator.
The building ’s concrete façade was a major plus for the team behind the project, who wanted to, in the words of the group’s chief executive Amar Lalvani, ‘preserve and enhance its beauty’.
Tasked with creating its 266 rooms and public areas, American interior designer Shawn Hausman was equally enthused by the venue’s history. ‘There’s a lot of reference to the 1960s and 70s in The Standard’s hotels, but this was one of the first times we’ve actually had a property from that period. The architecture plays an important part in the rooms and their identities.’
There’s a mix of design references in the interior, with 1970s-style grooved fir and walnut panelling sitting alongside bold, modern terrazzo – Lubna Chowdhary’s ceramic wall tiles in the reception are a highlight.
Facing the gothic red bricks of St Pancras, visual tributes to London’s transport system feel right at home, from Mondrian-esque blocks of pillar-box red and royal blue to subway tiles and linear motifs reminiscent of patterns seen on the Underground.
‘There’s a real lightness and a sense of humour to The Standard,’ says Hausman. ‘It doesn’t take itself too seriously – playfulness is important.’ The designer also finds charm and inspiration in Kings Cross’s somewhat chequered past. ‘The potential naughtiness that the area was once known for is something we’ve fully embraced.’ Rooms from £305; standardhotels.com
For more images of The Standard Hotel see the August issue of ELLE Decoration out now
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