Priding themselves on the quirkiness of their ‘atypical places’, the Mama Shelter brand was looking for something striking for their new hotel in uber-trendy Bethnal Green. As a global hotelier, Mama Shelter’s first establishment in London was always going to be a big deal!
As part of the fit-out, the roof of the central courtyard, which previously provided a limited roof garden, underwent a radical rethink. Looking for an elegant solution that would turn the 73m2 inner central courtyard into an all year round indoor/outdoor space, Breezefree was approached by Ben Elford, Leach Rhodes Walker’s Design Manager, to develop a flexible, dynamic and bright scheme, that had a vibrant ambience, for inclusion in their courtyard design.
Armed with the design brief, we presented options to Ben Elford, from which he selected the double-pitched sliding glass roof option.
Our pre-manufacture laser survey and the first site meeting ironed out the various challenges. These included an asymmetric courtyard, two installation planes, limited working space and manoeuvrability for steels, mullions and cranes, and limited access through the hotel. With a tight 12 weeks lead time from order to handover, including structural steel analysis, design and fabrication, no time was lost in commencing manufacturing drawings.
The existing flat roof and brickwork were removed to make way for installation of the structural steelwork (to the outer installation planes).
After this, the low-level facade was reinstated before Breezefree returned to install the sliding glass roof and lead flashings (to the inner installation planes).
The central bar, located beneath the glass roof, needed a bespoke stand-alone bar canopy. The design was to contribute to the quirky personality of the brand, enhance the central bar, break-up and soften the overall space and provide sunshade for the bar staff. We quickly resolved the design to also include the reduction of reflected ambient sound and integrated drainage for when the glass roof is open and it’s raining.
Upon approval of our visuals, manufacture and installation of the stunning bar canopy was completed within the 3 weeks site installation window.
The central inner courtyard now boasts a double-pitched motorised SolaGlide sliding glass roof, 75% opening up to the ridge and operated at the push of a button. The insulated glazing, with acoustic interlayers, also minimises disturbance of guests in their rooms above.
Breezefree’s scope also included the refurbishment of 8 Nr exterior folding arm awnings and installation of 5 Nr new internal Carousel Blinds.
Breezefree’s Project Manager said upon completion
“It was only with decisive and coherent coordination by all parties, and impeccable Health & Safety practices on site, that enabled completion within the tight installation programme and on budget.”
“LRW approached Breezefree based on a previous working relationship formed during the design and build of the Novotel Hotel, Canary Wharf. During which time, LRW were impressed with the quality of Breezefree’s service and final products.
From an architectural perspective, Breezefree were very responsive during the design process and clearly demonstrated and evaluated a range of options/variables during design development. Undergoing several iterations for both the glass roof and bar canopy, Breezefree were determined to provide the most cost effective and operationally suitable proposals based on the conceptual designs.
The final products have been very well received and seamlessly blend form and function to provide both a playful space and flexible ambience.
The installation has been particularly effective within the context of this project given that the glass roof not only performs as an effective weather shield, but also as an acoustic buffer to several upper level guestrooms that form the perimeter of the internal courtyard – this made it doubly appealing and was a major selling point for the product.
We would highly recommend Breezefree and will undoubtedly work together again in future."Ben Elford, Design Manager, Leach Rhodes Walker.