Stow-Away Hotel

Doone Silver Kerr blends the qualities of a boutique hotel with the privacy of apartment-living in the realization of the new apart-hotel Stow-Away located in Central London.

  • rooms 20
  • Year 2019
  • Type Hotel,
  • Design studio Doone Silver Kerr (DSK) has designed a new ‘aparthotel’ for Stow Projects and Ciel Capital, located at 137-139 Lower Marsh, Waterloo and situated within the Lower Marsh Conservation Area. Responding to the demands for more flexible living trends in Central London, the project blends the design qualities of a boutique hotel with the privacy of an apartment to provide adaptable, high quality urban accommodation where city dwellers can live, work, eat and sleep.

    With a focus on simplicity, robustness and durability, the innovative 5-storey modular development consists of 20 rooms/apartments, each formed from a recycled 30ft shipping container. The refined interior shells of the containers are clad with self-finished surfaces such as stone and stained and natural plywood, optimising high-performance materials to maximise internal dimensions, durability and longevity. The containers are designed to function as self-contained, independent structures – DSK undertook extensive research to ensure each room meets appropriate building regulations.

    DSK has optimised the space, use and function of each room with a simple, restrained configuration, detailed with high-quality, natural finishes such as timber and marble. The efficient use of space enables the provision of a kitchen – complete with dishwasher, sink, microwave, portable hotplate, and a set of cutlery, crockery and saucepans. The bed is designed to be multi-functional, with wall cushions to adapt for TV viewing. DSK has also employed a muted colour palette that subtly shifts from light to dark to evoke a greater sense of space, and to further ensure guest comfort by preventing a ‘tunnel effect’ sensation.

    A key element of the design was to embrace the surrounding urban environment, with the semi-enclosed back of the hotel enabling guests to view the wide skyline of London’s Southbank area, including landmarks such as the London Eye. However, given the proximity of the South Western Main Line immediately adjacent to the hotel’s rear, DSK’s design includes various measures to carefully mitigate against vibrations and sound. Specialised acoustic rubber pads of varying densities have been applied to each floor and the practice has specified doors that address both acoustic and security issues.

    The hotel’s exterior employs a striking façade of projecting fins, applied as a sculptural, welded steel screen that assists both privacy and solar‐shading. Providing the hotel with a distinctive identity, the faceted screen alters the appearance of the building when viewed from different angles, the deep orange interior facet of each fin referencing the weathering steel of shipping containers. The windows to each apartment comprise a simple, fixed high‐performance laminated double‐glazed unit, with a halftone frit to obscure the lower part of the window for privacy. At ground floor level, a reception area and wine bar (Unwined) offer an exciting new destination for locals and visitors to Lower Marsh. The site is Unwined’s first permanent home after first establishing themselves at a pop-up in Tooting Market.

    Design: Doone Silver Kerr
    Contractor: CMT Construction
    Photography: Edmund Sumner