Based on the citizenM concept, as developed over the years by concrete and citizenM, the architecture of citizenM Shoreditch is the result of an Anglo/Dutch architectural collaboration between Amsterdam based concrete and London based EllisMiller. EllisMiller created the original masterplan for the Shoreditch Conservation Area and citizenM were the successful bidders for the hotel element of the masterplan.
concrete and EllisMiller worked together to bring the citizenM identity into the Shoreditch area, by creating an overall aesthetic that reflects the citizenM brand, whilst visually celebrating the industrial heritage of the site. The collaboration resulted in a project that is strikingly urban, with the key architectural motif of the brick pattern of the building referring to the sites past use as a brick railway viaduct.
The building is situated on the exact location of a former railway viaduct, and was designed in line with a similar, still active, viaduct north of the hotel. A two-storey steel structure follows the repetition, proportions and exact same width of the original railway viaduct. This steel base is divided in several bays that create space for retail and the hotel entrance on the ground floor. The hotel lobby on the first floor is suspended under the steel structure, resulting in a balcony overlooking the old tube trains on top of a building on the other site of the street. Eight storeys of prefabricated room modules have been placed on top of the steel base which house the hotel rooms. Windows of several room modules are bound together by large frames, breaking down the scale of the building and referring to the original old warehouse brick pattern.
The underlying philosophy of citizenM has always been affordable luxury for the people. All guest rooms are equipped with an amazing king-size bed and a great shower. The room is controlled with a tablet mood pad which allows guests to dim or colour the lights, close the curtains, control the room climate and watch television or connect their personal device to it. To make life even easier, every room is equipped with a small desk with sockets to charge all mobile devices whatever the plugs’ origin. Guests can personalise their room to feel even more at home by changing the colour of the lights. Each room has two artworks selected by The Public House of Art in collaboration with citizenM.
The citizenM lobby is raised from the street and located on the first floor level. The lobby is enclosed by a large floor to ceiling glass façade that offers a great view over the Holywell Court square. The entrance on the ground floor level is marked and covered by the overhanging first floor lobby. A colourful mural by AVAF that runs all the way up to the first floor, combined with the iconic spiral staircase, invites people to enter the building and visit the hotel. Arriving on the first floor guests have a clear view of the entire space, including the typical citizenM cabinet that runs along the lobby and guides them to the check-in, a lounge bookcase bench, collectionM, the bar and canteenM with large communal tables. A see-through fireplace within a freestanding cabinet on the other side creates two living rooms adjacent to the covered outside balcony. This balcony has a balustrade table which offers a great view of Shoreditch playful features; four brightly graffitied tube trains with monthly changing art that peek over the brick walls opposite.
concrete co-created the concept of citizenM from the earliest beginnings in 2005 as a holistic plan, setting the boundaries for every creative process in all disciplines involved. As for the citizenM Shoreditch project, concrete designed the architecture of the building within the master plan by EllisMiller architects, and designed the interiors of all public areas and guestrooms.
“To all travellers long and short haul.
To the weary, the wise and the bleary eyed.
To the suits, weekenders, fashion baggers and affair-havers.
To the explorers, adventurers and dreamers.
To all locals of the world from Amsterdam, Boston and Cairo to Zagreb.
To all who travel the world with wide eyes and big hearts.
To all who are independent yet united in a desire for positive travelling.
To those who are smarter than a dolphin with a university degree and
realise you can have luxury for not too much cash.
To those who need a good bed, a cold drink and big fluffy towels.
To all who are mobile citizens of the world.
Citizen M welcomes you all.”
Contributed by Concrete Architectural Associates
Photo © Richard Powers
Masterplan Shoreditch conserv. area: EllisMiller, London, UK
Executive architect: Axis, London, UK
Structural engineer: Elliot Wood, London, UK
Structural engineer modules: Peter Dann, London, UK
Lighting consultant: Buro Happold, Bath, UK
Main contractor: Bouygues UK
Room modules: Polcom, Chojnice PL
Shopfitter public spaces: Roord Binnenbouw, Amsterdam, NL
Staircase construction: German stairs
Facade construction: Metalplast Stolarka, Goleszow, PL
Loose furniture: Vitra, Artek, Hay
Pendant lighting: Frandsen, Artek, Modernica, Anglepoise and Moooi
LED lighting: TDE, Diemen