Positioning it at the heart of one of London’s many unique areas, the Universal Design Studio has designed the interiors and exterior of Ace Hotel Shoreditch. The hotel features 258 rooms, substantial, well-appointed communal areas (both commercial and ‘social’ areas, including an art gallery), a large restaurant and above all an events venue of over 1,800 sq m [2,153 yd2] located on the seventh floor, with a view over the City.
The owners have chosen Universal Design Studio because of their signature design style and their natural propensity toward simplicity, custom-made solutions and a smart use of materials.
Ace Hotel London Shoreditch fits smoothly with the architecture of this part of East London, with its close-knit fabric of commercial , industrial and residential buildings.
The hotel’s spirit talks in the language of advanced craftsmanship, from leather processing to silk weaving, from furniture production to the skilful use of rope.
The façade has a decidedly industrial flavor: it’s made of dark gray bricks and features the lobby’s large glass windows, giving an impression of ‘normality’. This, blending with the typical Crittal windows and galvanized steel and bronze finishings, lends the Ace Hotel a rather rugged character, which however fits perfectly within the context of Shoreditch.
The communal areas are among the strong points of Ace Hotel London.
The ground floor features a wide hub-lobby, a café and an art gallery.
The breakfast area has been furnished in accordance with the original spirit of this Ace Hotel: full-height steel structures support huge windows (these too from Crittal), echoing the exterior’s layout, the ceiling is made of cork and copper lamps have been chosen as lighting fixtures, while the floor is parquet.
The entrance foyer pays tribute to the area’s history of theatre venues (the London Music Hall is located a few hundred yards away).
The bar features cast-iron elements, hand-made ceramics, wood and copper; the skylights soften the ambience by painting it with natural light; the artist Max Lamb has designed the bar’s paneling, the coffee tables and the stools.
The ‘Hoi Polloi’ restaurant is a brasserie looking like a typical early XXth century bistro, with wood panelling and interiors designed to be both dynamic and informal, also offering work niches smartly carved into the available space. Lighting fixtures are by Philippe Malouin, while the seating is typical of British tea-rooms.
The design approach for the rooms starts by regarding them like the flat of a friend in Shoreditch, each with a collection of furniture and items acquired over the course of time, each with its history and memories: maps, exercise- books, records, volumes. Simple items that add to a pared-down, unpretentious decor, which is however enveloping and genuine. The rooms at the top of the range too follow this style and identity.
Lovage is a street farm offering a take-away cuisine service rooted in the concept of natural well-being. The menu varies seasonally and the wall decorations change accordingly, using reversible panels anchored to steel structures, inspired by rural Japanese kitchens: the atmosphere is warm and earthy, offering a quick, pleasant holistic experience.
Ace Hotel London Shoreditch is an example of contemporary hospitality that displays the historic signs of the area in which it’s located, with no excesses and great attention to design details.