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Friday18 August 2017

Plans for subterranean hotel beneath brutalist landmark rejected

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Planning committee rejects plan to turn underground car park into hotel

Former Central London YMCA and St Giles Hotel on Tottenham Court Road

Former Central London YMCA and St Giles Hotel on Tottenham Court Road

Proun architects’ proposal to convert an underground car park into a windowless hotel 15m below the streets of London’s West End has been thrown out by Camden council.

The rejected plan involved levels -4 and -5 beneath the former Central London YMCA and St Giles Hotel which was designed by the Elsworth Sykes Partnership in the early 1970s.

The distinctive brutalist hotel, which replaced an Edwardian YMCA building on Tottenham Court Road, would not have been affected by the scheme.

Proposed bedroom for hotel beneath Tottenham Court Road YMCA by Proun

Proposed bedroom for hotel beneath Tottenham Court Road YMCA by Proun

The 166 artificially lit rooms, beneath three existing levels of a YMCA health club, would have been operated as a budget hotel accessed from Great Russell Street.

The minimum room size would have been 10sq m. There would have been a guest lounge but no restaurant – just vending facilities. Three fire escapes were included.

Hotel corridor beneath Tottenham Court Road YMCA by Proun

Hotel corridor beneath Tottenham Court Road YMCA by Proun

Camden councillors objected to the fact that the subterranean hotel would have no windows and feared the rooms could be adversely affected by the West End’s poor air quality.

Cllr Stephen Stark was quoted in the Evening Standard as saying: “With no windows in the rooms, it’s not a zero-star rating for the hotel but probably minus five stars.”

Car park level beneath former Central London YMCA and St Giles Hotel on Tottenham Court Road

Car park level beneath former Central London YMCA and St Giles Hotel on Tottenham Court Road

 

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Readers' comments (4)

  • Now let's have a creative and viable new use for underground car parking spaces

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  • Not having windows would probably mean the occupants are less exposed to air pollution. Personally I think not having windows would be an OK trade off for staying in the town centre a bit cheaper. It's just like staying in an inside cabin on the overnight ferry to the Netherlands.

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  • SomeoneStoleMyNick

    I'm sure Camden's planning committee would have accepted this if the price had been right.

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  • This must be one of the deepest (public) car parks in london - minus 6 levels, even if they are half-levels. My late father parked there 25+ years ago when we drove into town to pick up my new hi fi. I remember pushing the lift button and being amazed.

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