The reuse and renovation of the existing architectural heritage has, not surprisingly, been one of the main topics at the centre of socio-cultural debate for years and, consequently, of professional practice in the architectural field. The reason for this interest, at least in principle, is due to ethical reasons, protection of the environment and conservation of the most historic cities. In this sense, it is certainly easier to transform an old convent into a hotel without altering the facilities, rather than into a shopping centre.
Strong socio-economic reasons have also contributed to the spread of this practice: many hotel conversion interventions have generated or have been at the centre of important urban reconversion projects, re-appropriation of abandoned or disused places. Finally, from the point of view of the clients, it has become evident how investing for reuse often turns into a good deal, able to give shape to extremely interesting opportunities and whose complexity represents, at the same time, a particularly stimulating exercise for those who are called to design and explore the potential that unconventional spaces are able to offer.
Inside there is also a minimalist lounge for private business meetings, a fully glazed meeting room for 20 people and of course a spa. All the service is of course customised (at least given the difficulty of access), and very high range: private car at the airport, Bang&Olufsen sound system, sauna and double bath tub.
The facade of the new hotel is characterised by stained-glass windows that protrude like bubbles and offer breathtaking views of the city. The hotel offers all the comforts of the luxury category with, the unexpected combination of a museum space with international importance. The hotel structure occupies the six floors above Zeitz MOCAA - Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, the largest contemporary African art collection in Africa.
The hotel offers rooms, suites and apartments of various sizes; of course there is a spa and gym, but also a barber, hairdresser and nailbar. All the spaces are furnished with a splendid vintage taste that is consistent with the architectural style of the building. Even relatively modest rooms are able to provide maximum comfort. Inside them, the mere collection of bathroom products can take a good half an hour to work through and deciding what not to take from the minibar is a real dilemma. A problem quickly surpassed in complexity by the difficulty of choosing between one of the 8 restaurants in the gigantic hall, a room full of columns, the roof bar with swimming pool or the club in the vault of the bank. And this is undoubtedly the real advantage of a hotel that, located in an area as lively during the day as it is in the evening, can offer its guests the possibility of a truly London experience without it being necessary to even put your nose out of the hotel.
It is one of the first skyscrapers in the city, with a very strong architectural characterisation based on the 9-storey atrium decorated in Victorian style. The soul of the Beekman is devoted to contemporary art: both the rooms and the common spaces are decorated with works of art selected by curator Katherine Gass, in an evocative collection characterized by numerous site-specific works linked to the history of the neighbourhood and the building.
The building, which is now bound, was designed in 1880 by Richardson Olmsted. The hotel's 88 rooms and suites are housed in the rooms of the psychiatric care home, but the complex extends to other nearby buildings, including a conference room, numerous meeting rooms and spaces for social events.