Stowaway Hotel, London
By Doone Silver Kerr
Responding to the need for more flexible urban accommodation in Central London, Doone Silver Kerr (DSK) designed the first Aparthotel for Stow Projects, called Stowaway. Using recycled shipping containers as the construction system, the innovative five-storey modular development consists of 20 compact units, which at the end of the lease, could be relocated completely.
Combining the design qualities of a boutique hotel with the privacy of an apartment, DSK paid a lot of attention to the details of both the in- and outsides of the building, to create a distinctive identity.
A facade with character
The hotel’s exterior employs a striking facade of projecting fins, applied as a sculptural, welded steel screen that assists both privacy and solar shading. The faceted screen alters the appearance of the building when viewed from different angles, with 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.
Since a major railway line passes in close proximity to the back of the hotel, DSK’s design includes various measures to mitigate against vibrations and sound. Specialised acoustic rubber pads of varying densities have been applied to each floor, and doors that address both acoustic and security issues have been specified.
The building shell
Each container was designed to function as an independent structure. DSK undertook extensive research to ensure that each unit meets the appropriate building regulations.
The container’s skin was conceived as a refined shell, which on the interior was clad with self-finished surfaces such as stone and plywood. The walls were also optimised using high-performance materials to maximise internal dimensions, durability and longevity.
Inside, a restrained configuration, coupled with a muted colour palette that subtly shifts from light to dark, evokes a greater sense of space and prevents a “tunnel effect”.
A successful technique
Ross Kerr, director at Doone Silver Kerr, comments: “Stowaway demonstrates DSK’s enthusiasm for new construction techniques that can unlock the potential of complex, constrained sites, responding to the demands for increasingly flexible, innovative, technology-driven urban structures.”
The project has won two accolades at the 2019 Serviced Apartment Awards in the categories for the best property (1-20 units) and best architecture/exterior design.
Full thanks and acknowledgement are given to Doone Silver Kerr for the information and images provided.