For years, a building on Euston Road in Camden, known as “the concrete egg box”, was home to the offices of government officials.
Now it’s become something of a hipster mothership since being overhauled into the glamorous Standard Hotel, the first outpost of the risque boutique chain outside the US.
The building was sold to the Standard in 2014 for almost £60 million, reports The Guardian.
The ugly old building was then given a facelift, complete with a red bubble lift to take guests up to their rooms.
“People thought we were crazy to suggest open-air bathtubs in London,” says Shawn Hausman, the Los Angeles-based designer behind the Standard’s flamboyant interiors, who started out creating film sets for Saturday Night Fever.
“But I think it’s always nice to have a bath outside, even in the rain.”
Naked bodies bobbing above the rooftops is par for the course for a chain with a reputation for racy touches. Its first hotel, which opened on Sunset Strip in West Hollywood in 1999, features live models in a vitrine behind the reception desk, part of an art installation called The Box.
Its New York flagship, which straddles the High Line park, takes voyeurism to the next level via the celebrity-frequented Boom Boom Room, an exclusive club that boasts four sitdown toilets in a single cubicle.
The Boom Boom Room – there’s a name that conjures up a certain image.
The bedrooms have full-height windows to encourage exhibitionism and instead of a bible in the nightstand, you’ll find condoms and ibuprofen.
A reception desk striped with exotic hardwoods stands in front of a bulging blue and red ceramic wall by Lubna Chowdhary, recalling the Paolozzi mosaics at Tottenham Court Road station, while a chunky pink terrazzo floor leads visitors through to what was once St Pancras public library.
It is now a lounge bar themed around an imagined 1970s library, complete with an in-house librarian who will curate a selection of “radical” books.
The bedrooms go for between £150 to over £1 000 per night and continue the retro theme.
The heady climax, which won’t open until later in the year, is found at the top of the crown, where one side will be a Latin-themed restaurant run by a double-Michelin-starred chef, imagined as a 1970s tropical plant-strewn lair of macramé curtains, rattan ceiling panels and raised terraces of crazy paving.
On the other side will be an opulent 24-hour-licensed venue with faceted mirror ceilings, leather banquettes and what the designers describe as a “big, boisterous, spectacular curtain”, drawn back to reveal five-metre high curved windows looking out over King’s Cross – London’s very own version of New York’s Boom Boom Room.
The article dubs the hotel “an Austin Powers-style crash pad” that’s “a surreal vision of swinging London”, and the word “groovy” is used rather often.
[imagesource:unsplash] Forget about the beach-ball-sized Lego Deathstar your kid wanted...
[imagesource:x/grimezszcharts] A newly published biography, penned by Walter Isaacson, ...
[imagesource:pexels] If ya'll thought toppings like pineapple and pickles on pizza were...
[imagesource:pexels] We just adore a classic mafia flick or TV show, but seldom do we t...
[imagesource:facebook/anthonijrupertwyne] Master of Wine, Tim Atkin, has just released ...