Red Sand Forts, Thames Estuary, England
Aros Architects release ambitious plans to convert the last remaining British marine defences into a luxury hotel…
Standing the test of time and all sea conditions, the Redsand Forts in the Thames Estuary, formerly served its purpose to protect London during WW2.
Now, over 70 years after the defence structures were built, and the last in a long history of British marine defences that are left, plans have been released to transform the defences into a hotel like no other. David cooper, the facilitator of the project took the idea to the corporates. He says, “I met someone in a bar who went on to tell me about the Red Sand Forts and for 12 years they have been trying to preserve but without success [due to funding and practicality]. I knew of the two hotels that were created in the forts in the Solent. I wrote to various hotel development companies and in the end I was put in touch with Aros Architects and after meeting them in March, the plans have since evolved into renderings.”
Originally built by civil engineer Guy Maunsell, the three groups of forts; Nore, Shivering Sands and Redsands were built to defend against the German Navy and German air strikes that would invade London and the Thames Estuary. Located seven miles off the shores of Whitstable, Kent and Southend, Essex, during its heyday, the three groups of forts shot down 22 planes, 30 flying bombs and were instrumental in the loss of one U-boat.
The Quadruped giants, each weighing 3,500 tons, have been virtually inhabited since they were decommissioned in 1956. But recent development plans to renovate the forts will include building a luxury hotel that will offer matchless views, stunning guestrooms whilst preserving the forts foundation and history with its own museum as part of the proposal.
Aros Architects plan to construct the museum in the Searchlight tower where guests can absorb the origins of the group of forts, whilst understanding its important purpose during WW2.
Converting the other five iconic towers into accommodation, the hotel rooms will offer 40 guestrooms and four individual suites all of which will boast undisturbed views of the Thames Estuary.
At the heart of the cluster of the defiant forts is where guests will be able to relax in the hotel’s restaurant, lounge area and sun terraces, which will be cocooned in a rubber-ring-like structure connecting all five forts.
With an opening date and hotellier yet announced, the latest renovation ideas are as ambitious as Maunsell’s original drawings of the sea defences. Undeterred by this, Aros Architects have accepted the challenge to revamp the forts so that guests can relax in an idiosyncratic piece of British and world history.