Dexter Moren wins planning to restore Norwich hotel to its former glory

Posted in Future, News, Projects on 21 October, 2019

Dexter Moren Associates has won planning permission to refurbish and extend a Grade II listed Victorian building in Norwich to create a world-class, 110-key boutique hotel with rooftop terrace and integrated co-working space.

Originally built as a hotel in 1897, the Royal Hotel was converted to offices in the 1980s but now only its lower floors are occupied. Dexter Moren’s sensitive design will convert vacant upper floors of offices into vivacious guestrooms, whilst adding a contemporary extension into the existing lightwell.

In its latest project with internationally renowned hoteliers Accor Hotels, the award-winning architects and interior designers will refurbish the extravagant exterior, add a lightwell extension with a graceful glazed link and further guest rooms in a simple flat parapet rooftop form. A rooftop terrace, with Sky bar and restaurant, for hotel guests, outside visitors and local residents, will nestle within the Royal’s existing roofscape, giving stunning views of Norwich Cathedral. Inside, original detailing such as the ornate Drawing Room ceiling will be kept, with the great first floor ballroom becoming an open plan co-working space.

Constructed in a traditional Flemish style by renowned Norwich Architect Edward Boardman (1833-1910), the handsome terracotta and red brick Royal Hotel sits on a prominent island site in the heart of the historic city of Norwich, within the City Centre Conservation Area and close to Norwich Castle.

Girish Grover, CEO at TurniT Capital said: “There is a high demand for good quality hotels in the city centre and we have drawn on DMA’s extensive experience of working with listed buildings to refurbish the Royal Hotel to its original use, making it once again an important focus of attention, supporting the city’s booming tourist trade, increasing economic activity and adding to the rich heritage of Norwich.”

For the central lightwell extension façade, a sculptured, perforated folded metal cladding has been influenced by Edward Boardman’s original angular geometry and incorporates a pattern taken from his original facade design, interpreted in a contemporary manner. The façade is deliberately lightweight, reversible and contrasting, providing a pleasing distinction between old and new and allowing the building’s evolution to be clear and understandable.

Mark Wood, Partner at DMA said: “The Royal will be an Ibis Styles hotel, a mid market (3*) boutique style brand whose ethos of providing an original experience through eclectic design, is perfectly suited to the conversion and refurbishment of such a historic building. The hotel will incorporate an interior design scheme based on a unique ‘local neighbourhood’ theme, retaining and enhancing the rich character and heritage story of this landmark building, whilst bringing it up to the standards expected of a modern 21st century hotel.”

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