Client: London Buildings
Date: Completed July 2001
The site, formerly a waste recycling centre now relocated, bounds the south side of Camden Lock and part of the adjacent pool on Regent’s Canal. The mouth of the lock is crossed diagonally by a listed footbridge, and the adjacent former Lock Keeper’s Cottage is also Grade II listed.
The scheme is an employment-generating mixed use development; the major uses are a hotel to the west, offices above restaurants to the east, a retail frontage to Camden High Street and a Canal Information Centre overlooking the pool, bridge and lock.
The 131-bedroom hotel is arranged on the upper floors around a central axis running north-south from Jamestown Road to the canal basin, expressed externally at the highest part of the building with bow ends. The site is served by a central roadway off the street which forms a route through the site from the south to the canal towpath, a deliberately business-like urban space of mixed vehicle and pedestrian activities.
The office building element contrasts with the orthogonality of the hotel by using a ziggurat of curved façades running east-west facing the locks.The two building forms emphasise the two differing forms of the canal, a wide basin to the west and long narrow locks either side of the bridge to the east. The curved form also acts as a backdrop to the gaiety of the listed cottage – a free-standing folly with its own little garden.