The radical redevelopment of Café Royal in central London sensitively restored one of the city’s iconic landmarks, creating a contemporary 5-star luxury hotel whilst preserving the building’s rich heritage.
The refurbished hotel was previously three separate structures. The first was the original Café Royal, a famous restaurant opened in 1863 that was frequented by celebrities throughout the decades, from writers such as Oscar Wilde and HG Wells, politicians and royals including Winston Churchill and Princess Diana, to Hollywood stars like Bridget Bardot and Elizabeth Taylor. The second building at the site was a bank and the third was previously a County Fire Office.
AECOM was appointed as structural engineer and provided a complex solution that delivered the architectural vision of the project yet still protected many of the building’s original features. The structural design allowed all of the listed rooms to be retained in-situ throughout construction. It meant the original layout could be maintained, including an impressive double-storey space previously used to host 19th century boxing matches that is now the hotel’s reception area. Two Grade-I listed facades on Regent Street and Glasshouse Street were retained, from ground floor right through to roof level, throughout construction. The design balanced 21st century style with the historic 1860s and 1920s building fabric.