Located in Tooley Street’s conservation area, this new boutique hotel brings Indian hospitality to the capital for the first time. The £50 million hotel is the first overseas venture for family-owned LaLit hotel group and exhibits a blend of London’s history with a contemporary definition of luxury. This stylish and contemporary new hotel has been created in Southwark, through the retention, conversation and transformation of a 19th Century Grade II listed former grammar school building.

With its ornate architectural features protected, and reference to history throughout the public spaces, the building is an outstanding example of how our existing building stock can be celebrated and regenerated into a new lease of life. Features such as the headmaster’s office and the Great Hall were retained and integrated into the hotel’s design. A restaurant in the vaulted former Great Hall where pupils once ate school dinners will showcase dishes from around India. In addition, to utilise the hotel’s incredible location, with its close proximity to Tower Bridge, the repair and restoration of the historic clock added a remarkable feature to the building – especially when The Shard can be seen in the view.

AECOM were appointed as the structural engineer and brought novel and creative solutions that would protect the historic elements whilst also adapting the building to its new luxury use. The solutions demonstrated our wide array of skills as well as detailed knowledge of the building. One example of this is the new ‘short-cut’ in the central Great Hall. We assisted the servicing of the Great Hall, kitchen lighting ventilation and pipework. The initial solution was to route services from the new double storey deep basement in the western forecourt plantroom which was essentially taking a long route that followed the existing footprint of the building. By conducting surveys, and appraisal of the condition of the existing foundations, the design offered a shorter service route through the existing foundations, beneath the proposed bar and lounge rooms, directly into the Great Hall.

In addition, our teams offered value by holding technical meetings in terms of funding. Through earlier ground analysis, the engineers were able to assist with steady reduction of each contractor’s pricing to align closer to the budget.

Sustainability was an important element to our work on this project. The final scheme managed to retain 89.4% of the existing structure. The LaLiT Hotel illustrates that it is possible to achieve sustainable results on refurbishment projects.