St Pancras Renaissance Hotel restored to former gothic glory

04 May 2011

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel London officially opens on 5 May 2011, following the extensive renovation of the grade I-listed building 138 years after the original opening.

The £150m development of the 245-room hotel – originally the Midland Grand Hotel designed and built by Victorian architect George Gilbert Scott – included the renovation of the historic St Pancras Chambers.

Now incorporating 38 elegant and spacious Victorian bedroom suites on its lower levels and Barlow House, together with a new-build wing, this creates a 120,000ft2 extension that will feature original artwork and contemporary design.

The breathtaking hotel, part of the Marriott’s Renaissance luxury brand, was developed by Manhattan Loft Corporation in partnership with Arup as structural engineer to restore the grade I-listed building to its former gothic splendor.

Extensive, sensitive restoration

Together, Manhattan Loft Corporation and Arup also developed the 68 luxury apartments housed on the upper levels of St Pancras Chambers separate to the hotel. The apartments, some of which originally provided servants’ quarters, range from one to three bedrooms and a single penthouse occupying the lofty, uppermost areas of the western tower.

The vast restoration of the building required balance between preservation of its original form and change needed to transform it into a modern luxury hotel and accommodation. Work took place in close consultation with English Heritage to minimise alterations in line with principles of conservation, whilst also satisfying pressures from modern design, usage and regulation, to meet the needs of the developer and end users.

To achieve modern standards major new services needed to be threaded through the historic fabric of the building, including plumbing installations and air-conditioning. Arup worked closely with services engineers to minimise the impact on the existing structure from both an architectural and structural viewpoint.

“The sheer scale and diversity of the building with hundreds of unique rooms provided a substantial structural design challenge.” said John Lange, project manager at Arup. “Through strategic high level engineering direction and close collaboration with Manhattan Loft and contractors on site, we delivered a coherent and practical design to satisfy both the end client Marriott Hotels and English Heritage.”

The hotel, which will also feature a 450 capacity event hall, a private club, barber’s shop and luxury spa, combines historic charm with modern luxury essentials and will offer global travelers a gateway to London in the form of one of the city’s greatest landmarks.

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  • Exterior of St Pancras Renaissance Hotel and St Pancras Chambers. Credit Graham Gaunt.

    Arup worked as structural engineer in the effort to restore the building to its former gothic splendor.