Kimpton Fitzroy, London

Following major refurbishment, The Principal Hotel in Russell Square reopened. The hotel was constructed in 1898 and designed by Charles Fitzroy Doll, the man famed for designing the dining room of the RMS Titanic (a design based on the Hotel Russell banquet hall). The building consists of a café, bar, restaurant and banquet hall, with the jewel at the centre of the Hotel being the Palm Court dining area with an external courtyard terrace at one end and an enclosed Winter Garden at the other, where original steel trusses were strengthened to support the spectacular ceiling and pendant lights. Simpson Associates were structural and civil engineers for the project involving significant ground floor and basement alterations, including removal of a masonry wall up to 600mm thick; installation of a feature staircase offering elegant access to the lower ground floor conference suites; renovation of two existing lift shafts and provision of two additional lifts within the internal lightwell. The refurbishment involved the use of a variety of materials, including steel, timber, concrete and masonry. The project  won the prestigious New London Architecture hotels and Hospitality Award.   NB: The Principal Hotel has now been sold and is under new management, with a new name – the Kimpton Fitzroy.’