The Beaumont hotel in the exclusive London neighbourhood of Mayfair occupies a fine Art Deco building, formerly an Avis car rental garage, originally built in 1927 – but it’s a new addition to the older structure courtesy of artist Anthony Gormley that really grabs the attention. No stranger to polarising opinion with his striking sculpture, Gormley is the man behind ROOM, the 10 metre, 34 tonne form squatting against the exterior wall proper on a second floor podium. His design team worked with overall project architects ReardonSmith on the “inhabitable sculpture”, which is open to guests at selected times; provision of public art is one of the key concepts behind The Beaumont.
As well as Gormley’s headline addition, the building needed to be expanded in other areas to make the hotel conversion a viable option. ReardonSmith – working with English Heritage and Westminster city planners – drew up plans to extend the north wing, add two more floors to the top of the building and excavate a further two floors below ground, as well as renovating The Beaumont’s existing façade and restoring exterior period features such as the iron balustrades. The property now offers 73 rooms which have been designed in line with the building’s architectural heritage, with a one bedroom presidential suite on the top floor that can expand to include four more of the surrounding guest rooms in case of a large entourage.