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Hotel Gotham: Major New MCR Hotel In Landmark Building

'Sexiest hotel in Europe' planned for Lutyens' masterpiece

Published on November 19th 2013.


Hotel Gotham: Major New MCR Hotel In Landmark Building
 

THE Bespoke Hotel Group is developing The Hotel Gotham at 100 King Street - the former bank with Jamie Oliver's Italian occupying the main banking hall.

Hotel Gotham promises to be a fun, witty destination and a little bit naughty. We want it to be the sexiest hotel in Europe

The hotel will sit above the restaurant in one of Manchester's most effortlessly beautiful buildings, the King of King Street, the best of its former banks.

The new luxury property will open in 2015, in collaboration with the Marshall Construction Group, the owners of the building.   

 Hotel Gotham - pavilions and perfection

 

Hotel Gotham - pavilions and perfection

The conversion to a hotel will result in the creation of 100 new jobs, both full and part time, with The Hotel Gotham featuring 60 deluxe rooms, alongside a restaurant and both a private members’ bar and garden situated on the roof of the building. Work will begin in March 2014, the hotel will open early Spring 2015. 

“Hotel Gotham promises to be a fun, witty destination and a little bit naughty. We want it to be the sexiest hotel in Europe," says Bespoke Hotels chairman Robin Sheppard.

Speaking exclusively to Confidential Sheppard described the way the hotel will work. 

"Guests will enter a lift off the street and then go straight to the top floor where there'll be a reception, bar and open terrace area with views across the city. To get to the bedrooms they'll go back down levels of the building. All the rooms will have external views with the exception of four internal suites that will be very special. These will be generously scaled filled with trick of the eye effects and faux gardens."

"What we're trying to achieve here is a high-end boutique hotel, something to match The Lowry Hotel for instance in terms of luxury," continues Sheppard. "But we also want colour and glamour; easy-going and accessible glamour. The restaurant for example will have high quality food but it won't be cold or too formal - and it will be very different from Jamie Oliver's place on the ground floor. In essence we want Hotel Gotham to very lively, we want it to reflect the city." 

A Commercial Masterpiece - more about the building

The former Midland Bank was designed in 1928 (completed in 1935) with a brilliant white, fossil festooned, Portland Stone, facade. In terms of majesty allied with grace it is one of the top five commercial buildings ever built in Manchester. 

Lutyens, by the time he designed the Grade II* bank, was in his fifties and already The Grand Old Man man of British architecture.

In the crammed and cramped Manchester city centre it works a different but equally potent magic.

Born in 1869, he began his career merging Arts and Crafts styles with vernacular UK architecture, after WWI he came up with the classic cenotaph design (Manchester's is one of his). His triumph was probably the masterplan and design of many of the buildings of New Delhi in India - in part collaboration with Herbert Baker. The Viceroy's House, now known as the Rashtrapati Bhavan, was perhaps his masterpiece.

For New Delhi he developed his own 'order' - how columns work with pediments and cornices and so on. One of his innovations was the use of little bells at the tops of columns. Called appropriately Delhi Bells, these can be viewed inside Jamie Oliver's Italian restaurant presently occupying the ground floor. 

Lutyens was deliberately tricky, almost playful, in his later buildings. Here the structure recedes in thirds, the bottom stage a third bigger than the second and so on. He also mingled the powerful but subtle neo-Baroque of Christopher Wren and his contemporaries with newer influences spreading about the nature of architecture in the 1920s.

There might be huge Classical arches here and massive cornices and obelisks, but much of the wall space is sheer, the window apertures unadorned, functional, to the point. Bauhaus eat your heart out.

Sculpture from John Ashton Floyd pushes coats of arms and Midland Bank insignia out from the walls in relief.

The top third of the building could be a French pavilion from the age of Louis XIV. It has attached columns, massive windows. 

On the Pierhead at Liverpool the ex-Midland Bank would look perfect, a suitable match for the Three Graces. It's an Imperial Building, a building for Empire days, just as they are. 

100 King Street100 King StreetIn the crammed and cramped Manchester city centre it works a different but equally potent magic. 

We are the city of the short perspective, the closed view. The buildings close about us, streets shift or change name in unpredictable ways. This can be frustrating but is also claustraphobically exciting. 

History dictates the street pattern. Manchester's development as the primal, industrial city, a commercial machine first and foremost, meant that wide boulevards were an idle irrelevance in the pursuit of profit. Thus we are left with the delightful, tight-packed, bedlam of our city centre. 

So coming upon a view of Lutyen's Midland bank down Charlotte Street or Spring Gardens gives a lift to the day. It's the contrast that gives value to the whole.

The building's grandeur and scale is a sudden shock given the narrow streets on three sides - it's like coming on a medieval cathedral, York say, or Toledo, after wandering down mean streets filled with shadow. 

The name of the new hotel is playful, resonant of Batman, Manhattan and the heyday of the skyscraper from the twenties to the fifties. Hotel Gotham as a name feels all right - bit daft but eye-catching.

This development is great news for the city centre. 

Jonathan Schofield

You can follow Jonathan Schofield on Twitter here @JonathSchofield or connect via Google+

 

King of King StreetKing of King Street

Inside the Banking Hall - now Jamie Oliver's ItalianInside the Banking Hall - now Jamie Oliver's Italian

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38 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousNovember 19th 2013.

I think the hotel name is truly awful for such a majestic Manchester building, very Disney or Las Vegas-esque. TBLZebra (can't login again)

ShybaldbuddhistNovember 19th 2013.

Strange name for a hotel in Manchester. If it was off Batman street or something i could understand it, but it isn't?

@ShaunathegrinchNovember 19th 2013.

Sounds good to me!

AnonymousNovember 19th 2013.

Heh. I've always thought the view of this building from Fountain Street when it's uplit looked like it belonged in Gotham City, apparently I'm not the only one. Not sure Gotham City would make a great tourist destination though.

Alan DaviesNovember 19th 2013.

It's good to know that this building isn't being threatened with a similar fate to Century House.

AnonymousNovember 19th 2013.

'The Hotel Gotham'? 'Private members’ bar'? 'A little bit naughty'? Oh dear!!!

Hero
Hall of Hall HallNovember 19th 2013.

What a ridiculous name. Expect tasteless and vulgar guests as a result.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jonathan SchofieldNovember 19th 2013.

What a stupid thing to say. Why not give the place a chance first.

Alan WharrierNovember 19th 2013.

Its a brilliant name!!!

1 Response: Reply To This...
JodfishNovember 19th 2013.

You would say that

kpNovember 19th 2013.

I think it sounds fantastic. A fun name that suits the building style. Manchester's superb skyline architecture is one that is celebrated across the city with Cloud 23 at the Hilton & SkyLounge at Doubletree by Hilton - why not add another one. I look forward to seeing more plans for this.

AnonymousNovember 19th 2013.

'kin hell. Can't you folk be pleased that someone wants to develop something a bit different in a wonderful building that has lain empty for some time... what a fantastic place it will be. If you've a better idea, get your £ out, take on the place yourself and give it a different name. There are so many negative folk on here these days. It's not as fun as it used to be on ManCon... (and yeah, I'm staying anon as it's the 'new' thing to do, no?). Schofield, when will you ban anon log ins? :) Oh and GOOD LUCK to the new hotel!

6 Responses: Reply To This...
BaggioNovember 19th 2013.

some people just have to see a negative in every positive. if they were given sweets by their parents, they would moan "oh great! you want all my teeth to fall out?"

AnonymousNovember 19th 2013.

'Can't you folk be pleased that someone wants to develop something a bit different'? For development in Manchester, a hotel isn't a bit different!

ShybaldbuddhistNovember 19th 2013.

Great building. Happy to know it wont be knocked down or ruined. Happy for the extra jobs and money it brings. I just think its a strange name, like the 'get me there card'. The name lets it down.

AnonymousNovember 19th 2013.

I hope they don't use the strapline 'A naughty hotel for sexy people'!

Amanda EveryNovember 19th 2013.

Hear, hear! There's a right miserable bunch of naysayers on here! I thought us NW people were supposed to be cheerful and friendly, not re-enact Corrie!!

AnonymousNovember 19th 2013.

No Amanda, according to a Staff member, the Liverpool Confidential rants are much funnier.

Georgina Hague shared this on Facebook on November 19th 2013.
SoapysudsNovember 19th 2013.

With hotel occupancy rates at around 70%, with a number of new hotels/motels being built in the City Centre. Why do we need another hotel, which takes money out of the local economy and provides low-waged jobs?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 19th 2013.

why does it take money out of the local economy? and whats wrong with a new low paying job? isnt it better than no job at all?

AnonymousNovember 19th 2013.

It's clearly better to have a building stand idle and provide no employment at all... (not). Also, the new stuff going up (Motel One, Premier Inn) is towards the budget end. This one clearly isn't.

Sas BrienNovember 19th 2013.

At last this glorious building will have a use. And the name is a marketing coup. It's all good stuff folks. Cheer up. Can't wait to go to that roof garden.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Alex24November 19th 2013.

Agreed, I think it's a fun name which will stand out to international tourists, don't see the need for people to be po-faced about it - it's not like they've renamed the building or emblazoned the batman logo on the wall (yet :) ) A building of that quality has the potential to be a destination hotel and it won't do retail on King's Street any harm. Pleased.

GimboidNovember 19th 2013.

For the sake of the ill-informed, 'Gotham' does not only relate to the Batman franchise, it is also a nickname for New York city that has since come to be used to talk about gothic urban architecture in general - as such it's a perfect name for this use of the Midland Bank building.

BenNovember 19th 2013.

The name is brilliant - like Anon mentioned above, I've always thought the building wouldn't look out of place in a Batman movie. I think it's a great name regardless of the negative comments so far...

AnonymousNovember 19th 2013.

I think it sounds great...and exactly what Kind Street needs. Its such a shame to see a once vibrant part of the city loose its spark, every other retail unit is empty. Hopefully this is the beginning of a reinvention.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 19th 2013.

Hopefuly Brahms and Liszt will return too.

Michael IngallNovember 19th 2013.

The Mercer, Royalton, Gramercy Park, metropolitan, edition, savoy, soho, covent Garden, manchester gets the Gotham, and a sex hotel...hmm classy , so good at the self sabotage

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 19th 2013.

The private members' bar did it for me!

GimboidNovember 19th 2013.

To be honest I think the mentions of naughtiness are probably a rogue spokesperson getting a bit carried away, I can't see such a major hotel development seriously marketing themselves that way. You'd hope so anyway.

AnonymousNovember 19th 2013.

I disagree, that's clearly their angle in an already hotel swamped city.

AnonymousNovember 20th 2013.

Ah another place aimed at the BODD's and WAG's, and a once for normal folk to avoid....

AnonymousNovember 19th 2013.

Full of Superpeople and their Robins perhaps Where will they park their Batmobiles?

SquirrelitoNovember 19th 2013.

Some time ago, I was on train going through town on the elevated stretch between Deansgate and Piccadilly and a pair of young scousers were beside themselves with glee as we went past the Palace and behind India House etc...their words? "'kin ell its like Gotham City!" So this hotel name makes me smile

2 Responses: Reply To This...
GimboidNovember 19th 2013.

I like that. More development right up against the viaducts should be encouraged!

AnonymousNovember 19th 2013.

That sounds like code for something Gimpboy.

AnonymousNovember 20th 2013.

Fun, witty, naughty and sexy eh? Only zany is missing from that list. Sounds like a place to avoid to me.

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