Aloft London ExCel
Posted: 22 Apr, 2015
Alta Quartzite Paving‚ Oppdal Quartzite Paving and Silver Grey Granite Paving‚ Cladding‚ Copings‚ Benches and Blocks.
In January 2010‚ CED Stone Group were approached by the award winning‚ London based designers Place Design and Planning‚ to help design and specify the natural stone element for the main forecourt and external hard landscaping for the new “Aloft Hotel” at the ExCeL Centre‚ London.
After some in-depth consultation with Giles Heap of CED Stone Group‚ the design was finalised‚ the order placed by AT Knotts in July 2011 and delivered only four weeks later‚ in August. The design incorporated long lengths of three different European stones to create a “shimmering” theme that both reflected the shimmering cladding of the new hotel and was technically able to withstand constant use by pedestrians‚ taxis‚ mini-buses and coaches‚ as well as being used for a water feature and a number of large‚ solid stone benches.
“By incorporating riven Alta and Oppdal Quartzites from Norway with their beautiful grey-green colours‚ wonderful reflectivity and superior technical abilities‚ alongside a slightly less reflective silver grey granite‚ we were able to create a subtle palette of shifting colour and texture that changes depending on whether the conditions are dry‚ dark or wet. This combination enabled the designers to complement the amazing cladding on the building‚ while retaining the all-important technical attributes that were required for a busy hotel drop-off point.
Although slightly more expensive‚ we eventually decided to use Portuguese granite for the block benches‚ the specially design rills and rough-hewn paving/lighting blocks in the water feature. This enabled us to both control the quality of the units and speed up the delivery in a way that could not be done by using granite from China‚ as was the original intention”.
This proved to be a Godsend‚ when it was discovered that a number of special granite cladding units had been missed from the original order and CED were able to supply these additions within 2 weeks.
“This is one of my favourite schemes of the year” says Giles. “It’s not the biggest‚ but it is certainly one we are very proud to have been a part of. The Aloft Hotel scheme is a perfect example of what can be done when a designer teams up with a specialist natural stone supplier like CED‚ a good contractor like AT Knotts and is willing to think a little outside of the box. For me‚ being able to work with Place Design and Planning and to specify some of the more unusual European materials made such a nice change‚ because Europe has so much to offer. Yes‚ it is a little more expensive than China at the moment‚ but that disparity in pricing is starting to disappear and to be frank‚ there is a lot more to stone than G603! I only hope that this design will help the industry to remember that the world doesn’t have to be boring and grey.”
Place Design +Planning
PLACE is an award-winning practice of urban designers and landscape architects. Their work is about creating well-designed places that provide people with a sense of belonging and community.