The Standard, London
Another American hotel brand has reached our shores.
The Standard, London, has opened in King’s Cross with interiors designed by American Shawn Hausman, a long-time collaborator with Standard Hotels, and UK based Archer Humphryes.
Housed in the old Camden Town Hall annex and reference library it has 266 rooms, two restaurants (an additional rooftop restaurant will open in Sept with its own external lift) and one very funky bar with a retro-sixties vibe.
It’s interesting to note that the building in which The Standard is now housed was generally considered as ugly, a crude 1970s square structure with a continuous façade of concaved white/grey concrete blocks.
When you compare Brutalist architecture with the ornate and lavish style of Gothic, the former would come a poor second in most people’s eyes.
And The Standard is opposite one of London’s most lavish examples of Gothic style in the form of the majestic Renaissance St Pancras building.
And yet, now that the building has been rebranded and cleaned it looks somehow different.
Not beautiful but sturdy and dominant. And if The Standard becomes as popular as it deserves then those external images will help to define it as a top UK hotel.
They will be the images that people will associate with The Standard.
The social spaces of the hotel begin with the library lounge, which pays respect to the original use of the space that The Standard team inherited.
With its own in-house librarian, the carefully selected titles, representing 28 subject categories, are organised in unexpected, interacting pairings such as Romance & Technology, Politics & Tragedy and Order & Chaos.
The carefully selected titles are intended to bring a tactile quality and to spark actual, as opposed to virtual, conversations between people enjoying their time together.
Within the library lounge and visible from Euston Road, is the Sounds Studio, a physical manifestation of the Standard Sounds programming and the brand’s long and deep connection to the music world.
The Sounds Studio is intended as a platform for London’s creative community and an “incubator of content”. The wood panelled, sound proofed studio hosts, streams and records DJ sets, interviews, podcasts, and intimate live shows.
Beyond the library and studio are two restaurants helmed by Chef Adam Rawson.
Double Standard serves hearty bar food, draught beers and twists on classic cocktails.
While Isla, with a design informed by the property’s garden, serves seasonal cuisine with a focus on fresh vegetables and seafood.
Peter Sanchez Iglesias’ tenth floor restaurant, opening in September, will cap off the building, with stunning 360-degree views of London.
This space, directly accessible via the new red exterior lift, will showcase live fire cooking inspired by Peter’s love for Spanish and Mexican flavours.
The Standard, London has 266 rooms in 42 unique styles ranging from Cosy Core rooms, windowless sanctuaries designed for a restful night’s sleep, to terraced suites with outdoor bathtubs overlooking St Pancras, designed for fun with friends until sunrise.
The uniforms throughout the hotel are bespoke.
In addition to the front desk, concierge and bell staff uniforms, created by The Uniform Studio, the Menswear British Fashion Designer of the year Craig Green designed robes exclusively for The Standard, London.
The Uniform Studio worked with the Standard, London team to ensure the look and feel of the collection are in keeping with the overall design concept of the venue itself.
Cuts and silhouettes were made to reflect The Standard’s directional aesthetic and provide a stylistic and lifestyle driven connection with the customer.
The hotel’s team wanted striking bespoke looks for each member of staff including all F&B, Guest Relations, Housekeeping, Back of House & Managers.
And unusually for a hotel this included the on-site Engineers with a play on the traditional boiler suit.
Twenty years ago King’s Cross was a neglected and filthy district.
Now it is one of the finest and most popular inner city areas in Europe. What has been achieved in such a relatively short period is phenomenal.
The open spaces, the revived railway stations, the new media and arts centres, the property restorations and the volume of new restaurant and retail outlets.
And of course the emergence of several exceptional hotels.
Those that were built when the railways first arrived in central London (the Renaissance St Pancras Hotel and The Great Northern Hotel) have been beautifully restored.
Others are now built into former office buildings and warehouses and are equally enticing.
What is most impressive is that no two hotels are alike in terms of design or style.
And this means that each will attract its own customer base.
The Standard, London is already beginning to do just that.