Nobu, Shoreditch

Designed by: Ben Adams Architects and Studio Mica
For client: Willow Corp Floor area: 9400.00 M² Year of completion: 2017
Submitted for: Hotel of the Year

13 007 Nobu Hotel Lounge 3
© Nicholas Worley

Reception area cafe

About the Project

Occupying a tight urban plot, the hotel follows the street line and accents its strong linear form with horizontal steel and concrete fins at each floor level. A playful, informal grid of board-marked concrete panels and generous full height glazing expresses the range of activities contained within the hotel, dematerialising at its sloping southern end to give sculptural presence to a lush sunken pocket park.
Subtle material cues demarcate the public and private layers of the hotel. Refined bronze portals signal the hotel and restaurant entrances. Overlaying its raw concrete frame, timber, echoing the hotel’s concrete cladding, creative textiles and warm fabrics create an earthy, elegant aesthetic that delivers a variety of moods in its public spaces. This materiality creates a seamless link between the double height bar/restaurant in the hotel basement and the landscaped garden that adjoins this space. Sliding bamboo screens sandwiched within the hotel’s glazed cladding give flexible degrees of privacy to the suites that overlook the sunken garden and the 150 bedrooms occupying its upper floors, while maintaining a strong sense of harmony with the building’s architectural treatment as a whole.
Sitting happily among Shoreditch’s re-purposed warehouses and factories, Nobu Hotel is a bold architectural statement whose marriage of complexity and urban generosity delivers a global destination in the heart of London’s most vibrant neighbourhood.

What’s unique about it

Nobu Hotel Shoreditch deserves to win a Frame Award as it is the first Nobu hotel in Europe and has been seamlessly integrated into a unique part of London, which might otherwise have seemed an unlikely destination. It marries the creative energy of its location with the Nobu’s brand values of simple luxury. The hotel and restaurant is celebrated for exquisite Japanese food and culture and therefore adds to the multicultural richness of London and Shoreditch.

Innovative use of concrete as the main material has been deployed. It has been refined into something delicate and sophisticated, helping the building to stand up and stand out. Five distinct kinds of concrete have been used, from the exposed post-tensioned slabs that form the primary structure of the building, to the slender glass reinforced panels that make up the solid parts of the elevation. This hotel has proved both beautiful and beneficial to the community, enhancing the area’s appeal as a travel destination and cultural hot-spot.

The original architects of the scheme, Ron Arad Architects, were appointed in 2011 to design the new Nobu Hotel in Shoreditch, gaining planning permission in 2012. The original scheme featured overhanging floor slabs, and cantilevered steel beams forming a frayed edge to the east, where a landscaped garden is terraced to provide natural light to the lower restaurant space. Ron Arad Architects left the project in 2013.

13 007 Nobu Hotel Restaurant Bar Lounge
© Nicholas Worley

Restaurant basement bar and lounge, overlooking the unique garden which sits below street level.

13 007 Nobu Hotel Entrance
© Nicholas Worley

Hotel entrance

13 007 Nobu Hotel Restaurant Bar
© Nicholas Worley

Restaurant and bar area

13 007 Nobu Hotel Lounge Bar Dj Booth
© Nicholas Worley

Basement DJ booth and lounge area, overlooking the garden.

13 007 Nobu Hotel Exterior Lr
© Nicholas Worley

Landscape view from Willow Street

13 007 Nobu Hotel Exterior
© Nicholas Worley

Portrait view from Willow Street

13 007 Nobu Hotel Bathroom
© Nicholas Worley


13 007 Nobu Hotel Bedroom
© Nicholas Worley


13 007 Nobu Hotel Facade Side Profile
© Nicholas Worley

Facade detail, using 5 distinct types of concrete.

Location of project:
Ben Adams Architects

Elkoms Consulting

MTD Contractors

Walsh Associates

Studio Mica

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