14 March 2024

Cladding and countertops from Welsh Slate feature at London’s latest luxury hotel.

London’s latest luxury hotel, and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels’ first in the UK, has opened to much acclaim, and with Welsh Slate at its very heart.

With architecture conceived by Hopkins Architects to gracefully harmonise with the heritage buildings of Belgravia, The Peninsula London also embodies a sleek, spacious aesthetic that floods its exquisite Peter Marino-designed interiors with natural light.

The world-class 190-room hotel, along with 25 opulent luxury residences, centres around an expansive entrance courtyard off Grosvenor Place, landscaped in the style of a classic English garden with hand-crafted granite paving, cascading ivy, wisteria vines and two 120-year-old Japanese maple trees.

It is here that Welsh Slate’s own heritage probably makes its most obvious mark, as the courtyard columns are faced with Cwt-y-Bugail cladding. This cladding also features as individual slabs measuring up to 2.2m long x 900mm high x 40mm thick on the facades of the two storeys of penthouse apartments which top the multiple storeys of Portland stone below. Welsh Slate also tops the menu in the upper-level restaurant terraces where Cwt-y-Bugail features on the waiters’ stations.

Cwt-y-Bugail Honed slate is a premium Welsh slate known for its natural beauty and durability. Its rich, dark grey colour, and smooth, Honed finish complements the timeless elegance of The Peninsula London perfectly.

The 40mm thick slate used for the external cladding provides a stylish but robust and weather-resistant layer of protection, while the slate used for the internal cladding on the courtyard columns adds a touch of sophistication and refinement.

Hopkins Architects said: “Materials for this prestigious project were carefully selected, with the project team visiting quarries across the UK to select the very best. Welsh slate, used to form the piers on the top two storeys, was selected from a quarry near Anglesey, with individual slabs measuring up to 1.4m x 900mm high x 40mm thick.”

The 20mm thick slate used for the waiter stations in the restaurant terraces is both durable and easy to clean, making it ideal for a high-traffic area.

Matthew Allen, production director at Tekne, who installed the waiters’ stations, said: “The Welsh Slate counter tops are a quality product, were very easy to install (being laid on a bed of grout/cement), and look absolutely fabulous. Being produced from a natural, hardwearing material will make them particularly low maintenance and resilient to the London atmosphere/environment.”

In addition to its aesthetic appeal, Cwt-y-Bugail Honed slate offers many practical benefits, being a low-maintenance material that is easy to clean and maintain. It is also resistant to fire, water and staining, making it ideal for use in a variety of applications.

Hopkins Architects’ brief for The Peninsula London, was to create a hotel and residences of exceptional quality. Looking across three Royal Parks as well as the grounds of nearby Buckingham Palace, The Peninsula London faces Wellington Arch and surrounding public space.

The unique context and history of this site, formerly a 1960s office block, have been carefully explored and are reflected in the architectural design, detailing and a materials palette which is limited to the highest quality materials typical to the area.

The form of The Peninsula London has been inspired by the Palazzo Farnese in Rome - a ‘four square’ building with streets to either side, facing onto a public space and overlooking greenery to the rear elevation. It is simply and logically organised on four wings with eight levels of accommodation arranged around the central courtyard.

At the upper levels, the building sets back to create a series of planted terraces and beautiful external spaces, and to create bar and restaurant space with leafy views over Hyde Park. A further five floors sit below ground and house a spectacular double-height ballroom, The Peninsula Spa and Wellness Centre, facilities for the Residences, as well as car parking and hotel servicing.

The scale and ambition of this building presented Hopkins with an extraordinary design challenge - to ensure the complex functional requirements and back-of-house operations can run in perfect tandem with the idea of a bespoke, hand-made building which expresses luxury at every turn and creates a welcoming and memorable experience for each and every resident or guest.

The facades of the primary storeys are composed of base bed Portland Stone, historically used on London’s monuments and major civic buildings, and generously proportioned to create a sense of permanence and solidity. Throughout the building, materials have been chosen for their warmth, elegant or tactile properties.

After defining the spatial arrangement and scale of the functions, Hopkins Architects has coordinated and detailed the internal architecture to ensure that the final product is seamless and consistent in its vision of a new luxury aesthetic for London.

The design process involved extensive engagement with main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine, Historic England and Westminster City Council.

< back

Sales Office
Penrhyn Quarry
LL57 4YG

+44 (0) 1248 600656