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Dexter Moren Associates on watch duty as The Guardsman hotel prepares to open its doors in Westminster

Hospitality design expert Dexter Moren Associates (DMA) is looking forward to the re-opening of The Guardsman, a luxury boutique hotel topped with six exclusive residences in the heart of Westminster. The purpose-built hotel on Buckingham Gate was redesigned by DMA for Shiva Hotels from a previously consented scheme to maximise efficiency of layout and better reflect the aspirations of the client and the quality of the surrounding area.

Explains Mark Wood, partner at DMA: “The Guardsman is a purpose-built boutique hotel and residential experience with the atmosphere of a quintessentially British private members’ club. Our emphasis was to redesign external elements to reflect that feeling, working closely with the interior design and consultants’ teams to ensure quality of design, inside and out.”

Set amongst some of the Capital’s most historic and prestigious landmarks, including The Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace, The Guardsman is a much-anticipated addition to the London luxury hotel market. The hotel features 53 luxurious bedrooms, whilst the top three floors encompass the selected residences feature outdoor terraces. Designed as the perfect London pied-a-terre, they comprise a selection of one, two and three bedrooms, along with living spaces, dining areas and fitted kitchens.

DMA redesigned the exterior of the previously consented scheme using a subtle decorative screen and hand-made grey bricks to better fit the exclusive hotel within its historic surroundings. Creating both privacy for the hotel lobby as well as discretely marking the entrance of the building, the bespoke bronze anodised decorative metal grille uses randomly patterned bars to create a rhythm adding vibrancy to the main street frontage, whilst the hotel Dining Room, Bar and Lounge will be visible at ground-floor level adding further interest to the street scene.

In keeping with many central London developments, the tightness of the site had proved a challenge, but DMA’s extensive hospitality design experience has seen the scheme reconfigured to be as efficient as possible, placing apartments at the upper levels to capitalise on daylight and views out. Spaces for dining plus the workings of the hotel have also been more efficiently planned within the ground and lower ground floors.

Says Kate Sandle, associate at DMA: “This was a challenging site, with a limited floor plate and complex relationships with neighbouring buildings. However, working in close co-ordination with the interior design and consultant teams, we were able to use our experience to develop an efficient layout and a high-quality design response to the hotel’s context, whilst meeting all the client’s key requirements.”

The Guardsman originally opened its doors to guests last year.