Here’s an image of a new hotel that will be springing up on Beresford Street in Woolwich, just inside the Royal Arsenal site, and opposite the councils Riverside House. It’s designed by Allies and Morrison.

Sadly it’s a bit of a dog. On the positive side, I like the form, and the curved end. One problem though is the windows, with small squares all along the facade. It looks cheap.

This is budget hotel architecture, and budget as seen on motorway service and airport hotels. More should be expected, and demanded, of town centre sites. Especially on a site by the Woolwich Arsenal, which has some brilliantly restored buildings, and is a flagship regeneration project. I can guess that the attitude is ‘it’s only Woolwich’ from the developers. But Woolwich won’t shake off that image as a second class dumping ground for poor ideas and buildings if a higher standard is not demanded. Surely putting up crap is just repeating the mistakes that Woolwich has seen in the past few decades. I wish the council would demand more.

The material on the facade is described by the developers as ‘planks of dove grey fibre cement board’. That’s right. Grey cement board. mmmm sexy.

I know it’s only a Holiday Inn type place. I’m not expecting a David Chipperfield. Just something that looks half decent and not cheap tat would be a start. Woolwich is not going to improve with this level of new builds.

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