Creating a 91-bedroom hotel at the Grade II listed site, Archer Humphryes’ concept evokes the style and glamour of the first railway age. Firstly, the architecture and spatial planning was devised in the complicated Victorian curved structure. Then the interior, furniture and furnishings were designed by the architects - from the travel embroidery case on each bedside table to the timeless bathrooms decorated with herringbone slate and porcelain tiles. The revived hotel now stands at the gateway to the new King’s Cross quarter, brought back to life through the combination of imaginative architecture and the client’s determination to create a place of both beatitude and élan vital in the city.
The ground floor is mostly devoted to GNH Bar, opening directly onto the King Cross Station, the busiest travel intersection in Europe. Reminiscent of Belle Époque interiors, the architectural aspiration was a bygone era of advanced travel.
On the first floor is the Plum & Spilt Milk restaurant, named after the distinctive dining livery of the Flying Scotsman. This theatrical space, lit by 150 hand-blown transparent glass lanterns, gives breath-taking views of George Gilbert Scott’s iconic clock tower at St Pancras and the new piazza. Laid out with continuous curving seating combined with black tables of cracked lava from Mount Etna, a Hague Blue colour backdrop selected to match historic enamelled railway signage. “The panel described Plum & Spilt Milk Restaurant at The Great Northern Hotel as stand out project for its exquisite finishes and clever space planning, that allows all diners to have a great seat and views over neighbouring St Pancras station. The vintage yet modern design adds warmth to an all-day restaurant in a class of its own.” European Hotel Awards 2013, Winner Evocative of the Orient Express, bedrooms and furniture have been designed to resemble carry cases heading to the Orient and the Sahara. Bathrooms decorated with herringbone slate and porcelain tiles, are reminiscent of classic Victorian Bathrooms. By removing traditional trappings of a hotel room, a luxury, sophisticated environment has been created.
Role: Lead Architect, Interior & Furniture Designer