The Metropole Hotel on the King’s Road seafront is planning a major redevelopment on Cannon Place and St Margaret’s Place behind the Waterhouse designed Metropole Hotel on seafront. It proposes a “new 221-key select service hotel”.
It has invited the opinion of local residents on the proposals.
Here is the Brighton Society’s response
We acknowledge that Cannon Place is currently a very unwelcoming environment, but the whole site is part of the Regency Square Conservation Area and a number of listed buildings and buildings of historic value are either on or very close to the site.
These include the Waterhouse designed main hotel building, and the Wilds and Busby designed façade to the No.1 St Margaret’s Place – the Royal Newburgh Assembly Rooms. In addition, the exquisite Grade II Listed early 19th Century houses at 27 – 32 Cannon Place – all only 4 storeys high – would be dominated by the proposed development.
All these factors set the bar at a very high level to which the design of a new building on this site must aspire.
The question we need to ask is – does this proposal meet that aspiration?
We have concluded that the answer is a resounding NO.
The scale and appearance of the new building will dominate and overpower the listed buildings at 27 – 32 Cannon Place and 1 St Margaret’s Place.
The hideous large expanses of the metal clad upper storeys of the hotel which are hardly visible in the images, are inappropriate in the context of the Conservation Area.
The metal mansard roof and dormers awkwardly superimposed on the top of the Assembly Rooms makes a nonsense of the Classical portico below. It’s frankly visually illiterate.
The solid wall elements of the hotel are bland, uniform and characterless. A more strongly modelled appearance with more variety would be far better. Not much Wilds & Busby design quality reflected there. Likewise the quality of the presentation is very poor. There are very few floor plans, the computer generated images are poorly presented and too small to be useful to evaluate the impact the new building will have on its surroundings, there are no elevations or site sections, no indication of the heights of the new buildings – in fact the images seem to have been deliberately cropped to conceal vital parts of the upper floors and metal roof areas.
Public obfuscation not public consultation.
Brighton deserves better than this.
To view the public consultation proposals go to: https://www.cannonplacehotel-consultation.com