Located adjacent to junction 22 of the M25, the new Holiday Inn Express at St Albans, includes an 86-bedroom hotel, a restaurant, meeting rooms, offices and associated car parking and landscaping. The development is one of the first new build lV Generation Holiday Inn Express hotels to be completed. Integrating the brands ‘Open Lobby’ concept, the design incorporates improved public space and an expanded food and beverage offering.
DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION
Targeted at the ‘smart traveller’ – the exterior of the hotel reflects the contemporary features of the brand with an inviting entrance and landscaping. The design minimises environmental impact and noise pollution from the motorway using the mass of the building as a barrier to the road that wraps around three sides of the scheme.
CHALLENGES AND RESOLUTIONS
The ‘U’ shaped design features a courtyard entrance – making it an attractive focal point of the hotel. The side adjacent to the motorway is extensively landscaped further reducing noise levels. The landscaping is continued through the car parking area enhancing the immediate environment around the building.
This development involved the construction of an 86-bedroom hotel built on piled foundations with a steel frame structure, concrete floors, a pitched roof and timber cladding incorporating curtain wallglazing. Brick for the elevations facing the roads were specified to create a durable finish requiring minimum maintenance. The window openings are kept to a minimum to reduce noise to the rooms and heat loss. The inside of the building combines all the public areas into one open, cohesive space.
A Steel Framing System with RC flooring was specified due to the difficult ground conditions and locality to a busy motorway. EOS SFS Infill was specified for the external facade to support a mixture of decorative finishes – brick, timber cladding and rain screen.
Works were carefully planned to minimise any disruption to the adjacent retail park which required careful scheduling of all deliveries to site and restriction of large vehicles.