St. Giles Hotel, London

Elsworth Sykes
Date Built
Tottenham Court Road
The St. Giles Hotel occupies a city block stretching back from Tottenham Court Road.  The mixed use building is also home to the Central London YMCA and a variety of retail units.  This was once the site of a rather grand Edwardian building that contained the YMCA.

The "" website explains that in the 1970s, "... London was experiencing a boom in hotel development spurred by the increasing economic importance of attracting tourism. Many schemes of the time often received favourable planning consent and developers received government subsides per room as part of legislation brought in by the Development of Tourism Act of 1969. Other schemes of the time included the Sheraton Park Tower on Knightsbridge and the Tower Thistle in St Katherine’s Dock."

This building is composed of four towers arranged in parallel above a two storey podium.  These blocks are of various heights ranging from 6 to 12 storeys.  The towers are tapered at the ends to provide the hotel rooms with views of the street.

The "" website adds that, "... The visual effect of the YMCA and St Giles complex is uncompromising. Recent attempts to soften the impact of so much exposed, hard edged concrete with such familiar devices as hanging baskets and planters has served only to make the whole appear slightly tawdry. Its brutal shape making and confident structural gesturing does not sit easily with the accepted building forms around it. It does not adhere to the traditional rules of street architecture and follows its own logic to create an assertive form based around that of its function- to provide naturally lit rooms and lots of them."

Close Window