Yesterday I visited the CitizenM Hotel in Shoreditch, London to look at how the space is used, what functions exist within the space and the programme within the space. The exterior of the building is very bright, vibrant, modern and inviting. The use of the brightly coloured artwork reflects against the glass to create a beautiful and interesting artistic and creative exterior. This creativity is reflected throughout the interior space.
“A collection of innovative concepts, citizenM is a hotel driven by one desire: to create affordable luxury for the people.”
CitizenM began as an observation that “the world has seen the evolution of a new global traveller”. It is an international Hotel development company that learns and reflects from the needs of the “new global citizen”. CitizenM has many hotels around the world and is aimed at the new type of traveller who is independent, young at heart and those who share a respect for different cultures. And who could be anyone from professional business people, to weekend travellers, to the adventurers, or even those in search of art or shopping.
The Entrance Lobby
The ground floor of CitizenM is smaller than the other floors and contains a small seating area and the feature staircase that swirls through the interior to the first floor. It is finished beautifully with wood with a lit handrail that creates the almost sculptural staircase. The vibrant artwork and the vibrant colours of the exterior continue throughout this space through the artwork on the wall and the brightly coloured rug and chairs.
Ascending the Staircase
When ascending the staircase, when looking up, you can see a beautiful lighting display of different shaped paper lanterns. These are only hanging above the stairwell as feature lighting and deliver a very effective visual impact when looking up. This is a very modern approach to what may traditionally be a very ornate chandelier hanging above the stairs.
When reaching the top of the staircase, the bright, colourful interior of the first floor can be seen that contains the reception, check in points, bar and multiple seating areas which have various different purposes such as eating, drinking, relaxing and working.
The Reception and Bar
The first floor of the hotel is significantly larger than the ground floor. This area contains the reception desk which also has many self service check in points, a bar area for ordering drinks and bar snacks, bar seating for consuming drinks and bar snacks, a comfortable sofa area for relaxing, waiting and drinking drinks. There is a range of different types of seating and it is very open plan which allows guests to find their way around easily. A combination of being open plan and the bright colours make it a fun and vibrant environment to be in.
Again, this area of the hotel reflects that same colourful, artistic vibe that you get from the exterior of the building. As well as through the artwork, bright colour has been added through quite a lot of coloured glass which reflects the light. It is also added through colourful scatter cushions, pictures, sculptures and other interior accessories placed on the shelves.
The Main Lobby and Seating Area
To the opposite side of the staircase on the first floor is the main lobby and seating areas consisting of many different types of seating and seating arrangements that could be used for many purposes. For example, the sofas and the Eames chairs with the TV seating area lends itself more to relaxing, watching TV, reading a book, waiting area and possibly casually browsing on a laptop or tablet. Whereas, the more formal table and chair arrangement near the window would lend itself more to sitting down with a laptop and working, so it could be used as a hot desk style work space which would be useful for the business person demographic.
Again, this area follows the vibrant colour scheme of the rest of the hotel exterior, ground floor and first floor. Although there are many different colours appearing within the space, it works well because is is consistent throughout. Additionally, the colour is against white, neutral and natural wood and it also broken up with plain tones of white, grey and black. Therefore, bringing accents of all the colours to the space.
There is a lot of natural light entering the space from the glazing that surrounds most sides of the space allowing the colours to appear bright and vivid against the more neutral tones of colour and wood. The naural light makes the hotel more welcoming during the day and fits with CitizenM’s whole philosophy on hotels. This also makes it an ideal space for a work space for the business people visiting the hotel.
There is an additional seating area behind the comfortable seating area. This space seems to be a mixture of relaxation and potential work space. This seems to be a more relaxed work space to be either causally working on your laptop on the sofa or relaxing reading a book on the sofa, or sitting by the window at a table working on your laptop and drinking a coffee as you work. It is very important to have different seating arrangements as they lend themselves to different uses and different demographics.
Descending the Staircase
Just as ascending the staircase, descending is just as interesting, when looking down the middle, you can see right down to the ground level where the brightly coloured ground floor seating area is perfectly framed by the wood of the staircase.
Could CitizenM be a Precedent for my FMP?
There are some aspects that could possibly apply to my idea for my FMP as I am designing a business and hospitality hub.
Open Plan – The first floor of CitizenM is very open plan and I would like certain areas of my building to be relatively open plan, free flowing spaces. I would like to create spaces where people can choose where they want to work – do they want a formal work space or a relaxed work space – let them choose.
Multiple Uses – There are multiple uses within the building at CitizenM such as lobby areas, reception, bar, work spaces, relaxation spaces, food spaces etc. for use by the staff and the public visitors. My building will have multiple uses that are open to many, there will be work spaces, hot desking, retail, restaurants, bars, leisure areas and possibly a small boutique hotel.
Lighting – CitizenM uses lots of natural and artificial light within their spaces, especially natural light coming through the glass facade. For my design, in some of the areas, I would like to maximise the use of natural and artificial light – this will apply within the work spaces, a restaurant and possibly some of the leisure areas within my design.
Seating – On the first floor of CitizenM, there are multiple seating types and arrangements that could be used for different things. When designing my space, I would like to consider different seating arrangements and types – from formal seating, to hot desk type seating, to comfortable relaxed seating for more relaxed work, to pure relaxation seating. It will give people the choice of how they would like to sit when they work and how they would like to sit when they are not working – this applies to the business element and the hospitality element to my design.