Going from Empty to Extravagance
“The Ned” has a lock on 1930s design
Set in the former Midland Bank building in the heart of the City of London, The Ned was built in 1924. The 11-storey, Grade I-listed heritage building had been closed to the public since 2007, but in 2012 Soho House & Co and the Sydell Group formed a transatlantic partnership to convert the building into one of London’s newest hotels.
The space includes 252 bedrooms channeling 1920s and 1930s design, a range of men’s and women’s grooming services and ‘Ned’s Club’, a social and fitness club, where members have access to a rooftop pool, gym, spa, hammam and late night lounge bar in the bank’s former vault.
Eight restaurants sit among The Ned’s historic 3,000 sq m former banking hall. Each of the restaurants has its own distinct space, separated by 92 verdite columns and rows of walnut banking counters.
The original architect was Sir Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens, considered one of the greatest British architects of the twentieth century. The Ned pays homage to his work, which earned him an Order of Merit, the title of Knight Commander in the Order of the Indian Empire, and a knighthood from King George V.
As a Grade I-listed building, The Ned was afforded the highest level of protection for a building in the UK. This created a challenge to the engineering services design, which NDY embraced. The Mechanical, Electrical & Public Health (MEPH) solutions were designed with careful planning of plant areas and service routes for heating, cooling, electrical, fire, and public health services, cables, data lines and ventilation services.
Any alteration to the building features and finishes were all subject to risk the planning approval. This was particularly difficult in a building that used to function as a bank, with a number of vaults built into the basement. These had helical coil reinforced concrete walls and floors that were up to a metre deep in places to surround vault areas. This made the formation of new openings a challenge. Existing structural openings were used wherever it was practical, which meant carefully coordinated design solutions.