Edwin Lutyens’ Midland Bank building in the City of London has been renovated by Soho House & Co and the Sydell Group to accommodate a lavish hotel, club, multiple dining venues and a bar in the former vault.
The Ned is the latest project by Soho House & Co, which also transformed a derelict farm in the English countryside into a luxury hotel and helped to pioneer the resurgence in members’ clubs when it invited Tom Dixon to create the interiors for its Shoreditch House venue.
The company’s founder Nick Jones worked alongside Andrew Zobler of New York’s Sydell Group to oversee the renovation of the Midland Bank’s former headquarters, which is situated close to the Bank of England and opposite Sir James Stirling’s postmodern icon No 1 Poultry.
The Portland stone building was designed by Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens in 1924 as the head offices for the bank which, for several decades from 1918, was the largest in the world.
Prior to its purchase by a group including Soho House chairman and investor Ron Burkle, the Grade I-listed No 27 Poultry had been vacant for over a decade.
In its new incarnation, The Ned contains nine restaurants, 252 bedrooms, a range of men’s and women’s grooming services, and a social and fitness club incorporating a rooftop pool, gym, spa, hammam and late-night lounge bar.
The design team’s intention was to revive the building in a way that retains the grandeur of the original spaces, including the 3,000-square-metre former banking hall.
This space at the centre of the building now contains eight restaurants serving a range of global cuisines in areas separated by 92 African verdite columns and rows of walnut banking counters.
Throughout the bedrooms, period features including walnut panelling and chandeliers were restored, with furniture and fabrics designed to complement these elements.
“Brass and mahogany furniture, chandeliers and richly patterned furnishings decorate The Ned’s 252 bedrooms,” said the developers. “Each room channels 1920s and 1930s design, with vintage pieces, hand-knotted rugs and rainforest showers.”
The bank’s original strongroom now contains a cocktail bar and lounge lined with 3,800 safety deposit boxes. The bar is accessed through a 20-tonne, two-metre-wide circular door, and is described by Jones as “the ultimate lock-in bar”.
Rooms available to rent for meetings and events include a saloon dominated by an 18th-century chandelier, and a walnut-panelled room featuring a pastoral tapestry that was the largest of its kind ever made in England when it was created in the 1920s.
On the building’s roof is a heated pool and bar area with views towards the Bank of England, St Paul’s Cathedral, Renzo Piano’s skyscraper The Shard, OMA’s Rothschild Bank headquarters and other London landmarks.
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