Thursday, 20 January 2011

Separated at birth?

The Rogers Stirk Harbour-designed One Hyde Park, with its super luxury flats, had a high profile launch party yesterday which got plenty of attention in the press. The jaw-dropping prices and billionaire interiors received more attention than RSH's architecture, and no one seems to have noticed the building's inspiration across town at the 1970's St Giles Hotel in the former YMCA building off the south end of Tottenham Court Road - revealed in the pictures above. The buildings share a remarkably similar 'parti' - architect speak for basic arrangement of plan and form - even to the extent of both relying on views out on the diagonal to avoid overlooking from one wing to the next, as in both cases they are quite tightly planned. But while you will be asked for quite a few tens of millions if you want one of the remaining flats in the new building, at the former YMCA there is, as the Village People observed, a 'place you can go...when you're short on your dough' and enjoy a poor man's version of the same experience for less than £100 a night.

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