German Gymnasium wins plaudits for architecture and accessibility at Blue Badge Style Awards

The recently-opened German Gymnasium in London has won two prizes at the first Blue Badge Style Awards, which celebrates hospitality facilities in the UK that use good architecture and design to ensure they are accessible to guests with disabilities.

The restaurant, created by design studio Conran and Partners, was the winner of the Blue Badge Style Best High End Restaurant. The judges praised the design team for managing to create an accessible space within a listed building “where nowhere is out of bounds”, thanks to features such as an internal lift.

The building, located in in King’s Cross, was the first purpose-built gym in England and was a host venue at the 1866 National Olympic Games. Its transformation into a restaurant, overseen by hospitality group D&D London, was completed last year.

“Too often people with disabilities don’t go out because they don’t know what to expect when they get there, but places like the German Gymnasium make it easy and elegant,” said Blue Badge Awards founder Fiona Jarvis.

The Gymnasium was also awarded for its toilet facilities, which Jarvis said “get away from the clinical style of most disabled toilets by having a design that is as stylish as the rest of the restaurant.”

Other award winners include the Dakota Hotel in Glasgow by Amanda Rosa, the Bellanger bar in London by design studio Brady Williams, and Restaurant Steirereck in Vienna by PPAG Architects. The latter won the Best European Venue prize for its “brilliant combination of style, beautiful architecture and accessibility.”

The full list of winners is:

Best High End Hotel:

South Place Hotel, London

Best Budget Restaurant:

Bryn Williams at Porth Eirias, Cornwall

Best Boutique Hotel:

Dakota, Glasgow

Best High End Bar:

Bellanger, London

Best Budget Bar:

No.1 Duke St, London

Best Listed Building:

The Beaumont, London

Best European Venue:

Restaurant Steirereck, Vienna

Lifetime Achievement Award:

Charlie Lyons, wheelchair lift designer

The foundation of the awards ceremony marks a growing awareness in the industry of designing accessible spaces. The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has recently launched a separate international design competition, called the Bespoke Access Awards, promoting inclusive hotel design.

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The recently-opened German Gymnasium in London has won two prizes at the first Blue Badge Style Awards, which celebrates hospitality facilities in the UK that use good architecture and design to ensure they are accessible to guests with disabilities. The restaurant, created by design studio Conran and Partners, was the winner of the Blue Badge Style Best High End Restaurant. The judges praised the design team for managing to create
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The German Gymnasium was praised by the judges for its style and accessibility / German Gymnasium
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