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Harry Handelsman

Founder, Manhattan Loft Corporation


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Project The Stratford

Designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, The Stratford hotel and residential building has opened in Stratford, London.

Formerly known as Manhattan Loft Gardens, the 42-storey building is situated opposite Stratford Westfield City, a stone's throw from the Olympic Park. It features 146 guest rooms, 248 loft apartments, and two restaurants, plus a gym, spa, and cinema.

The cantilevered structure also features a host of sky gardens, all of which – according to the property's developer, Manhattan Loft Corporation – were conceptualised as 21st-century re-imaginings of "London's historic garden squares" and New York's mid-century "legendary hotels".

The hotel's interior spaces were fitted out by Danish firm Space Copenhagen, while its residential units were collaboratively created by Paris-based practice Studio KO and London office LSI Architects.

"Having developed London's Chiltern Firehouse and St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, I wanted to do something new and contemporary, and to change how people live," said Manhattan Loft Corporation CEO and founder Harry Handelsman.

"Private high-rise residential buildings in London became popular this millennium. I felt that one could build a better building where the emphasis was not on price and speed of sales, but more on how to create something different… a community that enables guests to interact with their neighbour.

"Inspired by the maverick spirit and vibrant society of 1950s New York’s legendary long-stay hotels, such as The Carlyle and The Chelsea, The Stratford is an answer to high-rise living’s lack of social cohesion and a game-changing response to a hotel industry unsure of its place in the Airbnb-shaped residential landscape."

Kent Jackson, design partner at SOM, said: "The Stratford is shaping the legacy of the Olympic Park and turning the area into a much more vibrant London district."

The skyscraper, which completed construction in 2016, is reportedly Stratford's most expensive building to date, with development costs estimated at around £300m (US$392.4m, €349.8m).

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Company profile: GOCO Hospitality
The specialists in designing, developing and operating spa and wellness spaces.
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