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Harry Handelsman

Founder, Manhattan Loft Corporation


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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CLAD people: Harry Handelsman
'An answer to high rise living's lack of social cohesion' The Chiltern Firehouse developer on his latest venture @manhattanloftco @TheStratfordLND
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