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Roofing & Cladding

Welsh Slate helps bring glamour back to the West End


The façade and roof of a new luxury hotel in London both feature the real McCoy – Welsh Slate.

Welsh Slate has been used as a non-porous cladding AND roofing material on the first hotel designed by architects Foster + Partners with an interior and exterior that aims to “restore a little lost glamour to the heart of the West End.”

The five-star luxury ME London hotel, owned by Melia Hotels International, has been redeveloped by project manager Gleed from the former Citibank building on the corner of The Strand and Aldwych in London’s West End.

More than 680m² of colour-fast Dark Blue Grey slate from Welsh Slate’s Cwt-y-Bugail quarry in North Wales has been used to clad the hotel which sits adjacent to Marconi House – the former London home of BBC Radio – that has itself been redeveloped into apartments.

Welsh Slate supplied the rainscreen cladding as well as the curved and straight copings – all with a fine-rubbed finish to the 8th and 9th floors and parapets. In addition, 1,200m2 roofing tiles from the company’s Penrhyn Quarry were installed by Richardson Roofing.

Giles Robinson, partner at Foster + Partners, said: “By designing the hotel inside and out down to the last detail, we were able to maintain a high level of quality and continuity. This commitment to quality throughout would not have been possible without the commitment of our client.”

David Nelson, head of design at Foster + Partners, said: “The result combines a high level of functionality with a simple, refined aesthetic.”

Welsh slate 2Welsh Slate is the world’s leading manufacturer of quality architectural slate products. It is the toughest natural slate product known to man and has the longest lifecycle of any slate.

As well as leisure/commercial projects such as the ME London hotel, it is also used on Grade I and II listed buildings and high-end commercial and self-build projects across the UK and globally.

Andy Carson, architectural sales manager at Welsh Slate, said: “Welsh Slate is a perfect fit for a luxury, boutique project such as the ME Hotel.

“The fact that it is non-porous means it is extremely resistant to weathering and chemical damage while low levels of water absorption protect it from frost damage. We look forward to seeing our product forming an important part of the West End’s skyline for many years to come.”