Updating a Grade II listed cinema

The transformation of the Shepherds Bush Pavilion into a luxury hotel shows how sympathetic adaptation can lift of a heritage building.

The was designed by architect Frank Verity. When the 3,000 seat Shepherds Bush Pavilion, designed by Frank Verity opened in 1923 on the west-side of Shepherds Bush Green, it was the largest picture house outside of the US.

With its huge triumphal arch at the southern end of the building and a distinctive and distinctive, barrel-vault roof, the cinema was also impressive. The cinema won a RIBA award for the best façade in London when it opened.

Unfortunately it was heavily bomb-damaged during World War II and remained vacant until 1955 when it was insensitively repaired before reopening as a cinema once again. In 1983 the cinema closed and the building became a bingo hall. When that closed in 2001 the building fell into disuse and remained that way for eight years until planning permission was granted for conversion into a four-star, luxury hotel for Dorset Hotel Group.

Flanagan Lawrence’s £30m conversion has successfully transformed this rundown west London landmark. The architecture practice’s sympathetic design preserves much of the original character of the building, including the retained entrance and main facades. The building’s distinctive barrel-vault bitumen roof has gone; replaced by a glazed replacement which carefully follows the curved profile of the original while allowing daylight onto the hotel’s upper floors and down into a new central atrium.

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(Image: Anthony Weller)

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