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  • Articles by Sonali

    Green Rooms Hotel: Open House weekend, September 2016

    An Arts Hotel, the first of its kind in the UK, has opened in The Green Rooms on Station Road, two minutes’ walk from Wood Green Station. Visitors were invited to an Open House Weekend (17-18 September 2016) to see its latest transformation.

    The Green Rooms, a four-storey art deco building, was originally built in 1925 by the North Metropolitan Power and Electricity Company as a show room for electrical appliances. It was also the headquarters for the local Housing Department until 2009. The building is still owned by Haringey Council.

    The new project is a not-for-profit social enterprise, offering affordable hotel accommodation to hard up creatives. The hotel is targeted at designers, musicians and theatre groups travelling to London and operates in conjunction with the Arts Council and the Royal Court Theatre. Rooms are also available to the general public but at a higher rate.

    It’s the brain child of social entrepreneur Nick Hartwright of the Mill Co. Project (a social enterprise scheme), supported by Haringey Council (the owners) and the Greater London Assembly. Architect firm SODA are responsible for overseeing the design. SODA Director Russell Potter led a guided tour of the renovated building, beginning in the glass fronted foyer area. This space resembles a contemporary gastro pub with vintage furniture, a bar in the centre and wooden tables and chairs. It is designed as a hub for guests and the wider community. 

    The hotel is accessed from behind the bar. It has 22 rooms situated on first and second floors: four en suites, the remainder sharing bathroom facilities. There are two dormitories on the ground floor with massive bunk beds and lockers. The hotel area, showcasing the buildings art deco period features, looks and feels quite different to the foyer. Potter explained that this was more of a restoration project. False ceilings had been found on the ground floor, built to keep heating costs low. These have since been removed to reveal the original high ceilings.

    Stretches of remarkable floor mosaic were uncovered along the stairwell and iridescent blue tiling was found in the bathrooms now offset by new utilitarian sinks. Copper piping was left exposed along the stairwell to add a bit of metallic shine. The rooms themselves are simply furnished with understated fittings in line with the building’s art deco character. The renovation has stayed true to a sense of place which Wood Green residents will appreciate. It hasn’t been over finessed. There are a few signs of decay here and there and this might not appeal to fans of chain hotels and their flawless finish.

    The murky carpet is gone from the large space on the top floor, uncovering wooden floorboards, and here a false ceiling was removed to reveal a pretty Flemish stained glass skylight. There’s a bar at the back and the room is used as a rehearsal space, for music gigs and poetry readings open to guests and to the public in the spirit of giving back to the community.

    In the same vein the hotel is hosting an ‘incubator project’ in the ground floor dining room by enabling an up and coming chef to develop his skills in the restaurant kitchen rent free. The Columbian Street Kitchen headed by chef Esteban Arboleda is currently on a twelve month residency. He used to run a street food stall in the area.

    It’s surprising to find a project as imaginative as this in Wood Green (more likely to be dreamt up by hipsters in East London) and it was heartening to hear that The Green Rooms was fully booked over Open House weekend.

    Green Rooms Hotel 13-27 Station Road Wood Green N22 6UW

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