North West architect wins 900-bed London hotel contract

Liverpool Municipal Buildings

North West architect Falconer Chester Hall has been appointed to deliver The Forum, a 900-room hotel in London’s South Kensington, as it marks the start of its 25th year in business.

The 76-strong firm was founded in 1997 in Liverpool and has since grown to include thriving studios in London (2010) and Manchester (2015).

Co-founder, Paul Falconer, said: “Our first project was the transformation of Queen Square in Liverpool, and it helped set the direction of the practice.

“It was a major mixed-use scheme and its constituent parts have been the cornerstone of our growth since.”

The latest project win, for developer Fragrance Group, the company behind the transformation of Municipal Buildings in Liverpool, reinforces how the hotel sector has underpinned FCH’s output for more than two decades.

Alastair Shepherd, a director who has been with FCH for 23 years, said: ‘We’re delighted to be trusted with this major development in the capital, showing how far we have come as a firm. We will always be proud that our company has grown out of Liverpool to be respected nationally. ”

The Temple Square-based practice currently has 109 live projects on its books and remains one of only three firms based in the North West to be included in industry bible Architects’ Journal’s coveted AJ100 list.

Paul Falconer added: “We’ve ridden out multiple recessions, rapid market changes and several major office moves and feel the fitter for it.

“Despite current market headwinds we see more scope for growth, particularly in the residential and hospitality sectors, and there are exciting opportunities to make a positive impact by focusing on sustainability.”

The firm’s latest project win will be delivered by the team in its London studio, with backing from Liverpool colleagues, highlighting the way new technologies enable collaboration between studios, said Mr Falconer.

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