On the 1st March 2017, the doors to the Grain Silo Hotel opened to the public. This 28 room boutique hotel is the result of the epic reconstruction of the existing century old Grain Silo building at the V&A Waterfront and has been two and half years in the making.
The reconstruction of the building that stands today involved retaining the existing structure’s outer shell and essentially hollowing out the inside of the building to create the usable hotel and museum spaces seen today. The concept of this development was the brainchild of the internationally renowned artist/architect Sir Thomas Heatherwick who has been involved in work such as the Olympic Cauldron for the 2012 London Olympics and the Seed Cathedral at the UK pavilion in 2010. The hotel has an exquisite restaurant and roof top bar with one of the best 360 degree views in the world.
The construction of the hotel was a real feat of engineering in that the majority of the inside of the new hotel previously consisted of grain bins. These consisted of concrete walls two and a half meters apart and 20 meters tall, which had to be demolished from the bottom up after the outer shell of the structure had been stabilized. The demolition involved driving a 5 tonne Montabert into the bins from the side and letting it eat it’s way around the inside of the hotel for one and a half floors, keeping the outer and inner main structure intact and the remainder of the bin walls left hanging above. Once this was done, the floor on the inside of the shell could be constructed and then the five tonne machine could be loaded onto this new slab to start the whole process again. The sixth floor of the hotel was constructed by driving the Montabert into and out of the building off a scaffold platform constructed on the outside of the hotel.
To finish the building off the architects clad the outside in a one of a kind “pillow façade” constructed entirely of steel and glass. Each individual window is 5 meters in height and 4 meters in width and made of 52 pieces of glass creating facets. These were constructed and glazed as one unit in a factory and delivered and installed as one. These windows add an incredible spacial sense to the rooms, when you stand in front of them, admiring the view.