- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 02 Oct 2017
M by Montcalm
M by Montcalm is a 23-story hotel near Old Street tube station in Shoreditch, London. It was designed by architects Squire and Partners and delivered in collaboration with Executive Architects 5 Plus. It was completed July 2015.
The unusual building design was based on the proximity of the hotel to Moorfields Eye Hospital, which sits opposite it. The architects suggest that the facade ‘…expresses the idea of the optical and the visual’ and takes inspiration from the hypnotic, illusionary artwork of Bridget Riley.
The building is expressed by conflicting patterns of transparency, opacity and solidity, and includes confusing angles that break down the geometry of the underlying structure. Vertical and diagonal lines create a visual effect of depth and movement that appear to contradict the buildings actual form. At the lower levels, the building skin is lifted on a visually disorientating slant to reveal the hotel lobby, public bar and restaurant.
M by Montcalm has not been without controversy, being described as ‘very unfortunate for any hungover hipsters’, and ‘a myopic optical ruse that must have been hypnotic enough to secure it planning’. It was nominated for the Carbuncle Cup in 2015, an annual architectural prize awarded by the magazine Building Design to the ugliest building in the United Kingdom completed in the last 12 months. It was ‘beaten’ that year by the Walkie Talkie (20 Fenchurch Street).
- Client Soneva Properties.
- Planning Consultant The London Planning Practice.
- Quantity Surveyor WT Partnership.
- Structure Adams Kara Taylor.
- Services Hoare Lea.
- Executive Architect 5 Plus.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
A survey of Leicester’s historic buildings resulted in local listing being taken more seriously.
Demolition is the most high risk activity in the construction sector. Read our introductory article here.
BSRIA report on the domestic boiler market, with China recording the most 'dynamic market uptake'.
Do we really know everything important about the impacts of our infrastructure projects? And if we don’t, does it matter?
Former Chief executive Richard Howson blames government for being 'poor payers'.
An environmental plan is an essential tool for setting and managing environmental objectives for a project.
CLC call for an 'outcome-based, transparent and efficient' industry with new report.
The first NIC assessment suggests there is a golden opportunity to provide low-carbon energy.
It's featured prominently as the backdrop to the World Cup coverage - read about the most iconic building in Russia.
Report highlights growing need for soft skills and digital skills among civil engineers.