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Creating places people want to stay

Online since 2.11.2015 • Filed under Advertorial • From Issue 16 page(s) 33-34
Creating places people want to stay

South African born bespoke architect returns to his design roots.

London architect, Dexter Moren, was recently appointed by Tsogo Sun to design a new hotel under construction on the former Tulip Hotel site in the Cape Town CBD. During March 2015, the former Tulip Hotel was imploded and the site was cleared. Construction of the new hotel is underway. The concept is unusual in that the new 500-bed hotel will  offer two products to guests – a choice of 2- and 3-Star graded. According to the developers, this will cater for the demand for rooms in this price range and broaden the hotel product offering in the city.

About Dexter Moren and Associates

Dexter Moren was born in South Africa but works from London. His work is international and he’s recognised as

an industry leader in the hotel and leisure sector. Having commenced his architectural training at the University

of Witwatersrand in his home city of Johannesburg, Dexter continued his studies in New York, obtaining his

master’s degree in architecture and urban design from Columbia University before returning to Wits to complete

an MBA. At the ageof 28, his first hotel was the Marine Parade Holiday Inn on Durban’s North Beach. He brings

with him a combination of the best in global architectural trends with a quintessential African feel. Dexter Moren Associates (DMA) launched in 1992 with just three people. The practice has come a long way since then and has grown to a team of 50 led by four directors and six associates. They are currently located in Camden Town, London. The firm works across hotel and residential architecture, urban planning and interior design.

According to Dexter, ‘our leading reputation in the hospitality sector is well-established: from limited service through to luxury for a wide range of leading international hoteliers, independent operators and developers. From our London office we deliver projects across the world, working in collaboration with local architects to ensure their on-site delivery meets our design intent. ‘Our approach is very much a practice-wide effort relying on the sum of all our parts rather than one individual. We place our design-led ethos of “creating places people want to stay” at the heart of every project we do, whether it’s a hotel, resort, residential development or sports stadium. We are passionate, commercially astute and committed to producing beautiful buildings that respond to location

and context.’

TO BUILD asked Dexter what he would like to share with South African readers: ‘How excited we are to be working on leading projects in Africa. With vast improvements in infrastructure, a prospering mobile industry and rapid economic growth the area is emerging as a target market for international hotel developers and investors,’ he said.

DMA’s outstanding new London hotel

The recently completed 292-bedroom Hilton London Bankside is the hotel chain’s first in central London since 2006. DMA’s vision for the architecture and interior design of the five-star hotel adapts the brand into an urban, design-led ethos that looks to the next generation of hotels. ‘Combining quality and assurance with an appreciation of the distinctiveness of the site and its industrial past, we created two adjoining forms, one low and one tall, each with its own identity and linked by a volumetric glazed entrance and inner light wells. The height and massing relate to its existing and proposed neighbours echoing the urban character,’ Dexter explains.

 The layered facades of brick, metal and glass create a contemporary feeling, reflecting the tonality and character of the surroundings. A lighter tone of brick is in keeping with the traditional local London stock, and a similarly lighter bronze coloured metal cladding, of a more engineered and robust nature, provides an instant sense of quality. The layers of materials create depth and variety while retaining a common language for the two main

building forms. The taller block adjoins a neighbouring residential development. Glazing forms the base layer, followed by pearlescent bronze aluminium topped with a prominent brickwork framework containing glass and bronze panels. The lower block expresses a glass internal layer, which is encased by a continuous limestone cloak. The two distinct forms are bound by a ribbon of glass that encircles the building at ground level, rearing up between the shapes to enclose and assert the hotel entrance, and to express the dedicated ballroom entrance. The robust, high-quality materials emphasise the luxury and distinction of the whole building and provide a practical and hard-wearing envelope that will continue to look good over a long life span. The interior design is a joint venture between Dexter Moren Associates and twenty2degrees Design Partnership (

Dexter Moren Associates

T + 44 20 7267 4440




Issue 16

Issue 16

November 2015

This article was featured on page 33-34 of
To Build Magazine Issue 16.

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