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Thursday, 12 November 2015

Islington Eyes Explore MontCalm

Our Place Too* is a project working with older people living in two neighbourhoods either side of City Road. With a focus on improving the health and wellbeing of older people living in these areas, the project seeks to achieve this by facilitating discussion about the massive changes that are taking place on their doorstep.

One such recent change has been the building of M by MontCalm as part of the larger ongoing development around the City Road and Old Street or Silicon Roundabout area, which is fast becoming a major hub for tech media companies. As part of the project, Islington Eyes, one of our older people's groups, visited the newly opened hotel on City Road.

Located opposite Moorfields Eye Hospital, the 23-storey boutique hotel’s striking façade and angular structure immediately evokes ideas about optics and the visual. The design concept for the hotel was created by architects Squire & Partners, with 5plus Architects as the Executive Architect and SGP Contracts overseeing its construction.

The building is one of first in world to use a horizontal transom on the façade. This along with its height, size and location makes the hotel unique and eye-catching, though has divided opinions not least within the Islington group. 

The group was warmly welcomed by Kubilay Tunc, the hotel’s Cluster Business Development Manager, and his team. On the visit, the group were shown around the public spaces of the hotel, including the various lounges and restaurant areas. The Skye Lounge in particular on the 17th Floor offered some fantastic views of Tech City below. The eager eyes of the Islington group were also treated to a tour of two of the 269 guest rooms, the M Spa, the Versace-tiled swimming pool, and the hotel gym.

MontCalm exudes contemporary luxury, integrating art, music, design and technology into the exterior and interior of the building. While some may view the hotel as overindulgent – both architecturally and in terms of its ethos, the visit was an eye-opening experience. It provided the group with a chance to see inside a contemporary building, to learn about its design and how it functions, along with its users. It also provided a different perspective of this rapidly changing area. 

Sometimes there is more to a building than initially meets the eye, and it's worth getting an inside look to develop a more informed point of view.

*Our Place Too has being funded by the People’s Health Trust, using money raised from Health Promote through the Health Lottery.

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