Work set to start on 27-storey Art’otel on site of Bill Drummond’s The Foundry in Shoreditch

How the hotel will look. Picture: Squire & Partners

How the hotel will look. Picture: Squire & Partners - Credit: Archant

Building work is set to start on a contentious 27-storey hotel on the site of the old arts venue co-founded by KLF’s Bill Drummond.

The Gazette's coverage of The Foundry closure, which was met with protests.

The Gazette's coverage of The Foundry closure, which was met with protests. - Credit: Archant

Planning permission was signed off last week for the Drum, a “luxury lifestyle hotel” run by chain Art’otel that will dominate the junction of Old Street, Rivington Street and Great Eastern Street.

It will replace the outdoor pop-up bar space Red Market, which most recently hosted The Last Days of Shoreditch, as well as The Foundry, which closed in 2010 when the plans were first approved. The arts venue was run by Jonathan and Tracey Moberly, after Drummond helped launch it.

The £180million, 343-room hotel will keep original Banksy artworks, including the 6m-high giant rat and TV, in a free public gallery. They will be preserved and open to public viewing when the hotel opens in 2023.

Art’otel Hoxton says it “supports the development vision of the brand owner, PPHE Hotel Group, and its strategy to develop real estate where it believes there is significant upside potential to drive growth and long-term value through both its property portfolio and operations.”

Predictably, designers will now get to work in an attempt to make the building “reflect the cultural influences of Hoxton and its vibrant community”.

Boris Ivesha, president of PPHE Hotel Group, said: “We are delighted to bring our wholly owned Art’otel brand to an area of London which is known to be a leading cultivator of arts and cultural programmes at a global level.

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“Working with the local and art community will be one of our main priorities and we are already committed to the gallery being open to the public for free.”

Councillors approved the plans, which replaced an application for a tower that would have been 8m shorter.

Historic England had criticised the design of the building, saying it harmed the area’s architectural distinctiveness.