Troubled histories almost always show in the fabric of buildings, be it the shrapnel-pitted facades of many European museums or in the form of buildings whose clients could not make up their minds. But here in Waterloo Maccreanor Lavington's landmark four-star hotel shows little sign of having started out at the planning stage as a housing development. Given the huge constraints imposed by the junction site, that creative flexibility is all the more remarkable.
The narrowness of the site has produced a striking civic composition, clearly defining the base, middle and top of the building. A ground level cut back provides a generous pedestrian route, enlivening the street frontage and creating an overhang that shelters the glazed entrance foyer. This is a mature exercise in taming a large facade.