Editor: As hospitality specialist architects and interior designers, we found last week’s edition of Property Week extremely relevant. Studio Moren is the team developing the Great Tower Street property in the City of London for Dominus.

We suggest ‘hotelification’ of offices has evolved in parallel with ‘officication’ of hotels, as hotel lobbies transformed from empty waiting spaces to places where hospitality could be extended to ‘locals’ to meet and work while enjoying the benefits of free wifi and printing facilities, food and beverage on tap and gym and spa facilities under the same roof.

Offices in parallel recognised that people don’t just ‘work’, and in a post-Covid era where working from home has become a norm, employees need the incentive of the kind of facilities hotels have offered to be enticed – rather than forced – to return. The offer needs to be more than just ‘homeification’.

The City turnaround in respect of alternative uses is significant, as barely five years ago, an approach to extend the Vintry & Mercer Hotel into the vacant adjoining office building was met with a firm ‘no’, as office use was prioritised.

However, the bleak emptiness of Covid streets encouraged the City to recognise the importance of mixed-use.

In an era of struggling high streets, hotels offer lifeblood to activate the public realm as mixed-use buildings serving tourists and the local community with food and beverage, flexible work and meeting space and retail and leisure facilities.

As hotels operate 24 hours a day, they extend the traditional working day and five-day week, often augmenting the services neighbouring retailers offer with services such as out-of-hours dry-cleaning collection.

Ironically, the article on Canvas Offices in the same issue (p22) features 88 Kingsway, a building Camden turned down for hotel conversion to protect employment use. What they and many other boroughs don’t understand is that the nature of hospitality means employees tend to be local rather than typical office building commuters, so hotels contribute to employment directly from the borough where they are located.

Dexter Moren, Studio Moren