Harrabin "Enabling out of the ordinary"

The Telegraph Hotel, Coventry


Client: Complex Development Projects Ltd

CDP acquired the former Coventry Telegraph headquarters, to deliver something missing from the city centre landscape, that of a high-quality boutique hotel.  An £18m investment with assistance from partners Coventry City Council and West Midlands Combined Authority has transformed the 1950s building into the new 88 individually designed air-conditioned bedrooms, meetings and events space for 140 people, a restaurant and a rooftop terrace, that is The Telegraph hotel.

A new extension was constructed to house the banqueting kitchen, stores and staff areas.

A challenging large refurbishment and repurposing project with a focus to conserve and restore the original architecture throughout the building.  The scope of works completed by Harrabin Construction commenced with an extensive strip out of the remaining large print machinery.  Some of the smaller and unique items have been retained and are on display around the hotel with QR codes offering information on their previous life.  A supervised archaeological dig was required due to the proximity of the old city walls.

The ground floor reception area has kept the mid-century feel with the restoration of the original feature hardwood advertising counter which ran along the full length of the frontage and has been repurposed with a new granite top to form the bar area and banquet seating.  The existing terrazzo flooring to the bar has been repaired and polished and the reception area has been newly laid to continue the 1950s feel of the ground floor.

The former outside courtyard is now the Forme and Chase restaurant with the installation of a fully glazed air-conditioned atrium.  It features purpose made wallpaper depicting reverse print front pages to imitate printing plates.

Extensive partitioning and thermal lining within the three upper floors created the 88 unique hotel bedrooms and a “winter garden” space which houses duplex bedrooms with individual steel staircases overlooking an internal courtyard area.  Several of the bedrooms have bespoke wallpaper, designed and printed from original advertisements from former Telegraph newspapers and others are from photographs from a bygone era.  The Iliffe Suite, the main suite, has a large bedroom with adjoining reception area, large double basin shower room with a separate bathroom next to its own external hot tub overlooking the Generator roof top bar.

The creation of the Generators roof-top bar on the existing flat roof overlooks Belgrade Plaza and has undercover seating, heating, kitchen and bar facilities and again houses machinery from the Telegraphs former life, one old generator has been repurposed with a glass top into an 8-seater table.

Externally, all the windows have been constructed to match the existing and replaced with double glazed prefinished, highly thermal aluminium clad windows and the existing external travertine panels have been repaired, restored and repolished.  All the stone finishes have been doff cleaned.

The build was completed in October 2020, despite the challenges associated with COVID19 lockdowns and securing materials and labour to complete the build.

The hotel is now open and operated by Bespoke Hotels.






Client:Complex Developemnt Projects Ltd

Architect:Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson

Harrabin Construction Limited, 1 Harnall Row, Coventry CV1 5DR
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