Up in the Air
A towering East London development has Olympian ambitions
Harry Handelsman first came across the site of his new Manhattan Loft Gardens, in east London, 11 years ago. It’s been a long time coming, then, but it’s a project with a pedigree: Handelsman is frequently credited with introducing the concept of loft-living to London in the early Nineties, with the Manhattan Loft Corporation. He went on to relaunch the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in 2011 before helping to transform The Chiltern Firehouse into this decade’s buzziest after-hours hype-spot.
The Manhattan Loft Gardens is a 42-storey, double-cantilevered, luxury residential tower and hotel with views of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. At its centre is the soon-to-open hotel, The Stratford. There are also 248 lofts, for long or short-term rental, all serviced by the hotel; three sky gardens, a mezzanine club, and two restaurants. Guests can stay for a night, a week, or move in for good.
You can see why they might want to: additional perks include a state-of-the-art gym, spa and cinema, while the Allegra restaurant, on the seventh floor, is run by former Chiltern Firehouse head chef Patrick Powell.
“There’s also a wild meadow garden and what I believe will be London’s most soughtafter outdoor terrace,” says Handelsman.
Handelsman is firm on who he sees as his clients: just about everyone. “Global nomads looking for an alternative to Airbnb, guests wanting a local experience, open to exploring an upand-coming area of London — or simply lovers of architecture and design who want to stay and eat in one of the world’s best skyscrapers.”
Lofts at Manhattan Loft Gardens are open now. The Stratford hotel, restaurants and club are due to open in late spring; manhattanloftgardens.com