Esquire (UK)

Up in the Air

A towering East London developmen­t has Olympian ambitions

- By Johnny Davis Photograph­s by Rory Gardiner

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

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