Neighbours slam philosopher Alain de Botton’s Hampstead hotel plan

PUBLISHED: 17:00 29 January 2015

Alain de Botton. Picture: Vincent Starr

Alain de Botton. Picture: Vincent Starr


He wrote the book The Architecture of Happiness, but now celebrity philosopher Alain de Botton is making Hampstead residents unhappy with plans to build a modern three-storey hotel in the centre of the village.

The proposed hotel in Streatley PlaceThe proposed hotel in Streatley Place

The firm Living Architecture, which Mr de Botton founded and is creative director of, has applied to Camden Council for permission to build the hotel in historic backstreet Streatley Place.

But neighbours have described the planned building as an “eyesore” and say it is “completely unacceptable”.

They have also accused the firm of being “cavalier” for failing to put up notices informing them of the plans in the surrounding area.

The scheme involves demolishing existing stores and sheds on the site to make way for the part two, part three-storey hotel.

The building will boast rooms such as a “Keats living room” and “Freud’s study” with a modern glass structure at the top named “Constable’s studio”.

Neighbour Fiona Woodcock said: “This hotel is to be built in the heart of Hampstead village where the surrounding area is typically Victorian, with narrow alleyways and gas lamps. This modern building would be an eyesore in this environment.”

The Flask Walk Neighbourhood Association writes in a letter of objection: “The proposal to erect a buidling...of some two and a half storeys high is completely unacceptable.”

It said mistakes over addresses in the planning documents were cavalier and “reflects a similar attitude to residents and the absence of consultation”.

Living Architecture and its agents Quod declined to comment on the proposals.

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