A cupola on the former Camden Palace's dome roof will be reintated [Pic Archer Humphryes Architects]
Published: 5 January, 2017
By ELLA JESSEL
THE owners of KOKO nightclub have unveiled plans to build a boutique hotel on top of a disused pub as part of an overhaul of the Camden Town venue.
Entrepreneur Olly Bengough and property firm Vevil International have bought up a cluster of buildings next to the former Camden Palace, and hope to return it to its former glory and create “destination KOKO”.
If plans are approved, the Hope and Anchor pub, in Crowndale Road, which closed in 2013, and two “dilapidated” industrial properties at the corner of Bayham Street would be transformed into a 32-bed, “wrap-around” hotel.
Aimed at KOKO guests, artists and crew, the five-storey hotel will have a bar and dining room on the ground floor of the former pub and a second restaurant in a fourth-floor “skylobby”.
The existing flytower will be turned into a single VIP “giant signature suite” spread over two floors with a recording studio for stars playing gigs at KOKO.
The green copper dome containing the building’s original water tanks will be turned into a bar linking the theatre with the new hotel next door.
The facade of WGR Sprague’s 1900 building will be restored and the cupola above the dome on the main façade fronting Camden High Street reinstated.
Plans submitted to the Town Hall explain that the scheme is a “positive response” to “social and physical difficulties” that have blighted the site for years, including the Hope and Anchor being taken over by squatters and surviving attempts to turn it into flats.
In 2014, the Town Hall granted permission for the pub to be developed for residential use but the decision was overturned in the High Court after KOKO’s owners argued that it would threaten
the live music venue’s future.
Historic England has welcomed the refurbishment of KOKO “in principle” but raised concerns about the loss of number 65 Bayham Street and the “overly bulky”extension of the Hope and Anchor pub.
Mr Bengough, who has owned the building for 13 years and is the founder of broadcasting channel Cinémoi, said he was “extremely excited” about the proposals.
“There are few venues in London as intimate and loved as KOKO,” he added.