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  1. Five-stars for Foster design Luxury Heathrow hotel given Mayoral seal of approval Foster + Partners’ design for a new five-star hotel on Bath Road, close to Heathrow Airport has been approved by the Mayor of London. The only five-star hotel in the area, it will offer a range of services, including the most extensive conference facilities of any London hotel, to serve the local community and businesses, as well as passengers using Heathrow. The hotel, developed by Riva Properties is characterised by a distinctive layered glass shell, which floods the public spaces with daylight. Articulated as a 13-storey structure, several levels are sunk into the ground, keeping the building’s profile low in response to the immediate surroundings. The rooms are contained within six pavilions, linked by bridges and wrapped in a unifying glass envelope, which acts as a barrier to aircraft noise. The entrance lobby has a floating glass deck with views down to the sunken restaurant level, shallow pool and waterfall. This restaurant floor is accessed via a timber walkway and incorporates a business centre, as well as a variety of venues to eat and drink. The double-height conference facilities, which have their own reception to allow separate access from street-level, encircle a top-lit atrium that brings natural light deep into the building and down to the lower levels. As well as a selection of meeting venues and breakout areas, there is a flexible 1,200-capacity ballroom, two auditoriums and a large conference room. The bowling centre that currently occupies the site will be reinstated within the new scheme at basement level and will remain a public facility. The hotel also incorporates a health centre with a pool, gym, saunas and treatment rooms. Grant Brooker, Executive Director at Foster + Partners, said: “This will be the first five-star hotel in the immediate vicinity of Heathrow and marks a key stage in the area's transformation. We have enjoyed great support and encouragement from local residents, businesses and the Borough of Hillingdon and we believe that the hotel’s wide range of facilities will ensure that it plays a vital role in serving both international travellers and the local community.” http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=11465