Sleeperz Hotel - Cardiff

Sleeperz is a new hotel chain developing 'compact lifestyle sector' hotels in partnership with Network Rail on sites throughout the UK. Sleeperz distinguishes itself from the competition by utilising smaller stylish rooms on awkward and irregular shaped sites right next to mainline railway termini. The hotels are characterised by a high level of design input, distinctive ambience and vitality matching their city centre locations. The vibrancy of the Sleeperz brand makes it ideally suited to transport hubs; many station environments are currently undergoing major changes and improvements and there is the opportunity for Sleeperz to play its part in this regeneration. Clash Associates has designed Sleeperz hotel schemes at Cardiff, Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham, with others in development.
Planning and Design

Planning and Design Process

Urban context

The building responds sympathetically to its urban context by keeping to a similar height in relation to its immediate neighbours. The setback at ground floor along Saunders Road continues the horizontal emphasis of the wall which connects the hotel site to the station buildings. The upper floors are built out over the setback, giving the four storeys above ground a lightness emphasised by its pale limestone facade, echoing the tonal character of the station buildings. The hotel hugs the perimeter of the site, with a curved bullnose to the east end slightly set back from the triangular sharp end of the site, forming a full stop to the station frontage and defining the eastern extremity of the square.

Planning requirements

The design of the hotel was developed in close cooperation with Cardiff City Council Planners, as such the upper four floors of the 74 bedroom hotel are clad in Jura limestone with black mosaic to the lower two floors, in response to planning requirements. The Planning Committee report said; ‘The design is modern and would be a major landmark which would upgrade the local environment without adversely affecting the setting of the adjacent listed buildings, or the St. Mary Street Conservation Area.’

Rail constraint

The building footprint at ground floor generally respects the exclusion zone established to the east of the rail viaduct wall specified by Network Rail. Above the level of the viaduct wall the building steps westward to build partially within the exclusion zone but does not interfere with necessary maintenance or erection of scaffold over the height of the viaduct wall.

Distinctive ambiance

The design of the bedrooms and the fitted furniture are influenced by the character of vintage ships cabins and railway couchettes – compact yet beautifully designed with a mix of luxury, spatial economy and special details such as the object wall, incorporating hanging space, storage, suitcase rack, key/change keep and laptop desk, and the bathroom and bedside furniture. Public areas are contrastingly spacious, with a wood burning stove, dark brown leather effect Ghost sofas and oak flooring creating the welcoming atmosphere of an inn. Kvadrat Chicago panel curtains, Caravaggio pendant lights, Arper easy chairs and coffee tables complete the ordered layout.

Sustainability Outcomes

Public transport accessibility

Located adjacent to integrated transport hub. No car parking to encourage use of public transport.


‘If you look at the site now, you would find it hard to envisage a 74 bedroom hotel occupying the space. The architectural solution unlocks the potential of a difficult site, allowing a dramatic corner building that responds positively to its urban context.’

South Wales Echo

Related links
Peter Clash Architects


Design and Construction Information

Client: Sleeperz Hotels

Architect: Clash Associates. For further information on the design and delivery team, please contact the Architects.

Date of Completion: November 2008

Contract value: £4.5m

Site Area: 351 m2