MCR to purchase London's BT Tower, reimagine as hotel

MCR will purchase the BT Tower, one of London’s tallest buildings, from BT Group. MCR will own the 620-foot Tower and podium, encompassing a full London city block, freehold.

MCR intends to secure the future of the iconic Tower—which was opened in 1965 in Fitzrovia, London, and is listed Grade II importance by England’s Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission—by repurposing it as a hotel and opening it up to the public.

MCR will partner with London-based Heatherwick Studio to consider how best to reimagine its use as a hotel.

“We are proud to become owners and custodians of the iconic BT Tower,” MCR CEO Tyler Morse, said in a statement. “We will take our time to carefully develop proposals that respect the London landmark’s rich history and open the building for everyone to enjoy.”

BT Group will take a number of years to vacate the premises, due to the scale and complexity of the work to move technical equipment, and there will be significant time for design development and engagement with local communities before proposals are revealed.

MCR owns and operates many of New York’s well-known hotels, including The High Line Hotel, a former seminary, and the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport, a reimagining of Eero Saarinen’s 1962 landmark Flight Center, which received a national Architecture Award from the American Institute of Architects. The company also owns and is currently redeveloping the famed Gramercy Park Hotel.

“We see many parallels between the TWA Hotel and the BT Tower,” said Morse. “Both are world-renowned, groundbreaking pieces of architecture. It’s been a privilege to adapt the TWA Flight Center into new use for future generations, as it will be the BT Tower.”

Thomas Heatherwick, founder and design director, Heatherwick Studio, said his team and himself are thrilled to partner with MCR to reimagine the BT Tower. "This is an extraordinary building and an amazing opportunity to bring it back to life," he said. "We’re excited at the prospect of working with Fitzrovia’s residents and with many thousands of Londoners, to repurpose this important piece of the city’s living heritage.”