'You might say we've created the biggest red-light district in London, but the idea was Shirayama's London director, 'Mac' Toyota, and he just wanted the building to look festive. The Lighting Design Partnership covered existing lamps on the building with red filters and so now you have an architectural Christmas tree.'
County Hall was designed by Ralph Knott for the London County Council and built between 1908 and 1922 (with additions in the Thirties, Fifties and Seventies). The building's 700ft river front faces the Houses of Parliament across Westminster Bridge. County Hall was home to the LCC and its successor, the GLC, until the latter's abolition by Parliament in 1986. It opens as a hotel in May 1996.