Landmark birthday for hotel with art at heart

Let there be light, light artist Mick Stephenson, Sleeperz Hotels Head of Sales and Marketing Javeed Anwar, and Giancarlo Viglianisi of Empty Shop (at rear) in front of the original railway arch turned arts space.

An award winning Newcastle hotel is celebrating its first birthday by transforming a historic railway arch into a contemporary modern arts space.

Art in the Arch@Sleeperz, an exhibition of light-based art and urban city-scape photography, opens at Sleeperz Hotel Newcastle later this month marking a successful first year’s trading in the North East Capital.

The exhibition has been installed in a passageway beneath an original railway arch of the East Coast Edinburgh to London rail line that is now part of the hotel.

Sleeperz Hotels, an innovative UK budget hotel operator, transforms unusual pieces of land close to mainline rail stations into modern design-led city centre hotels.

Javeed Anwar, marketing director of Sleeperz Hotels, said: “You will find art work in almost every hotel, hanging on walls or sitting on side tables.

Art in the Arch@Sleeperz is different entirely. We are working with local artists to transform this archway into an exhibition space, giving the hotel a completely new dimension for guests, and featuring work that shares our passion for modern contemporary design and architecture.”

The company opened Sleeperz Newcastle, a 99-bedroom premium budget hotel, in January 2012, on the site of a former derelict parcel works next to Newcastle Central Station.

Six months later it was recognised by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) with a Hadrian Award for architectural excellence, and described by the Architect’s Journal as Newcastle’s “Hip Hotel.”

Sleeperz Cardiff Hotel also won a RIBA Award for architecture after it opened in the Welsh Capital in 2008.
In 2012, Sleeperz Newcastle welcomed more than 34,000 guests to the hotel.

“Newcastle has quickly established itself as the highest performing hotel in the group. Our focus on providing an affordable and elegant city living experience has helped us stand out in Newcastle’s ultra-competitive hospitality industry,” added Mr. Anwar.

Art in the Arch@Sleeperz is being curated by Carlo Viglianisi and Nick Maylan of Empty Shop, an independent not-for-profit arts organisation, based in Durham.

Empty Shop regenerates empty and disused spaces, turning them into art studios and holds events, exhibitions and workshops for a network of North East artists.

The exhibition features a photo-essay curated by architectural photographer Steve Mayes telling the story of how disused parcel works sheds were transformed into an architecturally striking and award-winning hotel.
Durham based light artist Mick Stephenson will also be showing light-based sculptures inspired by building, architecture and design.

Mick spent 20 years as a sound and lighting technician in the music business and 15 years as a builder. Stephenson’s Fusion installation featured 4,000 pieces of everyday materials lit with LED lighting, and was commissioned for Lumiere 2011 – Durham’s bi-annual winter festival of light.

Art in the Arch@Sleeperz will be open to the public from Thursday February 21st, for hotel guests and the general public to view.

To find out more about Sleeperz Newcastle and Art in the Arch@Sleeperz, visit: www.sleeperz.com

Notes to Editors

Sleeperz Hotels is a new and innovative UK budget hotels business.

It opened its first UK hotel in the Welsh capital Cardiff in 2008 and is working to a plan to expand and build further hotels in major UK cities, including Liverpool, Manchester and London.

Sleeperz prides itself on introducing a new generation of compact lifestyle hotels into the UK budget hotels market and creating a design led philosophy of colourful, stylish, compact contemporary rooms at affordable room rates.

Its aim is for its customers to experience stylish urban living in a city centre hotel environment.

Sleeperz also aims to build distinctive buildings that make a positive architectural contribution to the cities in which it chooses to build hotels.

The growth in Sleeperz – and the construction of its second UK hotel in Newcastle – has been driven by a £7m investment in the business by the company's investors, including Andre Hoffmann, and Connection Capital. The debt finance for the Newcastle development is being provided by The Co-operative bank.

Videos detailing the hotel experience are available to watch on YouTube at the following link: www.youtube.com/sleeperzhotels