a monthly round-up of the world's best interiors and design stories
Friday 14 Jun 2013
Johnson Naylor were commissioned by Exemplar in 2011 to design the residential aspect of a mixed-use development in the heart of Fitzrovia. The scheme includes 237 apartments, within 3 blocks, ranging from 375 - 420 sq ft studio apartments to duplexes and 2220 - 3580 sq ft penthouses. The buildings designed by Sheppard Robson and Lifschultz Davidson Sandilands are located on the site of the old Middlesex hospital between Mortimer Street and Riding House Street. The buildings facing onto Nassau Street and the corner of Mortimer Street are set behind a retained listed façade. Fitzrovia has a strong cultural history and a sense of place; a dense melange of history and creativity, attracting a rich mix of creative’s from Charles Dickens to Jimi Hendrix’, the Saatchi Brothers and Coldplay. Informed by this context and using this platform as a brief the interiors reflect ‘This London’s’ cultural influences. The apartments are an expression of this urban collage.
The interiors of premier apartments behind the Nassau Street façade comprise of an eclectic mix of layouts, informed by the constraints of the existing interiors and designed to capitalise on its generous proportions and high ceilings. The design of the apartments to the north and east of the site are also influenced by the principles of the surrounding Edwardian Mansions and optimise the views over the rooftops of Fitzrovia towards North London and conversely towards the more intimate aspect of the central garden square. The buildings context and cultural aspirations have also informed the selection of materials and fixtures and fittings. These comprise a balance of rich authentic natural materials and layered surfaces creating sculpted spaces, further enhanced by the use of discreet programmable lighting.
The natural materials palette includes, wide plank timber floors, which in the premier apartments are laid as modern parquet, the bathrooms and kitchens include natural marbles and reconstituted stone. Many of the interior elements are bespoke including, the custom designed crown cut oak kitchens and custom designed satin brass bathroom accessories (towel rails etc) and ceramic basins. The development is a mix of classic elegance with the fresh thinking of modern design; To quote Virginia Woolf (a resident of the area) “a room of ones own.’ The scheme is due for completion late 2014.