Tuesday 29 Aug 2017
Gabriel Square is a new residential address by property developers Meyer Homes on a site within a five-minute walk from St Albans City station and less than twenty minutes by train from King’s Cross/St Pancras.
The scheme – by architects Benson Forsyth and designers Conran and Partners – creates 52 new-build townhouses and 28 apartments ranging from one to four bedroom homes.
Inspired by ‘Mid-Century Modern’ design principles, a perimeter of contemporary four-storey townhouses face onto a new community garden square with a concealed underground carpark. The bold contemporary architecture exhibits refined proportions, clean linear lines and articulated axial views.
The four-storey townhouses respond to vertical movement with a ‘Purist’ approach to the interior design scheme. A warm, soft palette of natural materials and tactile surfaces reference the local stone of St Albans Cathedral and the surrounding vernacular landscape.
Upon entering a townhouse, a long linear vista offers views of the rear terrace and private garden, whilst creating a dual aspect home across its length. The solid oak staircase with glass balustrade transcends up to the roof terrace culminating in a glass box permeating light downwards through a spinal void in the centre of the staircase. A natural tonal palette of light oak flooring, warm grey carpet and limestone bathroom tiles unifies the townhouses in a fluent base colour but with a subtle texture change.
The kitchen design reflects the clean, contemporary architecture with a simple material palette and elegant detailing. Full-height kitchen cabinetry in a grey finish is contrasted with a full-height white composite splashback which blends into the wall finish. The thin profiles of the worktops and island unit give a fresh look and feel; brushed stainless steel taps sit softly in the space.
In the bathrooms, Conran and Partners have designed white composite sinks tailored to fit along the width of the feature wall. Contrasting bush-hammered limestone wall tiling is inspired by the local vernacular and gives a feeling of warmth and tonality.
In contrast, the apartments’ ‘Modernist’ design concept is structured around lateral living and a bolder aspirational aesthetic, building upon the natural material palette of the townhouse interiors. The kitchen doors and bathroom tiling in anthracite-grey are graphic and striking. The colour is further enhanced by the white matt surface of a framed recessed area within the kitchen feature wall.
Conran & Partners