“Our clients are often constrained by an incredibly busy lifestyle and value the support of skilled experts to take care of every aspect of the interior design,” says Marcus Blake, managing director of St. George City, the developer behind luxury residential tower One Blackfriars. “This approach provides a practical solution,” he says, “but also delivers the cachet of a home tailored individually for each purchaser.”
At 170 metres high, the landmark central London building was inspired by mid-century art glass and is known as ‘The Vase’. Besides spectacular city views, its 274 apartments offer exceptional interiors by London’s Tara Bernerd & Partners – a team famed for transforming hotels such as New York’s SIXTY SoHo and prestigious residential developments including Queen’s Gate in Shanghai, China.
Offering a signature style described as “approachable luxury with an industrial edge”, Bernerd’s interiors are informed by the tower’s location in the cultural hub of London’s South Bank district and inspired by three British artists from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries: landscape painter Thomas Gainsborough, romanticist J.M.W. Turner and modernist sculptor Barbara Hepworth.
Warm greys and elegant soft tones characterise the colour palette of One Blackfriars’ apartments, which also boast a wealth of tactile textures such as lava stone, Italian marble, timber, leather, glass and chrome. Even the doors haven’t been neglected, from the gorgeous bronze detailing, to ironmongery specially designed by One Blackfriars’ architect, Ian Simpson.
CONTEMPORARY YET CLASSIC
West London’s Chiltern Place has interiors by the British fashion and interior designer Tomasz Starzewski, whose clothes were worn by the late Princess of Wales. It’s rumoured Starzewski has transformed the homes of royalty and he’s primarily known for a modern style that champions the craftsmanship of artisans, making bold use of textures, surfaces and colours. “The apartments,” Starzewski says, “have a soft natural palette offering buyers the flexibility to make their homes ultra-modern or classic.”
The challenge with the public areas, he explains, “Was how to create a contrast to the exterior but at the same time complementing the architecture.” This Starzewski achieved by, “Using bronze, marble, black granite warmed up with walnut and, as a complete contrast, a highlight of nickel. My inspiration for the public areas was the golden age of the 1920s and 1930s, of American Art Deco public interior design and [the] luxury cruise liner mixed with 1970s furniture design.”
Due for completion towards the end of the year, this 16-storey Marylebone Village development – situated at 66 Chiltern Street – offers 55 high-end apartments and a four-bedroom townhouse.
Nearby, the former headquarters of BBC Radio London on Marylebone High Street offers 19 apartments, including three penthouses and five townhouses. Britain’s Sophie Paterson Interiors is responsible for the interior furnishings and decoration of this development, known as The W1 London. The company’s calming aesthetic elegantly fuses the contemporary with the classic. Each of the covetable apartments will feature exquisite silk wallpaper, decorative lighting and lavish marble bathrooms.
“We take pride in offering the very best available in interior design,” Paterson says, “creating spaces and lifestyles that work for the people who live in them and beautiful designs that will stand the test of time.” Finishing touches are vital, Paterson recently revealed. “People don’t realise what a difference it makes. You can have a beautiful room and lovely furniture but it’s all the little touches that make it feel homely,” she believes.
MIX OF MATERIALS
Another formidable talent, the Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola is the talent behind the interiors of Lincoln Square, a 10-storey new-build residential development in central London, close to Covent Garden, Aldwych and leafy Lincoln’s Inn Fields. “We tried to transmit the classic luxury feeling of London through a modern interpretation of materials and design shapes,” Urquiola says of her design. “The interior is characterised by the mix of the materials. Coloured glass, timber wood, marble and bronze metal are used through the different spaces in order to create a warm atmosphere and a strong sense of materiality.”
“One of the biggest challenges,” says Urquiola, “was to create a variety of attractive spaces but with a common language that gives them unity. The integration of the light in the different rooms is another key point – we wanted to make the customers feel that the amenities are not in the basement with no windows. So, we created a skylight effect over the pool, proposed an interactive wall in the gym… We paid a lot of attention to the ceilings and lighting effects in each space.”
Urquiola’s aesthetic has encompassed everything from the interiors of Missoni’s Berlin store to must-have homeware, carpets and furniture. Her Fjord armchair, for instance, is part of the permanent collection at MOMA, New York. How does she, then, ensure her work resonates? “I am always looking for ways to connect my work with emotional memory,” she explains. “I like to connect people to their spaces. I like to create an empathy.” The first phase of Lincoln Place is due for completion in 2018.