This spectacular penthouse apartment with views out across St James’s Palace in London, occupies the top two floors of a seven-storey building designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.
The building was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in collaboration with architects Romaine Walker and Jenkins and was completed in 1931. The building is Grade II listed and falls within The City of Westminster, St James Conservation Area.
three bedroom duplex apartment
The challenge was to create a sumptuous contemporary interior that reinstated the original design principles of Sir Edwin Lutyens.
The Big Idea
The client appointed Hawkins\Brown in collaboration with the Czech architects Pelcak and Partners to strip out all the 1990’s interventions, and to lay bare the original Lutyens masterpiece. They were inspired by the 1930s European classic designs of Mies van der Rohe’s Villa Tugendhat and Adolf Loos’ Villa Muller. The brief was developed to create a contemporary theatrical space charged with luxury and sensuality. This was achieved through choosing a daring palette of dark, rich eucalyptus and walnut timbers which have been meticulously book matched, lavish highly veined marbles and sheer silks.
It was important to remain faithful to the original architectural intent, allowing an open flexible living space which reinstated Lutyens’ symmetry. This was achieved by relocating the main fireplace at the centre of the home around which more contemporary open plan living space could flow. Hard wearing quality materials were specified for longevity. Intelligent lighting and building control systems were installed to reduce running costs.
“…I like the dark wood, which makes a very strong and bold statement; I also like the use of the classic European design. This, in combination with clever detailing, especially the panelling, creates a harmonious interior.”
Maria Vafiadis MKV Design, judge WIN Awards
It's all in the Detail
Within the bedrooms and circulation spaces a palette of chocolate-brown fumed and figured eucalyptus is used for panelling and joinery; contrasted with a mother of pearl silk wall lining system. Clever detailing of these finishes has been developed to conceal doors into wardrobes and en-suites. This gives the bedrooms a great feeling of magic and calm.
Retaining Quality within a Budget
Our greatest challenge on this project was to provide a cost effective procurement process for our client while retaining control over the quality of workmanship and detailing. This can clearly be illustrated in the skill and workmanship of installation of the book-matched marble panelling within the bathrooms. These too conceal hidden cabinets and storage shelves. The project was competitively tendered to commercial contractors and delivered using a standard JCT Traditional Contract, to a set budget and programme.