Fitzrovia Penthouse - Case Study
Photography : Darryl Osada
Located close to Great Portland Street underground station, and within short-walking distance from Regents Park, this recently built two bedroom apartment, constructed on two levels with an extensive south-west facing Balcony and Roof Terrace, underwent a complete interior refurbishment and “garden” transformation.
An elegant contemporary home was created by reconfiguring the main layout, replacing cramped and tired accommodation with extensive free-flowing open-plan living space, including bespoke integrated furniture, suitable for comfortable living and frequent entertaining. Throughout the apartment furniture and materials were selected to unify the entire project, introducing and incorporating a vast collection of modern-natural finishes (including slabs of marble, ribbed and tumbled marble mosaic, polished plaster, glass, mirror and steel, together with printed-leather upholstery and the application of mixed-paper-fabric wallcoverings to feature bedroom walls).
A monochrome palette of architectural white and grey tones can be found throughout the apartment’s surfaces and decoration (in the polished plaster and painted wall finishes). A smokey-brown-oak herringbone floor surfaces the main living areas and seamlessly matches the interior doors, adorned with “hammered” bronze ironmongery.
On entering the apartment, an elegant “floating” steel staircase clad in Cararra marble dominates; forming a symbolic hinge between internal and external spaces and connecting the main living area with the vast outdoor entertaining space above.
This open-plan living space, “flooded” with natural light, enjoys direct access to an extensive Ipe wood-decked balcony which runs the full length of the apartment where tall graphite-black pots planted with large Buxus balls align the linear space. At the far end, a large mature olive tree features as the main focal point, obscuring neighbouring buildings.
Within the main living space, a Feature Wall accommodates a recessed linear biofuel fire, (with a continuous flame of 1.5 metres), with a recessed Tv above, and stacked fire logs in an alcove to one side. At the opposite end, a glacier-white Kitchen features a vast wall of bookmatched Callacatta Marble above a slick worktop of matt-white Corian. A central island workstation, “wrapped” in the same marble, houses the oven, hob and “pop-up” extractor. A line of tall wall units runs along one side – housing the essential appliances.
Electric roller blinds service all windows throughout the apartment; with sheer fabrics adding privacy to overlooked windows, and black-out blinds allowing instant privacy and an immediate change in light levels.
“Dividing” the living space, a pair of pendants light fittings (with multi squirrel-lamps) hang over an oak refectory-style dining table with a matching bench and chairs. A tall-arched, multi-paned 19th Century cast iron window frame, (polished and converted into a mirror) “stands” on the floor at the end of the dining table facing an “oversized” rusty steel clock on the adjacent wall.
The Master Bedroom combines luxury, comfort, storage and entertainment. Silver-grey carpets contrast with the rich dark tones of Bavarian Spessart Oak wardrobes which run along the main walls, a concealed TV is linked to recessed audio speakers in the ceiling above. Bespoke glass-fronted shoe cabinets maximise on storage and showcase a vast collection of the clients designer footwear; running the entire length of the bedroom entrance hall opposite the Ensuite Bathroom.
A 19th Century cast iron fanlight, polished and converted into a mirror, “hangs” directly above the bed’s headboard in front of a textured wallcovering of mixed-paper and fabric. Symmetry is echoed by “twin” pairs of pendant light-fittings (Bianco Carrara marble diffuser within a lead crystal vessel) which hang either side of the bed above a pair of elegant Calacatta marble-topped bedside cabinets.
A retro-style Ensuite Master Bathroom features a large freestanding bath, twin basins, and a bespoke minimalist glass shower enclosure, adding architectural simplicity to what is essentially a traditionally classic bathroom. Book-matched honed Statuario marble clads two adjacent walls and the floor in-between, with basin slab-top details to match and tumbled marble mosaic elsewhere. Polished nickel brassware features throughout the apartment’s bathrooms.
The “marble theme” continues within each space throughout the apartment including the Guest Shower Room and WC/Utility, both clad in large slabs of honed Carrara marble together with a rhomboid “diamond” ribbed mosaic in the same stone. The Guest bedroom, follows suit with a pair of elegant Calacatta marble-topped bedside tables.
The “floating” staircase; partly enclosed on both sides, with full height glass balustrades “stretching” to ceiling height, with an integrated stitched-leather-wrapped handrail, connects the living area with the main outdoor entertaining space above. A glass access hatch (electronically operated), slides effortlessly open to access a spacious Roof Terrace.
A Taxus baccatta (Yew) hedge, forms a dense green screen on three sides of the Roof Terrace, obscuring unsightly buildings and tower-blocks to it’s east and west sides, whilst retaining an unobstructed view of Fitzrovia and the West End landscape below and beyond. Tall graphite-black pots planted with large Buxus balls intermittently frame the view, standing “soldier-like” on Ipe (solid wood) decking along the glass balustrade and parapet wall overlooking the Fourth floor Balcony below. Weatherproof Provence-style sofas and furniture are bordered by low-level bowl-shaped pots planted with Buxus balls. A partially recessed jacuzzi hot tub, sympathetically clad in Ipe wood to match the decking at floor level is available at the click of a switch 24/7. This extensive outdoor city space combines simple and minimalistic style with formal planting, incorporating an “evergreen-backbone” of Taxus hedging and Buxus balls, together with a sophisticated lighting system, adding drama and tone by night. This project is a space to be enjoyed at all hours, a retreat from the busy city below.