Hospitality / Mayfair / September 2015 / 170 sq m
A linear apartment in a purpose-built 1920s mansion block was substantially refurbished and reorganized by Nick Leith Smith Architecture + Design. The project places a strong emphasis on quality of materials and maximizes the perceived living space within the apartment. The most substantial alteration was the restructuring of the hallway, returning it to its original proportions by removing the utility area added at a later date and creating a new frameless glass wall between hallway and reception area.
The reconfigured circulation space runs half the length of the apartment, terminating in a new bedroom hallway that re-balances the relationship between public and private, forming a discrete counterpoint to the generous open plan reception area. The reconfigured bedrooms include the refurbishment of two en-suite bathrooms, the transformation of a single room into a double and the creation of a larger guest shower room and WC at the end of the new hallway.
The reconstructed apartment is finished along minimal lines, with extra close attention paid to materials, textures and surfaces. The most prominent element of the re-design is the use of stone. The main living space and hallway are united by the new glass wall and defined by large slabs of Grigio Imperiale marble, while the focal point of the main reception room is a new fireplace, formed from a Port Laurent marble frame. The surrounding oak frame incorporates a built-in fridge and bar, which in turn act as a frame for a specially commissioned graphic artwork by the painter Adam Ball, featuring a collage of gold and black paper. In the kitchen, the countertops are formed from champagne quartz, while thickly veined marble is used in the guest and en-suite bathrooms.
Nick Leith Smith created a full complement of bespoke furniture pieces for the space, including new headboards, consoles and benches in matching oak and leather. A bronze and onyx furniture set – wall lamps, mirror, credenza and console – complete the hallway and living room while the new bespoke kitchen combines oak finishes with etched bronze mirror splash backs. The ensuite bathrooms feature cantilevered vanity units suspended above the floor, clad in thin marble veneer to give an impression of weighty solidity. All doors are full height frameless panels, finished in either light stained grey-white or dark grey-brown oak. Throughout the space, the emphasis is on rich materials and careful detailing, demonstrated by the bronze mirror panels that line the deep window reveals and the use of specially designed bronze and brass ironmongery. Carefully selected furniture is paired with sober, restrained materials, including a coffee table by Fendi and an Armani dining table. The overall effect is one of calm simplicity, creating an urban retreat that mixes the refined functionalism of a high-end hotel with the personal touch.