BELFAST BASED DESIGNER KRIS TURNBULL DISCUSSES HIS LATEST DESIGN PROJECT - A RECENT APARTMENT DEVELOPMENT IN LONDON.
Flying into land at London City Airport, all you see out the window of the plane is residential development.
One particular area stands out with the huge ground mass and unbelievable location over looking the Thames Estuary, the O2 arena and the sky line of Canary Wharf. Here you have Royal Wharf situated within the Royal Docks of East London.
The Royal Wharf project represents both a true vision of modern London whilst simultaneously doffing its cap to the architecture of times gone by. With over 3,300 spacious properties under development, the apartments and townhouses pay homage to traditional Georgian styling. Spanning across an impressive 40 acre site, this development is building a reputation as a flourishing new chapter in the history of London's residential living.
This project brought many challenges. As a designer we have given the apartments a lifestyle, bringing buildings alive, from a structure, to a home to live in. This was very much the vision of the project with the brief to appeal to both the city business man or the international graduate, as well as the important and real element to this development, the family home.
The developer, Ballymore Group, wanted to create life in their projects not just deliver another development. In Ireland we have the luxury of space but in London space is premium. The first important element was to review the spacial planning of the apartments ensuring the sense of space was maximised internally. Re-working the apartments, a feeling of grand spaces became apparent. The second important element was to stylise the marketing suite to ensure the dream of the project was translated to the end user. It was important to identify the client and client culture. London is the capital of the world for business, wealth and opportunity at the moment and with this brings many cultures from all over the world. I wanted to give the apartments a stylish, eclectic & international approach yet reflect the three bedroom apartment for family living. The complete approach from start to finish had to reflect lifestyle. One of the critical elements was how my team and I used the marketing suite.
We could have taken the project in a very commercial way but instead we chose a boutique style with unique spacious lounge areas in reception and first floor levels. On the top floor of the building a cafe bar area was created to allow sales teams and the client to interact in a more welcome and inviting manner. The success of this vital space has been evident from the launch. This use of third floor space also enhanced the large terraces overlooking the city.
The interior styling was very much influenced by recent international design projects completed & fashion trips to Milan and Paris this year. Working with many fabric houses such as Armani textiles, Dedar, Pierre Frey and Zimmer & Rhode to name a few, we created a high fashion approach to the one bed city pad and in contrast the three bed family apartment has timeless elegance using collections by Hérmes, Armani, Rubelli and Sahco.
The furniture collections and upholsteries followed suit with the fabric selections using cutting edge design pieces by Minotti, Flexform, Porada and Porta Romana in the one bed. The three bed was more understated and very sophisticated so we used collections such as Hermes, Giorgetti and Fendi Casa.
The project is one of the fastest growing developments in London with huge success since the marketing suite launched in October 2015. This project was not only a fantastic project for my team to work together on but through this project, we brought a fantastic range of skilled sub-contractors with us to supply the joinery, flooring and installation works showcasing what Northern Ireland can do.
Since the launch in October, this interior project has won 'Best Interior Designer' with The Property Awards 2015. Working at this level and being part of such an exciting billion pound commercial project was very rewarding and exciting for my team. This mixed with the amazing residential projects we are involved with daily throughout NI makes working at KT Studios an inspiring place to be!