Few of Lon­don’s new apart­ment blocks are as thought­fully cre­ated as

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Decorating -

81–87 We­ston Street in South­wark. A col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween devel­oper Solidspace – led by Roger Zo­golovitch – and Simon All­ford of ar­chi­tects AHMM, it was ten years in the plan­ning and is a fine ex­am­ple of the ben­e­fits of ‘slow de­sign’. ‘It takes time, and a lot of con­vinc­ing peo­ple to build with imag­i­na­tion and char­ac­ter,’ says Roger, wryly. The end re­sult is, he ex­plains, ‘a com­bi­na­tion of new Bru­tal­ism and the style of old Mi­lanese apart­ment build­ings.’ Lo­cal in­flu­ences were also key. ‘The pale brick­work ref­er­ences Lon­don’s his­tor­i­cal ar­chi­tec­ture,’ says Simon. So too does the old ware­house wall at the rear of the site, which was in­te­grated into the new build­ing. Thanks to its ir­reg­u­lar shape, the block also blends in well with the area’s newer ar­rivals, such as The Shard, which looks down upon We­ston Street.

A large pro­por­tion of the build­ing is Bri­tish-de­signed and made, in­clud­ing the con­crete frame­work and in­te­rior tim­ber cladding. Even the apart­ment’s lay­out – a dou­ble-height liv­ing space with cook­ing, din­ing and work­ing ar­eas on stag­gered lev­els around it – com­ple­ments na­tive tastes. ‘The Bri­tish pre­fer houses to flats, and our multi-level de­sign is a kind of house in the sky,’ says Roger. ‘The de­ci­sion to place bed­rooms on the lower floors is, per­haps, more Euro­pean, but it means that the liv­ing room gets the best light and con­nects to the roof ter­races,’ rea­sons Simon.

Cus­tomi­sa­tion was a pri­or­ity for the in­te­ri­ors. Buy­ers were of­fered a choice of oak or wal­nut pan­elling and floors (se­lected to com­ple­ment the board-cast con­crete struc­ture) and mar­ble or tiles in the bath­rooms. Stor­age was planned around adapt­able Ikea cab­i­nets, and there is even the op­tion of rent­ing out a bed­room thanks to an en­try sys­tem that ren­ders them self-con­tained units.

Roger and Simon imag­ine We­ston Street as a re­vival of the tra­di­tional Lon­don man­sion block, with a vi­brant mix of pub­lic and pri­vate spa­ces, and a real sense of com­mu­nity. It’s a tes­ta­ment to this am­bi­tious de­sign that one of the new own­ers is a Stir­ling Prize-win­ning ar­chi­tect. solidspace.co.uk; ahmm.co.uk

Kitchen The white cup­board units are by Ger­man brand Pronorm, sup­plied by Con­cept Kitchens, and the ap­pli­ances are by Siemens and Bosch. For sim­i­lar par­quet floor­ing, try Ecora. The ceil­ing light­ing track is by Con­corde Din­ing room Zeitraum’s ‘Twist’ ta­ble by Form­stelle is sur­rounded by ‘CH24’ chairs by Hans J Weg­ner for Carl Hansen & Søn Stock­ist de­tails on p269 ➤

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