Prop­erty

De­vel­oped to be­come an es­sen­tial part of London’s most soughtafter neigh­bour­hood, Clarges May­fair re­flects the evo­lu­tion of the dis­trict and en­tices dis­cern­ing home­own­ers the world over

Singapore Tatler Homes - - DEC2018/JAN2019 -

Lo­cated in one of London’s most soughtafter neigh­bour­hoods Clarges May­fair re­flects the evo­lu­tion of the dis­trict

It was rare enough that the sun was out in full force on our visit to London, but per­haps what was more un­usual was where we were en­joy­ing the sun­shine—on a mas­sive pri­vate wrap­around ter­race of a pent­house with an im­pres­sive panorama of the city. From this van­tage point, ev­ery land­mark is vis­i­ble—the Shard, The London Eye, Buck­ing­ham Palace; we could even see the groups of friends loung­ing on deck chairs at Green Park right be­low. “This was what we fell in love with,” shares James Tay­lor, Head of Clarges May­fair, with a smile as he took in the view for the nth time. Re­spon­si­ble for the new­est lux­ury de­vel­op­ment of Bri­tish Land—also the first su­per-prime res­i­den­tial project of the re­spected de­vel­oper— Tay­lor is rightly proud with what they have built in just over five years’ time.

PIN­NA­CLE OF LUX­URY

As with any prop­erty worth its salt, it all boils down to hav­ing the best lo­ca­tion, and this par­cel of land in Pic­cadilly is as prime as it gets. Sit­u­ated di­ag­o­nally across The iconic Ritz Ho­tel, the site of Clarges May­fair is a gem of a find es­pe­cially in a dis­trict known to have lit­tle churn when it comes to avail­able plots. Granted, there is no dis­put­ing the cache of May­fair. Say the name to any­one and they would most likely as­so­ciate it with lux­ury, even if they can’t pin­point it on a map. Per­haps this ex­plains why prop­erty de­vel­op­ers from Sin­ga­pore to Santa Mon­ica use the name to lend pres­tige to their build­ings. This, how­ever, is the only May­fair that counts—the ul­tra-ex­clu­sive neigh­bour­hood in west London hugged by the ver­dant en­claves of Hyde Park and Green Park. Add to the equa­tion bea­cons of style such as Bond Str eet and Sav­ile Row and no one can ques­tion May­fair’s en­dur­ing ap­peal and why it re­mains London’s most ex­pen­sive dis­trict, both in real-life and on the Mo­nop­oly board. Once Bri­tish Land ac­quired the area for­merly oc­cu­pied by an of­fice build­ing, no ex­pense was spared in the cre­ation of their first foray to the high­est end of the mar­ket. One of the main in­di­ca­tions of their de­sire to sur­pass ex­pec­ta­tions is the cal­i­bre of their de­sign col­lab­o­ra­tors. They en­listed award­win­ning Squire & Part­ners, a prac­tice known for their du­ti­ful ap­proach to con­serv­ing build­ings, as well as in­te­rior de­signer Martin Kemp to cre­ate time­less, lux­u­ri­ous con­cepts for the var­i­ous con­fig­u­ra­tions of the 34-apart­ment de­vel­op­ment.

IN­SIDE AND OUT

Adhering to the strict build­ing codes of West­min­ster and in keep­ing with the il­lus­tri­ous listed build­ings that sur­round it, Squire & Part­ners sought to cre­ate an un­der­stated, low-rise struc­ture that sub­tly re­flected the rich­ness of the area. In­spired by the grand houses that once dom­i­nated May­fair, the ar­chi­tects made the most of the elon­gated plot by di­vid­ing it in two, thereby cre­at­ing a new street chris­tened as Ash­bur­ton Place, a first in May­fair in the last 15 years. At first glance, Clarges May­fair does not look like a new build­ing and that is pre­cisely their in­ten­tion. “We stud­ied the struc­ture of other Pic­cadilly build­ings and used the same tra­di­tional ma­te­ri­als such as Port­land stone to ex­e­cute this project. We also repli­cated de­tails like the fluted col­umns that adorn many of the fa­cades of nearby land­marks,” shares prin­ci­pal ar­chi­tect Michael Squire. The re­sult is a stream­lined build­ing with in­tri­cate de­tail­ing, as Squire de­scribes it, with the clever ref­er­ences re­veal­ing it­self only to those with the cu­rios­ity to look closely. In­cor­po­rat­ing a strong sense of place is also some­thing that de­signer Martin Kemp in­fused in the cre­ation of the in­te­ri­ors. “May­fair has a deep his­tory of craft, from tai­lor­ing to horol­ogy and leather­mak­ing. It is also notable for its Art Deco ar­chi­tec­tural gems,” says Kemp. He weaved both past and present in­flu­ences into the space in an el­e­gant way—botan­i­cal touches in the tiling re­flect the nearby Royal Parks, while the graphic, matte bronze fix­tures are a clear ref­er­ence to its Art Deco le­gacy.

The care­ful thought is not only ev­i­dent in the sym­bol­ism of the de­sign but also the ex­pe­ri­ence that it in­tends to de­liver. “We wanted to cre­ate a strong sense of ar­rival once you en­ter the build­ing,” re­marked Squire as he took us around the el­lip­ti­cal­shaped, lofty en­trance. “We dis­cussed putting a chan­de­lier or an­other dec­o­rati ve piece in the quadru­ple-height atrium, but ul­ti­mately we thought the vol­ume speaks for it­self,” af­firmed both Squire and Kemp. The seam­less col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the two is best ap­pre­ci­ated here: the soar­ing 18 -me­tre­high domed ceil­ing is punc­tu­ated with an in­ge­nious LED light sculp­ture, com­plete with 32 dif­fer­ent de­tails draw­ing from May­fair’s his­tory and can be pro­grammed to show­case eight light­ing con­cepts.

THOUGHT­FUL FLOUR­ISHES

Apart from the out­stand­ing ar­chi­tec­ture and in­te­ri­ors, what re­ally sets Clarges May­fair apart is its un­wa­ver­ing com­mit­ment to en­sur­ing that its res­i­dents live well, a re­sult of Bri­tish Land’s mantra of “be­ing thought­ful be­yond brick and mor­tar”. “We want this place to be the ul­ti­mate co­coon for res­i­dents,” shares Tay­lor, who ex­plained why they in­vested in com­pre­hen­sive well­ness fa­cil­i­ties in­clud­ing a spa­cious gym, a ded­i­cated spa, and a 25-me­tre stain­less steel in­door pool— ameni­ties that even five-star ho­tels in London strug­gle to pro­vide. Well-be­ing is of para­mount im­por­tance here, and this is also r ein­forced by the ser­vice on hand. Clarges May­fair is staffed by notable hos­pi­tal­ity pro­fes­sion­als led by Si­mon Bath, Di­rec­tor of Res­i­dences, and his deputy Lisa Carl­man, for­merly House Man­ager at Buck­ing­ham Palace. With their com­bined ex­per­tise in han­dling the most lux­u­ri­ous res­i­dences and pri­vate guests, they are more than ca­pa­ble in man­ag­ing a t eam equipped to an­swer to ev­ery beck and call. “We hire peo­ple who have the in­nate abil­ity to be ob­ser­vant, know how to an­tic­i­pate, but most of all, who ar e just gen­uinely nice,” shares Bath. Carl­man adds, “We want our team to be that con­stant for the res­i­dents. This is their home, and they ought to feel warmly wel­comed.”

PRIME TIME

“The bot­tom line is there’s nowhere like May­fair,” stressed the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Wetherell, a real es­tate agent who spe­cialises in the area. And although he is ex­pected to sing this neigh­bour­hood high praises, the re­cent evo­lu­tion of May­fair into a creative haven make his words ring true. While seen as lack­ing in a cool fac­tor then, May­fair is cur­rently un­der­go­ing a re­nais­sance, at­tract­ing younger chefs, artists, and de­sign­ers to call this place home. Clarges May­fair, with its ef­fort in en­sur­ing it’s a solid part of the com­mu­nity, is well-placed to en­joy this creative surge. With only a hand­ful of apart­ments left in the build­ing wait­ing for their own­ers and no guar­an­tee that May­fair is yet again go­ing to have this in­flux of homes, there’s no bet­ter time to roll the dice, stake your claim and live in this cul­tured and his­toric slice of the city.

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP Each of the 34 apart­ments en­joys am­ple space and nat­u­ral light plus mas­ter­ful views of the city; Martin Kemp cre­ated in­ge­nious lay­outs with deca­dent in­te­ri­ors; the soar­ing atrium pro­vides an el­e­gant back­drop in which to ar­rive

THIS PAGEWith a neu­tral palette and rich Art De­coin­spired de­tails, the en­trance im­parts a sense of grandeur; the stair­case leads to the res­i­dents lounge equipped with a cin­ema, meet­ing rooms and well­ness fa­cil­i­tiesOP­PO­SITE PAGEWell­ness is a big part of Clarges May­fair, which fea­tures a 25-me­tre pool, spa and gym; ar­chi­tects Squire & Part­ners cre­ated a struc­ture that sits in har­mony with the listed build­ings sur­round­ing it

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOPGour­mands are sure to en­joy the gen­er­ous kitchen space; over­look­ing Green Park, this be­d­room is a co­coon of calm; the Martin Kem­pde­signed liv­ing area show­cases his mas­tery of lux­ury de­sign; en­veloped by green­ery on all sides, Clarges May­fair is an oa­sis in cen­tral London

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