Mayfair’s east side story is re-mastered
tionally famous arts district.
Burlington Gate has several of the hallmarks of the Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners practice. With its strong linear composition and neutral tones it is less Neo-Bankside and more One Hyde Park, but much smaller than either.
It is resolutely masculine both inside and out, with interior architecture by MSMR featuring dark woods, cool colours and industrial style details. Everything is absolutely immaculate, so much so it feels as if you’ve walked in a computer generated image of an interior.
“We start from the location to establish the DNA of the project. This is an urban, architectural space, to which we wanted to add depth and layers,” says Georgina Wood, of the David Collins Studio which furnished the penthouse. Current residents, almost all of whom are British, won’t be bothered by the lack of homeliness: “They regard Burlington Gate more as a boutique hotel rather than a home,” says Nicholas Gray, marketing director of Native Land.
To this end, there are all the expected services: a residents’ lounge, valet parking and the only Bodyism branded gym in a residential development. And of course, there’s the 24hour concierge, who can dash to Savile Row for a shirt. Residents will also be next-door to the spectacular sideshow on May 19 when the Royal Academy unveils its new galleries and the newly conserved façade of Burlington Gardens, to celebrate its 250th anniversary.
“This part of Mayfair between Bond Street and Piccadilly has not really been seen as a place to live until now. People would go to Park Lane or Grosvenor Square,” says Gray. “But with its restaurants, shops, tailors and art, it’s a more interesting area than the sleepy western end of Mayfair.”
Remaining units at Burlington Gate include five two-bedroom apartments priced from £4.5million, and the penthouse (price on application), through Strutt & Parker and Savills. This works out at £3,850 per sq ft and is in line with the average for this super-prime area. If Gray’s “somnambulant” western Mayfair is in the Grosvenor Estate’s territory, east Mayfair bordering Piccadilly is the buzzing territory of the Pollen Estate. It owns most of Cork Street and Savile Row; the successful revamp by Grosvenor around Mount Street and Berkeley Square and now under way in Grosvenor Square, will be repeated.
Native Land, the Pollen Estate, the Savile Row Bespoke Association and Westminster Council have all contributed to a strategy for east Mayfair that will transform this side by removing kerbs, so that the streets, newly planted with trees, will look broader and more pedestrian friendly than at present.
While sales of the apartments have been brisk at Burlington Gate, there are still no takers for gallery spaces, which, unlike the light-filled building, are rather dark and perhaps best suited to sculpture. Given the statement about “living in an art space” this is a sensitive issue.
According to the Save Cork Street campaign, which fought the planning application tooth and nail, if no gallerists come forward it will mean the spaces could revert to luxury shops.
“As yet, we know of no galleries committed to taking the spaces, “says Georgina Adam, editor-at-large of The Art Newspaper. “But even so the area remains London’s oldest art district.”
Burlington Gate is the first arcade scheme in London for this architect but more may follow, as creating public realm spaces is now integral to most large planning applications.
Architecture practice Pilbrow & Partners has four on the go, including a more traditional-looking arcade with a vaulted ceiling that is part of Nightingale House, a residential scheme on Curzon Street. Nightingale House will offer 32 apartments, some with views over Green Park, with access to a private garden. Full details of the scheme which is at the planning consent stage will be released later this year.
The old Burlington Arcade
Inside a flat in Burlington Gate, main; the Royal Academy, right