May­fair’s east side story is re-mas­tered

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

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

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