Top Billing

by Becky Hoh in Interior designed homes

Roland Hartmann’s duplex London penthouse was designed as an elegant, beautifully finished London retreat for his client and family.

As a second home for this high profile client in the entertainment industry, this grand duplex penthouse apartment on London’s South Bank was to be a retreat for its occupant to work, rest and play in. Hartmann Designs was set with the task of converting two separate apartments, situated over two floors, into this three bedroom open-plan pad.

As with the majority of Hartmann’s work, many aspects were custom made, including the cabinetry, staircase and much of the furniture, manufactured in the UK to Hartmann’s designs. The lead-times of these bespoke elements were sometimes as long as three months, which meant that the drawings were to be approved at the same time as the construction plan to ensure a smooth running process. Where possible, Hartmann likes to insist that the client takes part in, and is present in, all major decisions before building starts, so as to minimise surprises and changes during construction, which incur delays and jumps in cost.

“We asked the client not to come to site two weeks before completion. Then on the hand over to him and the family we had completely finished and dressed the apartment with accessories, flowers and of course a bottle of Champagne.”

“A major emphasis within the client’s brief was to create a large open plan living, eating, working and entertainment area, with three luxury bedrooms, each with its own en-suite bathroom,” managing director, Roland Hartmann, explains of the brief. “Finishes and materials throughout the residence were to be of the highest quality, with specialist features aiding a completely modern and elegant way of life.”

With the open plan request being so important, Hartmann Designs introduced a large gallery landing which flooded the large space with natural light. They have illuminated this further with three skylights lit by fibre optics creating a starlight effect at night. Lutron controlled lighting and window treatments and the ‘Control 4’ AV system also add to the luxury feel. Imported Arezzo marble from Brazil, never before applied in the UK, was used on the lower level floors and floor to ceiling timber paneling on the walls creates a real wow factor entrance.

The most striking elements appear in the living area, with the expansive space being the perfect arena to show them off. One key feature is the monolithic bar counter set in front of beautifully lit shelving. The counter was constructed using black granite and back-lit Carnelian semi-precious stone.

The floating, spiral staircase is constructed of glass and bronze and is enveloped by timber panelling with a recessed illuminated hand rail. Bold and graphic touches make for a modern take on elegance, including pieces from the client’s extensive artwork collection, such as the Butterfly paintings by South African artist Jeremy Franklin.

The decision was made for the bedrooms to be a little more pared back, with a neutral palette and a sanctuary type feel. The Master is the most glamourous with a custom made raw silk headboard, bespoke dresser with cream leather drawers and plush silk carpet. The third bedroom was designed especially for the client’s daughter, so Hartmann created a delicate feminine room with fun, vibrant fabrics. In her ensuite a mother of pearl washbasin was chosen to compliment the timber vanity console with a large walk in shower.

The finished apartment is a grown up party pad – versatile enough to be a family home but also a rather glamorous work station. Hartmann’s attention to detail and appreciation of the client’s requirements is clear. He enjoys the feeling of fulfilling the brief too, adding a ‘big reveal’ to his way of working. “We asked the client not to come to site two weeks before completion,” explains Hartmann proudly. “Then on the hand over to him and the family we had completely finished and dressed the apartment with accessories, flowers and of course a bottle of Champagne.”

Hartmann Designs  – hartmanndesigns.com


Recommended Editorials