Urban Outfitter

by Becky Hoh in Interior designed homes

MPD bring warmth and sophistication to Loft Living.

MPD London was commissioned to re-design an impressive loft apartment that occupies the top floors of a Victorian Grade II listed building, which was originally the headmaster of Rochelle Street School’s house, in vibrant and uber cool Shoreditch, East London.

‘The client had recently relocated from the Gold Coast in Australia to London,’ describes MPD creative director Maurizio Pellizzoni. ‘He wanted to create a luxurious yet masculine living space that was contemporary, modern, open plan and light while still retaining the industrial feel and history of the original building.’

‘As it is such an impressive feature, one of the main challenges that I faced was the bespoke staircase that connects the two floors.’

The apartment does indeed have striking industrial features, with the abundance of glass, disused chimney breast and steel air conditioning vent but it also has a real personality not only defined by that. The colour palette is sophisticated and interesting, it is not just the urban edge of the building that steals the show. Much of the two and a half year project was spent making sure the design remained sensitive to the original building and features and with that in mind, Pellizzoni chose contemporary materials and pieces that both complemented and softened such an industrial scheme.

One of the most striking elements is the bespoke white steel and glass ‘floating’ staircase designed and engineered by MPD London that leads up to the mezzanine bedroom, and then on to a small outdoor terrace.

‘As it is such an impressive feature, one of the main challenges that I faced was the bespoke staircase that connects the two floors,’ says Pellizzoni. ‘I spent months designing and engineering it from the original concept, and both the staircase and giant glass panels for the mezzanine bedroom wall had to be installed in the apartment by crane. The design process for the ‘floating’ staircase took time as I firstly had to work closely with the council to attain planning permission to link the two floors and then also approval from a structural engineer in order to create the floating bridge effect before production of the piece could begin. The result is more like a sculpture and not purely an everyday connection from floor to floor. I wanted a staircase that didn’t touch the walls and was more like bridge. Each step was made of steel that was bended, welded together and supported by the main core structure which runs from wall to wall.’

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The main living space has a subtle, masculine feel with accents of all shades of blue from aqua to navy, particularly highlighted by the overdyed rug from MPD’s own shop range. The flooring is bleached oak and all the seating is by B&B Italia who supplied much of the furniture specified. Indian Ocean were used for the slick, contemporary fireplace and there is plenty of artwork sourced from the artist community on the doorstep. The wooden fan above, alongside the overall aesthetic gives a dual feeling of perhaps the tropics and then of Tribeca New York, and that you could be loft living in any of the coolest capital cities in the world.

‘We decided to paint the ceiling grey to create the industrial feel, but also to give an extra layer of color which is also reflected in the kitchen colour,’ explains Pellizioni.

The kitchen by Poliform, with its white Corian surfaces and floating island unit, adds a very modern touch. It can be entirely shut away behind dark grey blue doors and is lit by a line of contemporary floor-level blue lighting. A large extractor hood by Varenna Piatta spans the whole length of the island.

The glass panels of the staircase also mirror those of the mezzanine bedroom wall to which it leads, creating an effortless and sleek continuation.

The glass of this bedroom is also an important element as it allows natural light to reach the bedroom and ensures that you can see through to various parts of the space from all angles.

A B&B Italia bed sits upon the PWC striped carpet and behind that there is a sheer wardrobe.  Then behind again is the luxury hotel standard master ensuite.

The flooring is poured resin, continuing the nod to industrial materials and all the organic shaped sanitary ware is by Boffi. Falper supplied the ceiling light and the double door mirrored wall cabinet in smoke grey lacquer.

The second bedroom, with study, has a cute mix of wall finishes in exposed painted bricks and slightly twee blue wallpaper from Designers Guild. The desk is a custom design and creation by MPD London.

Visible from the bedroom is the large terrace area decked out in Havwood’s anti-slip composite made of recycled plastic and bamboo, and lit with subtle LEDs.

This is a very cool apartment in both colour palette and personality, it is quietly confident rather than screaming for attention. The industrial features are undeniable and contribute to the hip factor but MPD have pushed its character to way beyond that with warmth, modern design that is both discreet, slick and of the moment.

If Shoreditch is the stomping ground of the Hipster, this apartment is perfectly located, but its one for a Hipster who has all grown up.


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