TG-Studio’s suave interior design of a Penthouse on the doorstep of London’s thriving financial district.
This rather handsome, new-build London penthouse apartment by Berkeley Homes is built on top of an historic Edwardian building in Aldgate.
“Our aim was to create a warm, comfortable home whilst still being luxurious, contemporary and organic” says Griem. “As the penthouse is a new-build on top of a refurbished Edwardian building, the approach to the interior was of particular significance to me. I knew it had to be treated differently in order not to undermine the character of the older parts of the building.”
Thomas’s idea for the design was based on the concept of photography inspired by the views over the city. He has used the architecture of the windows to frame these vistas, seen most prominently from the sitting room where a 12 meter wide window, leads onto an elegantly furnished balcony providing a panoramic view over rooftops.
One of the most tone-defining features is the wood clad wall in the main living space. The stained oak is the same as the flooring that Griem has extended to run up to the ceiling on one end. It gives this space a certain mid-century retro, gentleman’s smoking room feel. It is a warm but unusual touch that could be too imposing or even too retro (à la Abigail’s party!) but the unique pairing with an ultra contemporary storage and TV unit keeps it of the moment.
‘The oak clad wall created a special surface on which we hung the bespoke cabinet,’ describes Griem. ‘In contrast to the organic properties of the wood on the wall, we used harder and richer materials for the cabinet: Matt white lacquer, polished arabascato marble and fake blue shagreen leather.’
And the addition of suave, somewhat masculine furniture choices like the Papillo armchair from B&B Italia, Glas Italia coffee table and Flexform’s oversized Grandemare sofa give it a man-cave-esque edge, most likely to appeal to the city bankers who would be perusing and hopefully inhabiting it.
The dining area has an similarly moody charcoal textured wallpaper, and a statement monochrome Skygarden suspension light by Flos above the Arflex Octopus table. Matthew Williamson’s graphic Peacock rug, from The Rug Company, lightens the palette and gives a little bit of decoration to the dark block colours and shapes.
The other end of this open plan space houses the kitchen, where Griem applied more lighting and lighter tones for efficiency reasons. ‘I believe that every room deserves a different level of mood and lighting. For example, where a corridor can carry a lot more mood as the only task it fulfils is to travel through, – however for practicality a kitchen must be bright and light,’
As you move upstairs the colour palette changes and becomes more neutral, with more of a minimal aesthetic; another move to engage the city worker who needs a sleeping quarter that is calm, collected and a retreat away from the intensity of the city.
The pure white bedrooms have Foscarini bedside lights and accents of lime green here and there. A few more mid-century moments make an appearance, supplied by the canaletta walnut dressing table, a semi-circular design by Giovanna Azzarello entitled Vanity for Porada. And then there’s a George Nelson home desk, another walnut piece with colour pop shelf dividers, a reproduction of Nelson’s 1958 design.
‘I am particularly excited about the master en- suite,’ says Griem, ‘There’s a large, white freestanding tub (main image) that sits in front of a magnificent full end-wall window so that when you sit in it, you’re essentially a part of the cityscape. It weighs 300 kilograms and it took six men to carry it up seven floors!’
Griem has packed in a whole lot of beautiful and classic design into this two level penthouse, as well as plenty of character and inspiration from an era built around the prestige of the business man. Cleverly, the lower floor is something of a stylishly moody, man-cave and the upper space a calming, tranquil retreat to escape the hustle and bustle below.