‘Pinnacle’ project for outstanding practice – Greybrook House Penthouse
Winning the Residential Design Over £1M category of the SBID International Awards 2017, crowned the achievement of Fenton & Whelan Architects, who described their outstanding Greybrook House Penthouse scheme in Mayfair as a ‘pinnacle’ project.
Fenton Whelan designed a multi-unit, boutique, residential development, blending the Art Déco style of the building with contemporary living.
Entering the living space, bespoke furniture is framed by stained glass windows. Adjacent, the Bulthaup kitchen juxtaposes with the cool green breakfast room upholstery, creating an iconic entertaining space with a sumptuous bar area with backlit onyx.
The refined elegance of the master suite can be seen in the lacquered finish wardrobes and the Alcantara upholstered headboard, whilst the master ensuite is framed by the Noir Saint Laurent bookmatched feature wall and marbled pattern flooring.
Four further ensuite bedrooms feature upholstered headboards, bookmatched marble and bespoke joinery.
A beautiful marble staircase leads to a private roof terrace with views of London’s iconic skyline, and a second formal terrace is situated to the rear and features decking and frameless glass balustrading.
Sanjay Sharma Founder of Fenton Whelan Architects said: “The building was originally a Grade B office block owned by a government pension fund, and we saw the potential to create a conversion of this into a beautiful Art Déco apartment block in a wonderful location near Claridge’s and Bond Street.
“We bought the freehold of the building in 2013 and it took about two years to negotiate the exit of the existing tenants, undertake the design work and obtain planning permission for the scheme. This included a lot of careful discussion with the heritage authorities. We were also fortunate in that we were allowed to add height to the building, adding a modern Art Déco extension to the roof and converting the existing roof into a roof terrace – the only one of its type in the area.”
He added that it was decided that the interiors should reflect the heritage and exterior architecture of the building and its location. Art Déco has been a theme used by the practice within their interior designs for over 10 years, so the project was a natural fit and an exciting opportunity to create an updated and modern vision within a perfect architectural masterpiece of the era.
One of the greatest challenges of working within such a building was respecting the heritage features, whilst delivering accommodation which is useful and pragmatic in the modern context.
For example, the existing historic lift cores had to be retained, and it was also necessary to reproduce from scratch the original form of Crittall style windows in a steel construction – which required commissioning, custom designing and manufacturing modern windows which both resembled and used the same materials as the original window fittings, whilst also delivering modern convenience.
A team of designers worked on the scheme for a long time with the aim of delivering something truly extraordinary which would be an ambassadorial development for the practice.
The amount of time involved and the quality of materials used were actually of a standard usually reserved for a private commission for a project of high net worth. The amount of care and detail involved was probably unique among such developments – and this is possibly one of the factors involved in winning the award.
Sanjay Sharma concluded: “We knew that we were in competition with design teams from all over the world and did not really have any expectations. We were therefore thrilled to be selected from such a strong global field.
“This was an incredibly important project for me personally, because we were able to take what was a very tired and disused asset and to demonstrate the full strength not only of our design practice, but our firm as a whole in being able to successfully negotiate a difficult situation of long-sitting tenants and bring back to life a real architectural masterpiece. At the same time we were able to flex to the utmost our creative capabilities. For us this has been one of the pinnacle projects which we have executed.”