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AJ Specification 04.12 – Kitchens & Bathrooms

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Case studies of 2 Hyde Park Square by Hawkins\Brown,Penthouse by Dan Brill Architects and Sonnemann Toon Architects’ Kensington reisdence in London

Editorial - Felix Mara

Some architects, for example Barbara Weiss and Fergus Henderson (of St John restaurant fame), are great cooks. But as many are criticised for being unable to design kitchens from a user’s point of view and many fail to take the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and design decent bathrooms. Legislation, such as the Local Government and Housing Act (1989) covers essential provision, suchas requiring suitably located fixed baths, showers and WCs in all dwellings - some of us remember when alternative arrangements were commonplace. Beyond this, even with modest budgets, the vital ingredient is the architect’s imagination.

We’ve decided to cover a project, rather than a finished building, as our main case study. Hawkins\Brown’s 2 Hyde Park Square in London’s Bayswater, which will be completed this month, imaginatively reinterprets a 1960s hotel as a high-end residential development - an ideal vehicle for this month’s exploration of kitchen and bathroom design and specification. Our second case study is a penthouse conversion in Kensington, which Dan Brill Architects describes as ‘an exercise in understated opulence.’The trilogy of west London projects is completed by Sonnemann Toon Architects’ reconfiguration of a Victorian terrace house, also in Kensington, which has been reinvigorated by the qualityof its new kitchen and bathrooms.

2 Hyde Park Square, Bayswater, London Hawkins\Brown

2 Hyde Park Square, Bayswater, London Hawkins\Brown

2 Hyde Park Square, Bayswater, London Hawkins\Brown

Hawkins\Brown are currently on-site with the redevelopment of a 1960s block into high value flats in the Bayswater conservation area of Westminster.
The existing building was stripped back to its concrete frame and remodelled to create 36 new residential apartments with underground parking. A lightweight rooftop extension has been added to house a large penthouse flat with spectacular views across the West End and Regent’s Park.

We worked closely with the client, Liberty Properties, and agents, Savills, to deliver high-quality apartments. The interiors provide residents with warm oak and limestone finishes and state-of-the-art audio visual and lighting capacities. Each kitchen and bathroom is individually planned to incorporate contemporary fittings and fixtures.

Morag Morrison, associate director, Hawkins\Brown

Penthouse Kensington, London Dan Brill Architects

This project creates a distinguished two- storey apartment interior within a converted 1960s office building in central London. The project relies on clean lines and a carefully composed palette of materials to provide a neutral setting for a discerning client’s art and furniture collection.

Accommodation is arranged across two floors. The upper level is open-plan, providing an office and living room that opens on to a roof terrace with rooftop views of London. The lower level accommodates a master bedroom, separate his-and- hers dressing rooms and bathrooms, a wine cellar, kitchen and dining room.

Bathroom walls are lined with full- height sheets of white back-painted glass and each bathroom features a different finish. Most noteworthy is the ‘her’ bathroom, which features an unusual glass laminate that incorporates an interlayer of shattered glass backed with mirror.

Dan Brill, founding director, Dan Brill Architects

Kensington residence, London Sonnemann Toon Architects

This 1860s, five-storey, stucco-fronted terrace house in Kensington was entirely reconfigured and refurbished internally. The lower ground floor was extended to accommodate a new kitchen/living area and guest accommodation.

The contemporary interior is sympathetic to the building’s period features. Muted, cool colours are married with natural timber, ceramics and traditional decorative plasterwork to create an elegant family home in a period setting adapted for contemporary living.

Alongside the traditional reception rooms at ground floor level, the live-in kitchen forms the showpiece of the residence. The design seamlessly accommodates a variety of new sustainable technology, such as solar and under-floor heating, whole- house ventilation with heat recovery, a grey water system and low energy lighting.

Kerstin Sonnemann, partner, Sonnemann Toon Architects

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