Promoted, not inaccurately, as the most prestigious new residential development in London,195-199 Knightsbridge occupies a site opposite Knightsbridge Barracks, formerly occupied by a massive and mediocre 1950s office block.To the east are substantial late-Victorian commercial buildings, up to 12 storeys tall, while to the west the scale is that of Georgian London.
Squire and Partners'strategy was to break down the new development (with a total of 204 units) into two distinct blocks, with the lower western block, stepping down towards Rutland Gate, clad partly in brick to produce a relatively solid look. The main block has a limestone-clad frame and full-height glazing panels within a boldly defined grid - the overall aesthetic is one of lightness and transparency. Two-storey penthouse pavilions, extremely lightweight and designed to take maximum advantage of magnificent views, animate the roofline. Mews houses and maisonettes frame a new garden square to the rear of the site.
The scheme, currently on site, has a calm and cool elegance and reflects the growing demand, from an international market, for top-of-therange London apartments of uncompromisingly modern design.