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SHH wins go-ahead for black-fronted Mayfair home


Hammersmith-based SHH Architects has won permission to convert a 1960s office in Mayfair’s Park Place into a black-fronted home inspired by 10 Downing Street

Approved by Westminster City Council, the seven-storey scheme in the St James’s Conservation Area features a double-storey oriel bay window and has been designed as ‘a 21st-century interpretation of a traditional Mayfair home’.

The ‘dark’ palette for the scheme includes Fairface black bricks with charcoal pointing; polished granite for the oriel window bay and the window portals; and frames and charcoal black zinc for the standing seam roof.

The ground floor will be clad in flamed-finish granite with bands and recesses which, according to the practice, reference ‘Victorian rusticated entrance levels’.

Inside the ground floor includes a lobby, formal dining room, kitchen, study, toilets, cloakroom, staircase and lift. Above this on the first floor are a formal reception room, family room, family kitchen, toilet, lift, stair and rear terraced area. On the second floor are the master suite with dressing rooms, wardrobes, bath and shower rooms, lift and stair, while the third floor houses another two en suite bedrooms, linen and dressing rooms.

The fourth floor will have a mezzanine level featuring bedrooms three and a four, along with an air-conditioning condenser room.

Due to start on site in January 2014, the project is set to finish in late 2015.

Architect’s view

SHH chairman David Spence

‘The street already boasts a highly-eclectic mix of Georgian, Victorian and late 20th century buildings but the Victorian properties still dominate. We wanted to pay our respects to the building’s context and distilled the main elements of the street elevation to create its proportions, but at the same time we also sought to create a unique and stand-out contemporary property.

‘The black brick frontage was inspired by 10 Downing Street, as a premier London address and visual icon, whilst the crafted metalwork, which will be a major design feature of the building’s street presence, along with contemporary versions of gaslights on either side of the entrance door, recalls the glamour of a grand late Victorian or arts & crafts Mayfair home.’

‘Efficient use of the site and the maximisation of natural light ingress to the house were our priorities in the design.

‘The main habitable rooms are therefore located on the street side, where natural lighting is strongest, with mainly night-time usage rooms located to the rear, separated by a main circulation core. We were also able to be quite creative with the rear elevation of the property because it is not visible by the public and therefore subject to fewer constraints. This also allowed us to surmount the challenge of the dominant rear wall.’


Project data

Architects: SHH
Location: St. James, Mayfair
Type Of Project: Private Residence (Development)
Structural Engineers: Engineers HRW
Project Architect: Gary Coetser & Anna Sawon
Design Team: David Spence, Graham Harris & Gary Coetser
Client: Confidential
Funding: Confidential
Tender date: October 2013
Start on site date: January 2014
Contract duration: 18 months (Estimated)
Gross internal floor area: Approx. 673m²
Form of contract and/or procurement: Traditional
Total cost: Confidential        
M&E consultant: Slender Winter Partnership
Quantity surveyor: Michael Edwards & Associates
Planning supervisor: Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners
Lighting consultant: NA
Main contractor: to be confirmed

Street railing and modern gaslmap concept for Park Place by SHH Architects

Street railing and modern gaslmap concept for Park Place by SHH Architects



Readers' comments (2)

  • I wonder why this locality was designated a Conservation Area? Variety might be preferable to total uniformity, but isn't an apparently black building here more than slightly incongruous, and arguably just representative of what might well turn out to be a short-lived fashion fad?

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  • FLOW

    Yes these guys have been swotting up on what's trendy. Black houses are indeed the current design fashion.


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