We were invited to redesign the internal common spaces of a residential block of flats in Hampstead, London.
The local area and typical user profile of the flat owners and tenants, directed the design approach towards a balanced, calm and quality feel, aiming to give a positive feeling to all residents and visitors.
The property consists of the ground floor and 3 further floors above. The project scope included all corridors, the back and front staircases, hallways and lift lobbies. The existing interiors were in a very run down condition, therefore all owners and tenants wanted the works to progress fast, without compromising the consultation process and design thinking.
The base build has some structural and fabric issues which could not be addressed within the limits of the available budget, nor without the building undergoing major refurbishment and being unoccupied.
Following discussions with the clients, the project’s anticipated lifecycle should be 10-15 years of good condition.
The design process included the creation of user profiles; we include these as part of the process to ensure the design addresses and achieves the wellbeing of users. Using an evidence-based approach, the user profiles directed the design proposals and, at the same time, enabled the clients to become aware of the reasons behind the selection of finishes or features.
The local area and typical user profile of the flat owners and tenants directed the design approach towards a balanced, calm and quality feel, ensuring it was harmonious with the various styles found in the flats. The common areas take residents or visitors along a warm, friendly and visually beautiful journey experience. This was critical in the key project aims.
The same look was kept throughout all spaces, with variations to the lighting or small topical details that support either wayfinding or journey experience. The allocation of some features (staircase panelling) and carpet sections (dual approach) was intended for durability, maintenance and part-refurbishment in the future.
We strongly believe that good lighting design is critical in the success of all interiors, so we integrated the talented lighting designer Roberto Serra of Match Lighting into our team. We developed a concept that aimed at bridging older architecture with a contemporary look, extending the interior’s life into the future decade.
The lighting was designed to support the wellbeing of users by having a very low but present illumination in dark spaces, and to create a comfortable feel approaching dark spaces alone at night. The allocation of ‘daylight’ effect coloured lamps internally provide a freshness and link to ‘the outside’ reducing any feelings of depth and providing a lighter touch. The design was supported by presence detectors, LED fittings throughout and the effective allocation of lighting in spaces and surfaces. It was created to both perform the task while also adding visual and aesthetic beauty.
All materials, products and fittings were designed and specified along sustainable criteria. Costs were within the project budget, environmental impacts were recognised and reduced on all the important issues, and the wellbeing of users has been supported, physically and emotionally.