+44 20 7580 0611 design@grigoriou.co.uk





150 m2


We were invited to create a design proposal for the renovation of the ground floor reception and lift lobby areas of two residential blocks at Portman Towers, each containing 44 flats.

The flats are predominately owned by companies and individuals based overseas, mostly in the Middle East, who spend the summer months in the UK. However, there is also a significant number of full time residents, many of whom have lived at the property for a long time.

Each block has its own ground floor reception and lift lobby area which is staffed by porters on a 24 hour basis. The reception areas were last refurbished in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s and are in need of a refurbishment.

The design concept needs to respond to the needs of the following user groups: the full time resident, the traveller resident, the visitor, the maintenance and delivery people. The style must be neutral in subject to encompass the wide variety of cultures and ages but also character-full.

Considering the various users and their lifestyles, the design solution needed to work on two levels: functionally and aesthetically. The proposed design directs users into the space without hassle, through the installation of a timber paneled wall and directional lighting, immediately providing a strong point of reference.

Along the way and towards the lift lobby, users can glimpse the latest pictures and artwork depicting the locality’s character. The patterned areas offer aesthetic interest while the playful glimpses of the matt metallic shapes twinkle at the viewer while on the move.

Information on the flat screens provides local and international news, current events and activities in local Marylebone or London, or information on the performance of the buildings themselves, providing users and residents some control and an opportunity for interaction.

The materials and products proposed in the design consider the variety of tenants, their cultures and the reasons they have a home in London. The concept has been designed to work effectively for both day and night.

Special attention was given to the experience of entering the site and the Block entrances themselves; a sense of ‘territorial sovereignty’ for the Block residents was lacking and the design proposal included the creation of a simple Brand Motif that ‘frames the community‘ in which the residents belong.