SBID member, Goddard Littlefair designs award-winning Private Apartment in London’s South Bank Tower
South Bank Tower, a new residential development by independent real estate firm CIT, is a London landmark building and the former HQ of publishing giants IPC Media. The 41-storey building has been extended upwards under CIT’s direction (it was originally built in 1972 as a 30-storey tower) and its layout and interior architecture completely redesigned by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. Leading luxury interior designers Goddard Littlefair have now completed a stunning, three-bed, 220 sq m duplex apartment within the new upper floors of the development, located on a prime, west-facing corner on levels 36 and 37. The interiors scheme won the Gold Award for Residential Interiors at the 2016 London Design Awards, awarded last month.
When it came to the interiors concept, the Goddard Littlefair design team sought to give the luxurious apartment character and detail through a sophisticated design scheme, which respects the building’s modernist heritage in terms of style, exercises restraint via simple forms and expresses a version of bespoke luxury that is revealed over time through subtlety and precise detailing. At the outset, Goddard Littlefair created the most dynamic layout possible to capitalise on the apartment’s spectacular views. This involved installing tall screens to create interest, subtle zoning and delineation within the double-height space. The screens measure 6.195m x 0.7m and have a liquefied bronze finish; each one was made in three sections and then assembled on site.
The apartment is arranged around a stunning, double-height living space, from where the view of the evening sunset over London’s west end through the huge-scale glass windows is spectacular and formed the initial design inspiration for the scheme, expressed in a colour spectrum of rusts and ochres, together with a secondary palette of greys, oysters and soft blues. To make the view absolutely central, a formal seating area was arranged right up against the glass with no TV screen. A striking hanging sculpture in the living space is a central feature of the design. Strong, beautiful, transparent and designed by Goddard Littlefair in conjunction with Jona Hoad, this beautiful sculpture compliments the interior colour scheme by refracting warm hues across the space as its catches the sun’s light.
The lounge area features completely bespoke furniture by Goddard Littlefair, including a contemporary, low-backed sofa with inset pads, rolled bolsters and recessed piping, upholstered in a burnt orange velvet from Elitis. Two rust-coloured tub chairs, wrapped on the outside in black and grey herringbone fabric and with cream detail piping, rotate 360°, so that the owners can pour a cocktail and take in the whole view from west to east. The tub chairs are upholstered in materials from the Metaphors range by Abbott & Boyd, whilst the cushions are in a teal blue fabric from Rubelli. Lights to either side of the sofa are by Donghia, featuring special shades with an acrylic diffuser covering section, so that the bare bulb can’t be seen from above.
Curtains here and throughout are very light and neutral, using oyster silk wool, together with ivory sheers. Goddard Littlefair Creative Director Richard McCready-Hughes explained ‘We didn’t want to compartmentalise the view or create any internal competition with it, so when it came to dressing the floor-to-ceiling glazing, the curtains we chose offer only a slight softening and insulation, in order to add warmth but not obscure the view.’
Directly behind the living area is a library space, demarcated by a bespoke, marble-topped console in Noir St Laurent marble, with striking veins of orange, black and grey, along with a chair by Giogetti. A freestanding bookcase to the rear of the library area was bespoke-designed in dark-stained oak on a bronze skirting plinth and measures 2.04m high x 2m wide, with horizontal shelving and ‘liquid metal’ uprights, as well as burnt orange leather bookstands and integrated lighting.
To the side of the library area is a seating/contemplation zone, with a Giogetti chair and footstool in soft tan leather and a small ‘origami’ table with a bronzed section. Here, the floor lamp is from Porta Romana, whilst a large white pot on the floor is from Jo Littlefair London. The wall covering in this area is a striae silk in grey (Michigan 62-707 by Stereo Wallcoverings).
To the right of the living area, also facing directly onto the Thames, the open-plan section of the lower floor of the apartment continues into a dining area, with a bespoke round dining table in book-matched walnut. ‘This is quite a contemporary detail, with the bookmatching done in quarters’, Richard McCready-Hughes noted, adding that ‘the table, which seats six, also features a scalloped edge and fine detailing to the legs.’ Chinaware is by Kelly Wearstler.
The first enclosed area on this floor is a winter garden space, designed as a mini-orangerie or contemporary version of a classic garden room. It includes a vertical living wall of succulents, giant lanterns and planters on the floor and has been dressed as an inside-outside study, with a comfortable armchair, side-table, cushion, throw and rug, making it the perfect spot to read a book in the fresh air (via sliding glass doors) and take in the stunning view of the Thames and London’s roof tops beyond.
Warm oak flooring throughout works well with the burnt orange colour scheme, with copper accessories – especially in the kitchen area – and detailing completing the theme of warmth. Copper is used within the central hanging sculpture and in a band around the Baroncelli chandelier over the dining table. Warmth is added in signature Goddard Littlefair style throughout via the layering of accessories, which include a range of handcrafted ceramic pinch pots with gold or copper detailing from Jo Littlefair London and pieces by Tom Dixon.
Artwork throughout the apartment makes witty reference to the building’s former life as King’s Reach Tower, the home of IPC Media, with iconic magazine covers and personalities from that era adorning the walls of the study, a further enclosed space on the apartment’s lower floor.
Art elsewhere in the scheme makes reference to cubist and modernist influences, such as the bronze ‘Rising Structure’ by Antonio Lopez Reche, located in the dining area and displayed on a Jo Littlefair London ‘Pimlico’ plinth. The scheme also features specially-commissioned artworks by Louise Seabrook, who also acted as the project’s art consultant.
On the upper floor of the duplex are two generous bedrooms, both en suite, along with a dressing room. Goddard Littlefair re-orientated the master bedroom from the original space plan so that it might face out towards the view, putting in extra closet space at the same time and extending the dressing room.
The master bedroom features a tranquil colour scheme, including lilacs, pinks, greys and deep aubergines, plus a bedspread and ombre-effect throw. A large-scale embroidered ‘sunburst’ artwork headboard above the bed picks up on this colourway and features lilacs and bronze.
The rug on the floor is bespoke, from Rimo and uses tone-on-tone silk with an interlocking graphic design. A dressing table is in a snakeskin texture embossed leather, with both a patent and suede feel in parts. Floor lamps are by Porta Romana, whilst the bedside cabinet lights were bespoke-made by Donghia to a Goddard Littlefair design.
‘The bedside lights are made from black marble and wood’, Richard McCready-Hughes commented, ‘with a geometric cubist feel, again referencing the modernist heritage of the building.’
The guest bedroom has a stronger colour scheme, taking the sunset colours from the floor below and mixing them with teals and greens. A cream swivel chair and console complete the bedroom furniture.
Goddard Littlefair is a member of the Society of British and International Design, the UK’s pre-eminent accrediting organisation for the interior design profession.
For more information, visit, www.sbid.org
Photos by Gareth Gardner