25.4.2014

Mayfair House, in London, UK

Squire and Partners approached their commission to design a private house as a crafted building, sensitive to its Mayfair Conservation Area context but with a unique contemporary presence.

Sited at a junction of streets and views, and being physically linked to a listed Georgian wall at the termination of Chesterfi eld Mews facing Curzon Street, the building responds to a variety of contexts and viewpoints.

The project involved the retention of an existing 18th century façade facing Waverton Street, and the design of a new building comprising three linked volumes to create a unique home in central Mayfair. The accommodation provides five bedrooms, a swimming pool, gymnasium, cinema, rooftop pavilion and two separate roof terraces. Construction involved sandwiching the retained façade between two steel frames which was then suspended while piling and construction of the lower ground fl oor took place. This fl oor then became a platform from which excavation of the two basement floors and construction of the concrete frame above could happen simultaneously, speeding up the weather tightness of the site and fast-tracking the programme.

The east and west portions of the building are fi nished with a stucco render to match the existing retained Waverton Street façade, with full height bronze framed windows of traditional Georgian proportions. A discreet Cotswold Buff brick façade with oak framed windows faces the more utilitarian Red Lion Yard.

The middle part of the building is set back from the restored listed wall on Chesterfi eld Gardens to create a lightwell drawing daylight into the central spaces, and features a playful bespoke leaf façade. The façade of this element takes inspiration from a facing building on Curzon Street, mirroring an established Virginia Creeper with a contemporary interpretation of leaves expressed as a metallic shingle. The PPC coated folded aluminium leaves – 4,080 in total – subtly vary in tones of bronze to mimic organic growth patterns, and clad a three storey elevation facing Curzon Street including a rooftop pavilion.

At the centre of the c-shaped building internally, a grand double height space gives views into the lightwell which features a living wall planted with a variety of native plants. Social spaces are located off the main double height volume, with the gymnasium, cinema and swimming pool situated in the two basement floors. Bedrooms are organised on the upper two levels, above which sits the stunning leafclad rooftop pavilion. Westminster planning committee described the proposal as ‘striking’ and ‘raising the bar for design within the borough’.

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