Commerical Residential Development by Verve.
The conversion of The Market Building in Brentford was an exciting and extensive project carried out for Verve, a small, innovative housing developer. The project involved turning what had been offices into swanky residential apartments fitted out on a tight budget.
Verve’s previous developments in London had been more up-market. By contrast, their objective in Brentford was to sell affordable units in an up-and-coming area, and to sell to real residents, not landlords. Because many of the apartments were necessarily small, it was decided to include a number of common areas for residents – a courtyard garden, cinema and a common-room with a hot desking/coffee shop feel.
The theme chosen was “Mad-Men” after the US TV series, which was of the same period as the original building and encapsulated a style consistent with Verve's commercial objectives. The aim was to appeal to a much younger market; hence the use of bright colours, modern materials and funky furniture including vintage re-used and re-upholstered items, all demonstrating that style does not have to be expensive.
Element Studio’s scope of work covered the design and full fit-out of two show flats and the common social areas, hallways, stairs and courtyard (with the garden designer). It also included the internal specification (no furniture) for all of the other apartments and the penthouses, encompassing flooring, lighting, wall colours, bathrooms and kitchens (with the kitchen designer). The show-flats were designed as a demonstration of what could be achieved on a limited budget, while the common areas are of course a permanent introduction to the building and cement it's style and desirability. Unique lighting detailing in the corridors for example creates interest and a sense of space, and unifies the style, and the “coffee shop” is an immediate welcoming statement on entering the building for the first time.
You can see Camilla talking about the design here.