Norfolk by design
PUBLISHED: 06:45 02 June 2014
When flats were first built by the city council in Norwich in the 1950s and 1960s they were seen as affordable places to live. I remember, as a child, visiting my great grandparents who lived in a council flat on the 12th floor of Normandie Tower on Rouen Road and marvelling at the views - this included watching the football at Carrow Road before the stands were built blocking the view!
Over recent years there has been a lot of redevelopment of disused commercial buildings in Norwich turning warehouses, factories and hospitals into apartments creating some really interesting living space. For me, one of the most exciting conversions currently taking place is the Westlegate tower development. This city centre office block built in 1961 is being given a new lease of life by being
converted into luxury apartments with three new floors built on top, making it a 13-floor building. Each apartment takes up an entire floor however the duplex penthouse will take up the top two floors, having arguably the best views over the city.
I feel very privileged and excited to have been commissioned by the new owner to design the interiors for this apartment. As with any new build or conversion I start to plan the interior long before the walls are in place. The starting point therefore was to look at the architects plans to get a feel for the layout and to discuss with my client how they would like the space to work for him.
There are many preconceptions that everyone with a penthouse apartment wants it to be a slick, hard lined “bachelor pad”, with hot tubs and disco balls, but this is certainly not the case. My brief is to create a calm, relaxing home that is comfortable with informal entertaining areas with the “wow factor” created by installing statement features.
Researching the building and local area led to me creating a mood board that I then discussed with my client, explaining the thought process behind the chosen colour palette and inspiration taken from the grid-like façade and shields of the original architecture of the building that will influence the shapes and style of furniture and decorative elements.
When I design the interior of an apartment I always like to keep to a few base colours that run through the property so that you can walk seamlessly from one area to the next. In this instance, I have chosen taupe and brown shades teamed with warm toned metals. Indeed lots of different textures and contrasting materials are going to be layered together, such as split faced slate next to warm wools. I look forward to sharing with you how the project is progressing next month.