No.1 Grosvenor Square’s newly revealed apartments perfect for entertaining
A team of expert architects and designers breathe new life into No.1 Grosvenor Square, the prestigious London address by developers Lodha UK
No.1 Grosvenor Square is one of London’s most recognisable addresses – formerly the home to the American Embassy in London and neighbour to the later US embassy home by modernist architect Eero Saarinen at 24 Grosvenor Square. Now the prestigious historic London building at No.1 Grosvenor Square is being reinvented as residential, with Eric Parry Archtiects overseeing the architecture and more design work unfolding inside by globally acclaimed firms. The transformation includes this newly revealed apartment interior design by developer Lodha UK’s expert design team.
The building’s past life was a huge inspiration to Blandine de Navacelle, Lodha UK’s creative director, who oversaw the works. ‘In its past life as an embassy, the building would have hosted many a party and evening soirée,’ she says. ‘Grosvenor Square has also long been the centre of London’s social set; Oscar Wilde used to live on the square and was infamous for his parties. I wanted Residence 4.3 to nod to this, and to create the perfect place to entertain. The apartment, in terms of proportion and layout is a tribute the 18th century European lifestyle, where people wanted to host big parties and display their art collection.’
Creating a space that is perfect for receiving guests was important; as was design personality and comfort. ‘I didn’t want the apartment to feel like a hotel,’ continues de Navacelle. ‘It needed to have the same luxurious finish, but I wanted it to be warmer and brighter, with more personality – and feel like a home. You can see this in the way colour is used throughout the apartment – we really experimented with patterns and palettes in each room and I think the effect is really warm and enveloping.’
There is colourful hand-painted wallpaper in the dining room by Fromental; an antique French art deco side console in the dining room; and bespoke displays by Marcus Wells of Haviland Designs, which all speak to that individualised approach. It was also key to ensure that spaces feel generous, and to balance intimate areas (such as a home study) and grander indoor and outdoor rooms, geared towards entertaining. Feature elements add fun twists and a unique identity to the whole. ‘I personally designed the huge brass convex disc in the hallway. This took months to design and was eventually crafted in Italy by a specialist. The idea was to play with light and reflection as you travel down that long corridor and into the living room,’ says de Navacelle.
The restoration of the structure involved similarly careful orchestration. The architects oversaw the delicate dismantling of the neo-Georgian façade, which was then painstakingly reconstructed brick by brick, in order to enable new ceiling heights and all the mod-cons a contemporary residence needs inside. Meanwhile, international design firm Yabu Pushelberg created concepts for more apartment options on site.
‘No.1 Grosvenor Square is an unrivalled set of residences on London’s finest garden square. Our work has been to completely modernise this building, replacing it with a contemporary construction that transforms its former diplomatic function to create an accessible component of the urban fabric,’ says architect Eric Parry. §