Retailer Ralph Lauren and furniture designer Chris Howe are in talks with property developer Marshall Street Regeneration to create interiors for a new penthouse complex in London’s Soho.
Marshall Street’s Blake Penthouses will consist of 37 large, open-plan apartments priced between £700 000 and £4m each. The penthouses will be marketed primarily at art collectors and artists, while a further 15 units will be social housing. The flats are being designed by architect Munkenbeck & Partners.
Patrick Blanc, Biotexture and the Eden Project are all in discussions with the property developer about designing a vertical garden in the building’s courtyard. One contender will eventually be appointed.
Marshall Street Regeneration is a consortium made up of landowner Vinyl Factory and Resolution Property.
The penthouse development will be part of the Vinyl Factory event space at the Soho property on Poland and Marshall Streets, which houses Vinyl Factory gallery, Vinyl Factory manufacturing, Phonica Records and Fact magazine.
Ross Lovegrove, design gallery Carpenter’s Workshop and Gallery Fumi are all considering exhibiting work in the Vinyl Factory arts and media centre as part of a planned six-month marketing campaign – called the Penthouse Project and branded by Vinyl Factory’s in-house team – to promote the development.
Marshall Street Regeneration hopes the penthouses will be complete by next April. The six-month programme will include four weeks of art and design exhibitions, as well as art and music events held in the Vinyl Factory complex event space.
‘We are hoping the branding campaign will create a buzz about the apartments, and people will be able to view them during the campaign,’ says Raphael Edwards, marketing director of Marshall Street Regeneration. ‘The location, on the border of Mayfair, means that people will be able to get the benefits of living in Mayfair at Soho prices.’
Purchasers will buy the penthouses as shells, allowing them to choose how many internal walls they would like in the space. Buyers will then have the opportunity to use the bespoke design service, possibly involving Lauren and Howe, to create the interiors, fixtures, fittings and furniture. Penthouse residents may be able to exhibit art in the Vinyl Factory’s gallery space.
‘We are not building a Barratt Homes-style development. This space is for art collectors and is about living artfully,’ says Edwards.
As part of the development, Marshall Street Regeneration will also restore the Marshall Street public swimming baths, famous for its arched, marble Art Deco roof. The baths would reopen to the public next year, for the first time since they were closed in 1997.
- Art collectors living in the complex will benefit from an intranet service in the Penthouse complex where they can post information about exhibitions
- The residents may be able to display art and host their own exhibitions in the Vinyl Factory’s gallery space