Design is an ever-growing industry with grey areas in the crossover of responsibilities between Architects, Interior Architectural Designers and Interior Designers. Being part of a multi-disciplined team at Jigsaw and working in conjunction with other talented architectural practices, we have the benefit of each other’s knowledge and creative input throughout all design stages. As Interior Architectural designers we find our role is pivotal to the entire design team; we draw information from other professionals, piece together the final design ensuring the spaces are functional as well as aesthetically beautiful.
With a conversion project, especially one with an iconic building, it is important to be mindful of the original architect’s design. Currently we are designing a conversion of The Metropolitan – a 1930’s listed police station in Poole – the building’s original heritage and unique character is something that as designers we have a duty to uphold, but also have the pleasure of being inspired by! That’s why the style chosen for this project had to draw on the building’s existing character and the specification had to be justified. But which style did we deem fitting…?
Industrial Chic! The preservation of exposed brick, subway tiles, and cast iron radiators were formerly reserved for the likes of warehouse conversions and quirky corporate premises, but has more recently made its’ way into high end residential spaces. The increasing popularity of this style emerged from the 1970’s in Manhattan, where a trend was set converting run-down lofts into larger open-plan living spaces. Aesthetically speaking, this trend focuses on form; a collection of shapes and connections. With Poole police station being from the Art Deco era, the interior will be able to draw inspiration from the geometric angels and rustic bare bones of the building.
A prime example of where industrialism can influence a scheme so heavily is the lighting design.
From an early stage, as Interior Architectural Designers we think about the space and how someone will be living in it. Talking to our show home team on furniture placement, we ensure that key areas are highlighted rather than simply placing a flood of down-lights throughout that have no reference or meaning to the space or furniture it will contain. As you can see below, lighting is positioned in front of fitted furniture and even internal doors to provide a wall wash effect of light. The fittings themselves include matt black track systems, suspended down-lights and pendants with exposed filament bulbs. Where some windows are missing from bathrooms, tiling is carefully placed to enable a dark feature tile directly under an LED strip, giving an illusion of natural bright light into the space.
The kitchen is arguably ‘King,’ as one of the most important and visually impactful spaces in a home, the balance has to be right to complete the scheme successfully. Working closely with the contracting team from Ecovision, at The Metropolitan we have been able to create fully bespoke kitchens by selecting a combination of quality finishes including lacquered doors, marble and stone tops for a hint of luxury, coupled with concrete and wood surfaces to emphasise the rustic image. This is where luxury meets industrial… where polished meets earthy.
But a scheme as bold as this needs warmth and comfort to avoid seeming too cold or masculine. The beauty of utilitarian industrial design is that if someone is not ready to fully commit, they can simply incorporate pieces here and there to illustrate an industrial chic feel. With wooden palettes modelled into a coffee table, or old steel cabinets used as storage; the creative opportunities in which materials such as these can be recycled and up-cycled are endless.
When it comes to The Metropolitan, visuals, mood boards, specification sheets and marketing speak alone are not enough for prospective buyers to truly visualise how they might make their house a home! We’ve designed a show home for people to see for themselves what we can create as a team from initial design stages right through to completion of a project.
Our show home design team have carefully selected appropriate soft furnishings which interjects splashes of geometric pattern and a predominant focus on texture, bringing warmth with chunky knits, furs and rugs. You hardly have to have a bouquet of brightly coloured flowers in every room to add a feminine touch! But by introducing plant pots, greenery, bamboo, or even herbs on display in the kitchen, the space will be personified with life.