Having been contacted directly by the lead architect PLP Architecture and Interior architect MSMR Architects, we worked closely with both and supplied the ironmongery to all areas of the apartments, exclusive residential lounge, spa, front-of-house and back-of-house areas of the scheme.
Due to the rigorous building regulations ‘towers’ are now subjected to, post the Grenfell Tower tragedy, careful selection of performance hardware for the doors was vitally important and co-ordination with the door manufacturer was key to the success of the project.
As well as these obvious considerations, the project team were tasked with delivering a BREEAM ‘excellent’ building so a heavy emphasis was placed on the source and traceability of materials and products. We engaged with one of our UK manufacturers to deliver the full requirement of the trim door furniture with the rest of the products such as hinges and door closers coming from manufacturers in Europe, as opposed to further afield.
The finish for the ironmongery was stainless steel ‘Inox 316’ which uses a less-coarse ‘grit’ to produce a smoother variation of a typical satin or brushed stainless steel finish. Matching up to the client’s finish sample, all the trim furniture had a defined brush finish and being grade 316, it is the most resistant and contains a low carbon content, mitigating any risk of corrosion or damage to the finish through usage.
The lever furniture was bespoke manufactured based on a concept of strong linear lines, giving the handle a particular character and strength of presence. We developed this to be slightly over-sized compared to typical door furniture, making it more substantial against the backdrop of the door.
There was a desire for clean, straight lines so a square rose was specified to suit the handle design best with the escutcheons and bathroom turns to match. The bathroom turn was bespoke produced to be the same size as the neck of the lever handle.
Concealed hinges were selected at an early stage for the minimalist appearance and they were specified to suit the various fire rating and weights of doors to all the communal, apartment entrances and internal doors, with over 2,500 supplied in all.
We supplied all of the hardware to the door manufacturer for the apartment entrances so they could carry out a project-specific fire and PAS security door test using our products, which was successful. This included modifying the multipoint lock at the factory for a client request where the occupant could not be locked out so the typical latchbolt was replaced by a rollerbolt latch and custom strike plates produced to suit.
Also for the entrance doors, we manufactured bespoke pull handles and bell pushes and with importance placed on the visual detail of these doors, the keyway of the multipoint lock was positioned to allow the escutcheons to perfectly align with the top of the pull handle.
Continuing the bespoke manufacturing theme for the hardware, we produced over 500 custom ‘door-edge pulls’ for every cupboard within the apartments, designed to be in keeping with the square section detail of the lever handle, but reduced to be in proportion. These were produced at 500mm in length and to a projection that allowed them to be sufficient enough to open the cupboard doors, but equally discreet to maintain the minimal aesthetics of the cupboards.
As well as typical swing doors, there were numerous sliding, pocket doors supplied with plain flush pulls and flush pulls with a bathroom turn and release incorporated into them. Again, these were bespoke designed and manufactured for this project with the thumbturn sitting flush with the outer face of the pull, maximising the grip area but also enabling the doors to fully disappear into the wall when ‘open’.
Not all door locations within the apartments could take a door stop, either so in these scenarios, we utilised an overhead door limiting stay concealed in the top of the door.
In the communal areas, several doors were designed to be held-open in alignment with the finished wall for a discreet ‘part of the wall’ appearance so we supplied floor springs with ‘terrazo pan’ covers where the marble floor finish could be continued over the floor spring.
The minimalist theme continued to the riser cupboards with concealed hinges also being utilised on these with a subtle leading edge ‘pull’.
One Bishopsgate Plaza is a unique mixed-use landmark 43-storey tower, located in the heart of the City of London comprising a 237-room, 5* luxury hotel and 160 apartments also known as the ‘Sky Residences’. It is the first tower of its kind within the city to harmoniously fuse private residential apartments within a hotel and the first residential skyscraper permitted construction within ‘The City’ for decades.
The residential element of the development is arranged across the top 21 levels of the tower (Levels 21-41). Residents have access to the hotel services below and private amenity spaces above. These include a residents’ lounge, a bar and a generous external terrace with stunning views of the River Thames, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and Canary Wharf beyond.
The development marks the first of its kind in Europe and is considered to be the catalyst for the ‘new’ City of London, moving away from the mono-culture of the office towards a rich aggregate of different uses that brings together hospitality, residential, amenity spaces, new types of retail as well as innovative public realm and place making.
Part of the development is a new plaza – the largest along Bishopsgate which also encompasses Devonshire House which sits to the North of the tower. This 144 year old building has been restored and expanded, to seamlessly connect to the tower and includes shops, a restaurant, and a cocktail bar beneath a dramatic free-spanning glazed roof.
The general design of the apartments was driven by the interior architect MSMR and is inspired by the spectacular views across the city, together with the geometry, patterns and shapes of the PLP-designed tower. The sequence and proportion of spaces has been thoroughly considered and the selection of materials and finishes provide an elegant creative response, appropriate for contemporary City living.
With new buildings placing greater emphasis on sustainability and this development striving and achieving BREEAM Excellent, the architect was conscious for us to have a level of traceability to our material supply and where possible, manufacture and source products within the UK.
It was on this basis that we engaged with a UK manufacturer within our supply chain to produce the full project requirements of lever handles, bathroom turn/releases, escutcheons, edge pulls, pull handles, push plates and flush pulls.
The designs needed precision manufacturing to achieve the detail the client expected, so we worked with our manufacturer who is ISO9001 accredited to produce drawings for sign off and deliver the quality and consistency required within every apartment.
Additionally, we consciously sourced most of the performance hardware from manufacturer’s within the UK or Europe.
The locality of the manufacturing plant to site and keeping the volume of deliveries to a minimum, contributed to keeping the carbon footprint of the project to a minimum.
In terms of the life-cycle of the building, lengthy product guarantees were also fundamentally important, so we supplied butt and concealed hinges that are maintenance-free and backed by a 32-year performance guarantee with the door closers and lock cases supported by a 25-year performance guarantee.
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