Design Centre Stories

Urban Glamour

Dominating the east London skyline, the Atlas Building cements ‘tech city’ – the area surrounding Old Street roundabout – as a property hotspot as well as a business hub. Replacing a 1980s office building, the 152m tower has 302 apartments, including this eye-catching penthouse designed by Angel O’Donnell.

“We felt the building had a New York-style character so we took a lot of inspiration from the glamour and decadence of mid-twenties’ Manhattan, opting for Great Gatsby inspired pieces and a deep, rich yet natural colour palette throughout,” says the practice’s Ed O’Donnell. “We also felt it was important to add a contemporary twist to bring it up to date so we contrasted the art deco aesthetic with rougher, urban textures like steel, and accessorising with pieces that are inspired by east London.”

The master bedroom (above) demonstrates that balance between twenties glamour and urban style: a custom-made, floor-to-ceiling headboard wall features leather arches in chocolate and bronze tones (with the leather supplied by Whistler Leather and StudioTex), with gold trim.

The open-plan living-dining-kitchen area has been divided into zones according to use, with a snug reading area as well as a more loungey space to relax, divided by shelving. This is a high-end rental property, so the designers had to source practical, hardwearing textiles that didn’t compromise on the aesthetics: for example, the sofa (pictured top) is covered in HBF Textiles’ ‘Comfort Zone’ fabric, a short-pile velvet that’s stain resistant and available at StudioTex.

“We needed to make sure that the many of the fabrics had high rub tests and could withstand use, but they still needed to look amazing,” says O’Donnell. In front of the sofa are two Gallotti&Radice coffee tables, with the shorter, knurled wood ‘Nori’ tucked underneath the brass and glass ‘Haumea’.

A rich palette of materials continues throughout the apartment, from brass, marble and lacquer to a softly textured felted wool throw from de Le Cuona in the guest bedroom (above left). Art and sculpture brings each space to life, with pieces from British artists Sandra Blow, Brenda Casey and Fenella Elm.

de Le Cuona, Second Floor, North Dome
Gallotti&Radice, Second Floor, Centre Dome
StudioTex, Third Floor, South Dome
Whistler Leather, Second Floor, South Dome

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