THE TELEVISION CENTRE
This striking three-bedroom penthouse sits on the eight floor of the Crescent in White City. Part of the of the renovation of the Television Centre overseen by the award-winning architects at Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM), this exemplary apartment was dressed with an Italian verve by Italian design and furniture brand Cassina. Elegance and élan are inscribed in every curated piece, while functionality shapes its composition. When admired in its entirety, this contemporary masterpiece challenges expectations of what a Grade-II listed site can offer.
The Crescent models the circular formation of the original Helios building, which housed the BBC studio until 2012. This apartment is one of nine that form the Architecture series, with each one being personally designed by a renowned architecture practice in collaboration with AHMM. The partnership between AHMM and Cassina culminates in a timeless and harmonious aesthetic that expertly plays with light, materiality, and space.
We sat down with Cassina Chief Executive Officer Luca Fuso, to ask her what inspired her approach, which they have termed ‘The Cassina Perspective’. “This concept unites the collection's most innovative designs with iconic classics, unique to Cassina, to create complete and, above all, warm and welcoming atmospheres”, she explains. “The Cassina aesthetic is propelled by avant-gardism, authenticity, design excellence and the combination of technological capability with skilled handcraftsmanship”. What arises is a seamless narrative between the building’s historic foundations and its exciting future.
Central to the layout of the penthouse is the kitchen with its deep wooden hues and long walnut breakfast bar for a meal with a view. Low hung orbital chandeliers reflect the darker tones of the space but provide a warm glow for additional warmth, a welcome alternative to the brighter overhead spotlights. For AHMM, the kitchen is the heart of the home, a space meant for entertaining and gathering, a philosophy which underpinned their design logic. The kitchen also provides access to a spacious sky garden, perfectly configured for evening hosting, with a rolling westerly facing backdrop. The adjoining gallery is brightly lit with discreet skylights spotlighting the wall art that draw your eye along the corridor. The inclusion of the gallery allows the kitchen to be closed-off while still enabling access to the bedrooms and reception room.
At the end of the gallery a flawlessly curated living area awaits. The expansive open-plan reception and dining room is visually engaging with its floor-to-ceiling windows offering exceptional views of the communal gardens and London’s horizon. Sliding doors allow access on to the terrace and opens the apartment up during warmer days, while s modern fireplace infuses cosiness and warmth when colder weather looms. The colour palette is kept neutral with muted tones that balance out the darker wooden fixtures. When asked about the intentions of this well-thought-out scheme, Luca stated that “the colour palette is light in the living and dining areas where creams, golds and pale blues have been applied and contrasted with dark pieces like, for example, the stained black ash wood Infinito bookshelf by Italian architect Franco Albini. Textures have been layered: natural linens are combined with luxurious velvets to create an elegant and warm feeling”.
The feature piece of the property is the unique chandelier that hangs in the reception room and is key in uniting the various elements of the room. “The geometric central lighting fixtures chosen for the living room is by Michael Anastassiades,” Luca elaborates, “Its diamond shape which almost touches the central Boboli coffee table by Rodolfo Dordoni complements the furniture around it, adding presence without detracting from the views”. The mid-century furnishings by respected designers are part of the Cassina identity, from the LC4 Villa Church chaise-longue and 1928 LC6 dining table by Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret to the Rodolfo Dordoni sofa, a part of Cassina’s new Dress Up! range.
The reception room is subtly separated from the formal dining room with a cleverly placed open display shelf. The predominance of dramatic, rich tones such as mustard yellow and black marble alters the setting for a more decadent atmosphere. Another sliding door reveals the entrance to the largest balcony that curves around the side of the property. It faces the communal gardens, looking inwards for a calmer setting.
The apartment also houses three bedrooms, all with full length windows to enjoy the scenery through. In keeping with the neutral colour scheme, the bedrooms strike the perfect harmony between dynamism and relaxation. All three echo the choice of distinctive lighting fixtures that add points of interest in the rooms and centre around a single colour. An emphasis on honest, organic materials creates a grounding environment that is soulful and introspective. Equally stylish and expertly finished are the en-suite bathrooms, all of which reflect the themes of their adjacent bedrooms.