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Waldo Works l Television Centre

23rd Jan 2020

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Nestled on the top two floors of the iconic Grade-II listed Helios building within the Television Centre, former home of the BBC, lies west London’s newest architectural triumph. The entire framework of the latest unveiling was transformed by AHMM Architects, who imagined the entire building to house a collection of incredibly unique and indulgent apartments and penthouses, and the newest edition does everything but disappoint. The developers behind the TVC Architect Series, Stanhope Plc, knew exactly who to turn to when it came to design the interiors of this grand 4,000 square foot, £7.6 million penthouse. Tom Bartlett of Waldo Works, known for his use of daring colours and creating interiors with punctuated character, took inspiration from the location and 1950s British interior design to present a truly inspiring and striking environment. Evoking architectural brilliance, the result is a dramatic, highly captivating and indulgent space which resonates perfectly with daring and innovative design. Taking the opportunity to sit down the man himself, Tom elaborated on his design process throughout the project, how the building’s history inspired his creation and what the future holds for Waldo Works.

Tom, how did you initially approach designing the interiors of the Television Centre’s newest penthouse?

We looked at the history of the sites and the graphic language around its inception. It was an era of such positivity and enthusiasm that resonated with us. We wanted the interiors, which were quite serious when we inherited them, to be infected by that. We looked at the geometry of the language of broadcasting architecture, things like TV aerial masts and satellite dishes too for inspiration. Hopefully the interior design, although incredibly luxurious, also has a sense of playfulness and joy to it.

As the largest penthouse in W12, housing over 4,000 square feet of living space, you were given a lot of space to work with – how was this both a challenge and a luxury?

The space is arranged around the circular courtyard of broadcasting house, so the interiors are wedge shaped. The larger top floor spaces were pretty difficult to lay out because of this. I am particularly pleased with the relatively intimate seating area, which we have made incredibly comfortable and generous.

How would you define your interior style and aesthetic?

We try to approach each project with a new set of eyes, however, there are obviously themes that run throughout our work. We try and use colour and materiality as an architectural tool as that provides focus and a sense of place. We also enjoy clean crisp detailing. We normally design everything – architecture to interiors and accessories – so TVC was a departure for us, and it was interesting to work with someone else’s architectural vision. We were lucky it was so good.

Tell us a bit more about the unique colour selection you used throughout the penthouse.

We looked at the bedrooms as separate entities, really inhabiting their own world and picked a colour scheme we thought was appropriate to their aspect and users. The primary scheme in a child’s bedroom, the classic blue and white scheme of a guest room, and the natural textural scheme of the master bedroom are ones we often return to. Upstairs we wanted to weave in key colours across all the rooms with different proportions and intestines. A sort of brick colour appears as well as a strong teal in pretty much all of the interiors of this floor.

Do you have a favourite furnishing piece in the home?

I like the red entrance table which we designed for the space. The geometric intersecting planes in the highly lacquered toffee red colour work well with the spiral stair. I think it holds its own against what is a very strong architectural statement.

If you had to describe the home in three words, what would those be?

Considered, Functional, Happy.

Can you tell us about any future projects Waldo Works have coming up this year?

A few of the things we are working on include a large hotel in Frankfurt, designing a full new build country house in Kent, a villa in Mustique, a castle in Austria, a country house in Somerset, a jeweller in Edinburgh, a house in Geneva, an Italian chalet, and more…. It’s a busy studio! 

Image Credits: Michael Sinclair