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VM Choice: Greenwich Peninsula marketing suite

Exterior

Knight Dragon, the developer of Greenwich Peninsula, opened the doors of its new marketing suite with a party recently, showcasing the two next plots to be developed on the Peninsula. Rather than a converted apartment in a part-built development, as many developers usually use, The Hub is strikingly sleek showroom, a permanent four-floor space, styled in the manner of the nearby Emirates Air Line terminal.

The Hub lobby

Constructed as two circular four-storey towers designed by Marks Barfield, linked with a huge curving, copper-coloured canopy, and clad by roofing specialist Lakesmere at second-floor level, the entrance to the marketing hub is in the base of the tower adjacent to the North Greenwich tube station. Two cafes with interiors by Conran Associates fill the ground floor of the other tower nearer the O2.

Lego & Lights model

An information desk and a temporary exhibition/art gallery space, the Now Gallery, are on the ground floor. This also houses a ‘Lego-and-lights’ model of a stylized version of the Peninsula development.

The window space close to the tube exit is filled with a 3-D tiered white London skyline of notable buildings, including those of the Peninsula. These serve to contextualize the development on Peninsula which, in reality, is a rather magical half-island in the middle of the Thames.

The Lighterman model

With a generous, curving staircase leading to the showroom on the first floor, which houses scale models of The Lighterman and Cable & Roper - the apartment blocks currently on offer - and a 3-D light box of the nearby Peninsula Thames, the space is calm and generous, with sofas, chairs, and tables for discussion and reflection. Generous use of dark woods gives the environment a clean but contemporary look, again far from the anticipated, overtly-economical, white-painted surfaces of a temporary exhibition space.

Lightbox display

Most interesting are the two complete mock-up apartments on the second floor. A two-bedroom apartment and a one-bedroom apartment, one from each of the two buildings to be sold, have been completely mocked up, complete with artificial turf visible through the glazed windows. Even the main cupboard in each apartment has a real boiler installed, albeit without the pipework. These serve to convey a very accurate idea of the size and layout of the apartments shown, and unsurprisingly Knight Dragon’s effort has paid off, with the five apartments of the same layout of as the two bedroom models, all sold on the opening day. Now, only a month after the initial launch, both apartment blocks are very well sold.

Apartment sitting room

With one interior design by Conran Associates and the other by Manser, both available in two colour ways, the interiors might be described as ‘very Kelly Hoppen,’ that is: big on beiges and greys, which make a good domestic backdrop for colourful personal possessions.

The interiors have been livened up with some strong colours, including teal and vermilion reds. Both are finished without an excess of  ‘luxe’ bevel-edged mirrors, white marble, or excessively shiny surfaces, which have become something of a cliché in contemporary premium and faux-luxe interiors. Equally, the strong colour steers the interiors away from the safe-beige cliches that we might expect in conventional SW postcodes, conveying a bright, contemporary yet comfortable lifestyle. Drawing on the use of Greenwich Park for the Olympic equestrian events, Manser has used leather and equestrian detailing as an inspiration.

Apartment bathroomBathrooms offer a touch of luxury with darker, pronounced texture on the tiled surfaces, which contrast pleasingly with white suites. An array of casually placed toiletries lends a homely look without the formality of serried ranks of product. It genuinely does feel as though the owners have just stepped outside.

Apartment kitchen

Similarly, one kitchen is a pleasing mix of cream and wood-fronted units with a contrasting marble splash back. Dressed with brushed stainless steel accessories the effect is of muted luxury, yet practicality.

Apartment kitchen

The other, with glossy mid-grey fronted units and a grey granite work surface, updates the classic Edwardian, bevel-edged, white rectangular tiles, a nod to London’s early subway system. While the maintenance of shiny surfaces is not as minimal as might be wished, this last kitchen is dressed with colourful accessories suggesting a more European touch, and a welcome relief from the uniform, ‘matchy-matchy’ look that can be so prevalent in kitchen showrooms.

Apartment bedroom

Lastly, the bedrooms are calm, almost Zen-like minimal spaces, with the grey walls of the master bedroom focusing attention on the neutral soft dressing of the bed, shown without an opulent bedhead that we might expect in a ’show home.’

The third floor of The Hub contains a boardroom, a cinema, and a champagne bar on the roof.

Knight Dragon has set new standards for property development sales in capping the sale of apartments to overseas investors (prospective customers in the queue on the launch day were allowed one each, not five), and offering the development in London before marketing it overseas, in order that the apartments are lived in by owner-occupiers to create a community of residents, not a transient body of renters. 

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