Belgravia Residents’ Journal: Victory for Victoria
Victory for Victoria
The Journal takes a peek inside the new Kings Gate development by Land Securities, and discovers that Victoria is undergoing a monumental change for the better.
Commuterville, office hot-spot and a place of business – these are all images that people conjure up in their mind when they think about Victoria, with its busy roads and rushing crowds as they move from meetings to the office, from coffee shops to the tube station. Some SW1V fans have for years been crying that there’s much more to Victoria than the hustle and bustle of commuters, but it’s only recently that people outside the postcode are starting to realise that.
Land Securities is investing billions of pounds into Victoria – for instance, Victoria Street has already benefited from extensive construction work, and it’s on this road that the new Kings Gate apartments sit as a prime example of the company’s investment. Land Securities aims to turn Victoria into a vibrant centre of creativity, commerce and culture, a place where traditional British heritage sits alongside dynamic global businesses and retail brands. It’s a big, ambitious project, but Land Securities’ bold mission is clear and promising. Its latest building used to be one large structure next to Westminster City Hall, dominating Victoria Street’s skyline, but now it’s been split into two different buildings; one has become the Kings Gate residential build and the other is the Zig Zag building, a commercial development next door.
Keen to create more of a community feel in Victoria, the idea is to make the most of the pubs, squares, restaurants, theatres and galleries in the area. “Victoria isn’t just a few main roads,” Emma Thorne residential marketing manager at Land Securities tells me, “there are little side streets with beautiful traditional red brick buildings.” She’s right, and rather than suggesting that Victoria is about to become a residential hotspot, it could easily be argued that it always has been and Land Securities is helping to highlight that; for instance, television presenter Lorraine Kelly has been based in Victoria for about 10 years, and has praised the area’s vibrancy.
The apartments at Kings Gate take inspiration from a classical Italianate- style of architecture, with big pillar- like structures adorning the exterior and large, spacious rooms inside. There are 100 units ranging from studios to four-bedroom penthouses, and most of these benefit from underground parking and private terraces that look north to St James’s Park and Buckingham Palace, or south, towards Vincent Square and the new Nine Elms skyline.
The interior design is of a high standard throughout each of the properties, and there’s also a blend of antique pieces in some of the units, and original artwork created by interior designers Spinocchia Freund in order to offer a personal touch – although telling the two apart is difficult. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if many of the units were sold with these artistic touches left in for the new owner to enjoy, such is their fitting in the apartment.
FIVE MINUTES WITH INTERIOR DESIGN FIRM SPINOCCHIA FREUND
Lauren Wood and Astrid Duquesnoy from Spinocchia Freund tell us about the penthouses in the new Kings Gate development
What was the biggest challenge you faced With this brief?
It was difficult to create a design for a very broad market, as the project wanted to make a space that would cater for any age, for any nationality and way of living.
What are some of your favourite design features in the apartment?
The views of course! But in terms of the interior fit out, we all love the forest green armchairs that have a rose gold arm detail.
Can you pick some of the elements that make the penthouse stand out for you?
The chandelier – within the double-height volume space, we installed a nine metre long chandelier made of polished brass and rose gold geometric forms. These mimic the architectural lines of the building and city scape beyond. We also designed a revolving study desk that allows the user to look out to the views beyond. It’s beautifully crafted in walnut and burgundy leather.