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INSIDE A STRIKING SHOREDITCH LOFT APARTMENT

Striking industrial features, an abundance of glass and a labour of love design concept… Heading inside a Shoreditch loft apartment revamped by acclaimed designer Maurizio Pellizzoni

Since launching his studio nigh on a decade ago, Maurizio Pellizzoni has been a go-to designer in London, but even the best have their worries. ‘I have to be honest,’ he admits, ‘I had sleepless nights over the months of work.’

The cause of his concern is a magnificent bespoke white steel and glass staircase designed and engineered entirely by him in a loft apartment in a Victorian Grade II-listed building in Shoreditch. ‘I personally designed every single detail of this sculptural piece, which connects each floor without touching any walls,’ he explains. ‘The original staircase was extremely sad and had no personality, whereas the new white bridge is the core of the apartment, connecting the living space to the bedroom and the outdoor terrace. It was a big undertaking and on many occasions I felt the pressure of doing something so big. I never had any doubts, though, as with all of my projects, my passion drives me to push through any problems.’

Based in West London, and despite working all over the City and the world, there was something quite special about this Shoreditch commission. ‘This loft apartment has probably been one of the most important projects to me as I had the great opportunity to express my full skill set,’ Maurizio enthuses. ‘The client believed in me and trusted my judgment and design ideas entirely. The client wanted a very minimal apartment, but at the same time he wanted to make sure I was reflecting the vibrant lifestyle from the streets surrounding the property.’

To achieve the desired look, Maurizio retained several original features. ‘It’s a very important part to maintain the character of the building in all of my schemes,’ he insists. ‘I personally don’t like projects that have no personality or character.’ The exposed brickwork on the disused chimney breast and the steel air conditioning vent have an industrial feel, while the Poliform kitchen with its white Corian surfaces and floating island adds a touch of the modern day luxury to the main living space.

Although the past is embraced, the present is very much at home – even if you can’t see it, being discreetly incorporated into the design. ‘The apartment is very much a bachelor pad and had plenty of the latest technology,’ Maurizio says, with a pair of impressive blue speakers from Bang & Olufsen making the point, ‘but as much as we all like to use them, we don’t want to get a degree to be able to use them! You also don’t want to live in a house where you have a wall-mounted pad in each room. I personally don’t like them, so for this apartment, we chose to have everything connected to the iPhone. It was the simpler way for everyone!’

Looking around the apartment, a blue tinge appears prominent. ‘With the colour scheme I was planning to create something modern, but at the same time calming and relaxing,’ Maurizio offers a little insight into his thinking. ‘During the final process I decided to add some texture like the blue patchwork rug and the blue wallpaper. The use of oversized speakers and patterned cushions add that soft touch to the final monochrome interior.’

Maurizio is open enough to reveal that ‘none of my projects ever finish the way we start, it’s a process that evolves’, so looking back would he say the biggest design challenge proved to be the staircase? ‘You will find challenges in any design project, especially when you take on a full refurbishment. The original apartment was poorly done, not only in finishing, but also in space planning, so we had to start from scratch and removed everything that the previous owner had originally installed. The client decided to live in the property too during the renovation, so the biggest challenge was probably coordinating all of the work around their schedule. We had to undertake all of the major works – like installing the custom-made staircase – while they were on holiday for just over two weeks. But,’ Maurizio flashes a smile, ‘I think with this project I was able to create something unique and exclusive.’

WORDS Mark Kebble

See more of Maurizio’s projects at mauriziopellizzoni.co.uk or call 020 7352 3887

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