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Studio Moren draws on hospitality experience in BTR 

Studio Moren brought its hospitality expertise to the residential sector with its fifth project with Grainger, the UK’s largest listed residential landlord, in Canning Town, East London.

The team at Studio Moren drew on the site’s maritime heritage for inspiration for the amenity spaces, on a project which prioritised sustainability and creating connections.

The team’s design responsibilities included an informal reception area, and relaxed, shared living and working spaces for residents.

“Our projects seek to ensure that we create the feeling of a home from home, bringing together hospitality and residential to build something more than the ordinary. We wanted to design spaces where people felt they could spend time and connect with others, encouraging those positive experiences and engagement which inspire renters to build bonds with the local community and stay for longer.”

David Harte Co-Head of Interiors at Studio Moren

The development edges Canning Town docks and Studio Moren looked to the neighbourhood’s story to influence the space. At Nautilus Apartments, part of the wider Fortunes Dock scheme, the water around the boats and the interiors of the vessels and steam-powered boats which used the dock was the stimulus for the look and feel of the development.

“We thought back to the ships pulling into the dock and the relationship between the water and the quayside, adding elements inspired by those moments. We drew a natural wave throughout the design, expressed using organic forms and materials and a bright, airy palette accented with soft lighting. Subtle wall coverings inspired by the surrounding environment and textiles create a comforting environment where residents can work, relax and feel welcome.”

Rachael Reid Senior Interior Designer Studio Moren

Sustainability was a priority throughout, with furniture, fixtures and fittings carefully sourced to minimise the building’s environmental impact throughout its lifecycle. A diverse range of finishes were employed throughout the property, including; timber terrazzo table tops made from off-cut timber from UK building sites, and surfaces made from plastics collected from various post-consumer and post-industrial sources.

Fabrics specified included Kirkby Design’s Fleck Eco, which combines recycled wool and acrylic yarns with TENCEL Lyocell and 100% PET recycled polyester yarns. The recycled wool and acrylic yarns come from the fashion industry, the TENCEL Lyocell is made from sustainably grown eucalyptus trees and the PET recycled polyester yarns are produce from waste plastic bottles. In addition, for every metre of this fabric sold, Kirkby Design donates a percentage of proceeds to reforestation projects in the Scottish Highlands.

“We believe that the reimagined, recycled materials match any new products in terms of quality and style, with many crafted by hand and having their own unique identity. Sustainability is critical to us and Grainger, and rightly demanded by today’s residential community and was one of our primary concerns when sourcing materials.”

Rachael Reid Senior Interior Designer Studio Moren

Sustainability was also a consideration in terms of creating a community in the property. There was a focus on intimate spaces where residents would want to dwell, with chairs and tables of a suitable height to work and relax and acoustic timber paneling used throughout to create intimacy.

Speaking to the growth in flexible working, the amenity spaces are woven through with workspaces, allowing multiple residents to work and collaborate throughout. A playful, relaxed atmosphere was fostered, with tables inlaid with chess boards as well as space for books and objects relating to the local area.

There is a clear thread linking the happiness of residents, the liveability of the space and its performance for the investor. The lessons needed to strengthen this are to be found in hospitality, making this project one where Studio Moren could truly flex its expertise.

“Nautilus Apartments is a great new addition to our wider Fortunes Dock scheme, following the successful launch of Argo Apartments in 2018. Following a successful launch of Nautilus Apartments, our newest residents are now enjoying living at Hallsville Quarter, an excellent East London location, with a unique blend of high street and independent shops, cafes, bars and restaurants on the doorstep.”

Helen Gordon Chief Executive Grainger