The range of new bespoke duplex penthouses at One Park Drive will forever go down in history as the first residential properties designed by legendary architects Herzog and DeMuron. Already world famous for their work on, amongst others, the Tate Modern and the Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing, they set themselves the challenge of reinventing the traditional idea of what a penthouse can be, with, it’s fair to say, pretty remarkable results. Of course, creatives of this standard are all about pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and, as a result, expectations were high. However, few envisaged quite this level of innovation, with developers and commentators everywhere taking a keen interest in just how much they’ve been able to achieve.
The centrepiece of the apartments is the incredible, curved sculpted staircase that connects each level whilst simultaneously anchoring the space around them. Here, Hertzog and DeMuron worked closely with structural engineers AKT to craft rigorous, geometric shapes, forging a striking focal point for each of these remarkable homes.
The effect is elegant, grounded and entirely singular. Meanwhile, a concealed, internal courtyard garden gives residents a level of privacy rare in any city. A sheltered, outdoor space, the idea is that it acts as a counterpoint to the expansive vistas offered by the balconies. As you’d expect, all the elements work in complete harmony with one another so as to really enhance and exemplify the architects’ original vision, and it remains quite something to behold.
In order to achieve this, Hertzog and DuMuron also partnered with Tom Dixon’s Research Studio to create a bespoke, immersive feel for each penthouse. By experimenting with ceramics, sculptures and other artworks - many custom-made by Tom himself - the design concept was born. Called the ‘Home of the Collector’, the properties have been crafted as though they were a collector’s residence, one dedicated to showing only the very finest pieces and, by doing so, fashioning an exclusive yet serene atmosphere that’s as charming as it is sophisticated. Again, with meticulous attention to detail, the Design Research Studio also incorporated fixtures and fittings courtesy of some of the world’s preeminent designers, including Alvar Aalto and Ingo Maurer, Frans Vossen, Vener Panton and Tobia Scarpa.
Since its incarnation, One Park Drive has always been at the forefront of cultured, London living, the tower displaying its style and individuality so overtly it quickly became an iconic part of the landscape. It’s also widely accepted that its unique, vertical typologies are representative of a wider approach, incorporating the individual apartments and ensuring each space is an important part of a comprehensive whole. Yet these penthouses seem intent on taking that sensibility and really running with it. Quite simply, a masterclass in design, architecture and ambition truly fit for the modern era.