There are three sheets of curved glass for the exterior of the lift shaft on each floor. “It’s a parallelogram, and the glass is tied in at intermediate levels,” explains Edwards.

The glass shaft of the lift is split at each floor level with a helical steel handrail, which acts as the splice joint between the top and bottom glass panels as well as providing lateral restraint.

The top of the lift shaft is capped by

static and openable semi-static roof lights and on each landing-level for the lift. Malishev explains: “A series of high precision rollers and rails were used on inner and outer perimeter rings to support the sliding roof light. The roof light is comprised of a crescent shaped walk-on double glazed units, spanning one metre between the inner and outer perimeter ring support.”

The sliding floor unit moves using a spur pinion gear with planetary-type motor and supporting V-shaped wheels and the self- supporting glass cylinder sitting on top. Malishev adds: “This makes this mechanism truly unique in this kind of application. We were responsible for specifying the system and worked closely with the system manufacturer to advise our steel and glass fabricator with best available options as well as tolerances required.”

The exterior of the lift features bronze cladding. This was produced by Paul Dennis Metal Works, which like the rest of the project team has experience working on high-end projects in central London, including new gates at Kensington Palace. In Knightsbridge, every piece of cladding was hand-made but this package could not be commissioned until the structure of the lift was completed. Once the lift was complete, the bronze cladding was applied to clad the stainless-steel H section profile on the exterior of the lift.

The lift goes below the basement level as the ram has to be situated beneath the lowest floor and is surrounded by a 169- step spiral staircase. At the top floor, this staircase leads to a glass retractable roof, which opens out onto a roof terrace with views of Knightsbridge including the nearby Harrods department store. The glazed lift is a centrepiece in a house distinguished by up-market decor. There are British stone floors which were installed by Stone Interiors in most parts of the residence. Swaledale, Angelsey, Eskett, Salterwath and Swaledale stone

was used and sourced from Chelsea-based supplier Britannicus Stone. In the dining room, the floor is a combi- nation of Swaledale with an Anglesey stone border by Britannicus Stone, while the kitchen features an oblong of Swaledale stone framed by American black walnut, and the master bathroom features the exquisite and rare Ball Eye Blue stone, which has been hand carved by Stone Interiors.

There is also a working fireplace and raw silk wallpaper supplied by Tatiana Tafur, but glass is a recurring motif. Peter Layton from Bermondsey-based specialist London Glassblowing also worked on the decor to produce a collec- tion of glass vessels installed in the dining room on the ground floor. “We have a Connaught Hotel Art Deco inspired bar and bathrooms with bevelled glass,” explains TFA’s Brian Wade, who sourced designed and installed all the soft furnishings.

The scheme also features hand-made glass chandeliers. On the first floor, a glass chandelier created by Baroncelli has been christened ‘Storm Cloud’.

German designer Eva Menz crafted another glass chandelier christened ‘Up in the Clouds’, which is made from hand- blown Polish glass leaves and conches. This glass element also features real leaves collected from nearby Hyde Park by the family. Before the leaves were added to the chandelier however, they were dipped in 14 carat gold.

While an overall value has not been disclosed, £1.9m has been spent on fixtures and fittings alone. In September 2016, the project featured on the UK Channel 4 series Millionaires’ Mansions, which has now also aired in Australia and New Zealand. For all this opulence, Brian Wade says that the house is not intended as a status symbol. In March 2017, the clients, a family of five, finally move into the property. Mr Wade adds: “The client lives in London and their children go to school locally, so the home will be lived in and enjoyed. Often the shame of these projects is that you do all this work and they are only lived in two or three months of the year, but that will not be the case here.” While Knightsbridge has seen a proliferation of mansions created by digging out basements, none can surely match this with a glass elevator that really does help the project fly. 


Project: Private residence, Herbert Crescent, Knightsbridge, London Client: Not disclosed Value: Not disclosed Architect: Tim Flynn Architects Consulting engineers: Malishev Engineers Structural engineer: Michael Barclay Partnership Quantity surveyor: Deacon and Jones LLP

Main Contractor: Walter Lilly Joinery: John Spencer Joinery and Halstock Lift: Axis Elevators Glass: UK Glass

The lift goes below the basement level as the ram has to be situated beneath the lowest floor and is surrounded by a 169-step spiral staircase


ADF MAY 2017

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