Net-Zero Neighbourhoods: Interior Edition


As Conran and Partners unveil the interiors of The Founding at Canada Water, Abode2 takes a look around to explore the role interior design plays in our next-generation of net-zero neighbourhoods

British architecture and interior design studio Conran and Partners completed the interiors of the forthcoming residential scheme, The Founding, the first homes by British Land to launch at Canada Water – one of London’s newest and most exciting developments.

Canada Water is a net zero neighbourhood, with sustainability at its heart and embedded throughout the design and development of this new community, including 3,000 net zero homes. These new homes are at the forefront of sustainable living and lifestyle, and The Founding’s interiors pay homage to the location’s industrial past whilst also offering a nod to Canada Water’s rich abundance of nature, and green spaces.

The Conran and Partners interiors team – led by Principal Simon Kincaid – is responsible for the design of the 186 apartments, which range from studios to three-bedrooms, as well as the amenity spaces. All the interiors pay homage to the location’s industrial past whilst also offering a nod to Canada Water’s rich abundance of green spaces and waterways, creating a thoughtful balance of engineering and nature.

Residents will be welcomed by an impressive double height lobby, where a dark iron spiral staircase takes centre stage and invites them to a mezzanine with coworking areas and a bookable lounge. The engineered aesthetic of the staircase and the crittal windows is softened by double height sheer curtains and furniture with earthy natural textures and colours. The use of walnut joinery and cladding to internal walls, alongside warm lighting integrated to the joinery and within floor lamps, adds tactility, warmth and intimacy to the space.

The common areas continue on level six, where Conran and Partners has designed a lounge area accessible by all residents that opens to a northwest facing terrace with jaw-dropping views over London, from The City of London to Canary Wharf.

The theme of connecting residents both with nature and the history of the area continues in the apartments, which feature high ceilings with exposed concrete ceiling and views over London and the surrounding green spaces, and that have been designed to cater for a diverse mix of residents. The design of the apartments has been unveiled in the neighbouring marketing suite, a listed industrial building which has been refurbished to set the tone for the interiors of the wider scheme.

The show apartments have been curated with elements that link to the local creative industry, with Conran and Partners sourcing furniture and accessories from local makers. These include pieces from glass-maker Peter Layton, textiles from award-winning weaver Maria Sigma, ceramics from Kerry Hastings, Izzy Letty and Mae Ceramics, salved furniture from antiques store LASSCO, together with bespoke furniture items by Goldfinch.

The apartments blend these unique pieces with design details that aim to soften the edginess of the industrial architecture by Allies and Morrison. The living areas feature earthy tones with green, blue and orange touches that aim to reconnect the residents with the surrounding nature of Southwark Park, Russia Dock Woodland and Stave Hill. The full-height dark-veneered kitchens cabinets, with engineered details including black metal framed details and recessed handles, are backdropped with white metro tiles whose glazed surface recalls the reflections on the local waterways.

The bedrooms, which will have stunning views over London offer a calm oasis with natural textures and patterns. Similarly, the bathroom follows the idea of finessing an industrial aesthetic, with light terracotta toned tiles and walnut vanity units that are paired with black metal elements that nod to the industrial past of the area.

Simon Kincaid, Partner at Conran and Partners, comments, “Design plays a key role in creating a sense of place. As such, it should be in harmony with the locale, its history and community.

“When designing the amenities and apartments at The Founding, we looked at the impressive history and context of the local area to inspire our design. We designed interiors that connect residents with Canada Water’s abundance of green spaces and waterways through soft materials and natural hues, whilst nodding at the industrial past of the area and the architecture of the building with engineered design details. This creates a beautiful, controlled balance of engineering and nature. This aesthetic manifests throughout, from the double height arrival lobby to the kitchens and bathrooms in the residences to give strong identity and character alongside a positive contribution to the next chapter of this iconic area as one of London’s first net zero neighbourhoods”.

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