Build September 2016

Build Magazine 42 When Georgina Turvey set up PEEK Architecture & Design roughly nine years ago, the firm started out small, but quickly found itself gaining work through word of mouth from other professions and happy clients. Their client base now ranges from end users to developers and companies, who require a very tailored approach to their project as well as careful management of all the permissions and constraints you face with Central London developments. ccording to Georgina, each site and client is different, and has to be treated that way. This is a key element of the way that she does business with her growing clientele. “It is paramount to assess the restrictions of the site first, and what is architecturally possible, before making promises you can’t keep to a client,” she observes. “It is also important to get the client to define their brief again and again, interview them on requirements, their needs, their dream spaces. This confidently transpires into a scheme. Also, in most cases the constraints on a city site can create the most interesting outcomes’’. This approach guarantees that Georgina and her team at PEEK always practice what they preach, following through on each of their promises for clients and other professionals alike. “We build about 75 per cent of the projects that come through our door,” she says, “and we go into great detail when designing and drawing all aspects of a build. Whether it’s providing 1:1 templates for each tread of a spiral staircase or building stainless steel light fittings ourselves because we can’t find the right product on the market. We enjoy the process of turning a design prototype into a reality.” As an example, PEEK Architecture & Design demonstrated their expertise ably when they were chosen as the architects and designers for a project on a Grade 2 Listed Building on the Strand called Gatti House. “Our clients had fallen in love with the building, which used to be the dining rooms for members of the Adelphi Theatre in the 1870’s. It had fallen into disrepair, so in 2013 we started the long task of refurbishing, extending and creating 4 unique apartments and a restaurant on the ground floor. There was an initial challenge in that no walls were allowed to partition off some of the vast rooms. We needed to overcome this if we wanted to find a way of including a storage space, a cloak cupboard and a guest WC into the new design. So, reflecting on the theatrical heritage of the space, we created an ornate ‘pod’ that houses these things. In the end, it was best so that natural light flowed over it into the entrance lobby.” For this project, Georgina and her team were shortlisted for an Architects Journal award in the Heritage category, and also won an International Design Award for the kitchen designs. “The apartments all sold within a couple of months of completion, too, which the clients were very happy about. “The main success though, was how the various teams worked together. The building hadn’t been touched for years. Anomalies that were uncovered meant we had to frequently adapt the design, but all the professional teams solved these problems together – it was pure poetry. Everyone was so enthusiastic about the project, and were rightly proud with the results.” Georgina looks forward to the future of the industry, taking her success with Gatti House as a sign of bigger and better things to come. “We’ve experienced that clients are becoming more aware about the quality of design,” she observes. Understated, Sophisticated, Inventive “Not just for the latest fads, but they also want a design that is integral with the architecture it inhabits, more timeless. It’s not cool anymore to have huge air conditioning systems, alongside massive, ugly speakers and a media room lit up like Heathrow Airport. People want understated, lo-fi, sophistication. “We are also encouraging use of energy saving interventions, such as triple glazing and heat recovery systems, to private clients. We also refuse to specify tropical and unsustainable timbers, and encourage recycled items, even in our high-end projects.” With this ideal in mind, while aspiring to create well- integrated designs that forge a personal bond with the client, Georgina has set up PEEK Architecture & Design to be a major up-and-coming player in a new wave of bespoke Architecture and interior design. A Interior Design & Decorating