The interior design team at Squire and Partners has been working on a range of door handles which are unique to the practice, but can also be adapted to suit the aesthetic of individual projects. Our approach was to create an ergonomic and tactile handle, which had an honesty of junctions and a feeling of substance and quality. As something which gets used and touched on a daily basis, we see this range as an opportunity to give a unique quality to our projects which is integral to the building design.
We approached British brass manufacturers Samuel Heath to test our designs. An established family firm through five generations, and still in their original 1820 Birmingham factory, Samuel Heath puts craftsmanship at the forefront of their approach, and were open to collaborating on designs for our door handle range. Their extensive manufacturing experience with architectural hardware, as well as a commitment to create the finest finished product, was an invaluable resource in the design process.
The door handle anatomy
We looked at the basic anatomy of a door handle to create a base model which addressed all the major components – the lever, sleeve, stem, rose, cap end and lever end. The adaptable parts of the handle would be the sleeve, cap and lever ends and the material finish. The substrate was always brass, which could be finished with various coatings to suit the palette of individual projects. Finishes such as knurling (fine engraved lines), fluting and metal treatments were explored as future options.
St Edmund’s Terrace, Primrose Hill
The first door handle was designed for St Edmund’s Terrace, a residential development comprising 36 apartments on a site bordering Primrose Hill in London. The design has been largely focussed on visual connections with Primrose Hill and a series of landscaped courtyard gardens at the centre of the development. Taking a primrose flower as a starting point, and deconstructing it into a series of repeated patterns and shapes, we devised a simple five-leaf pattern which was inset to the lever and cap ends. The stem and cap end are made from a polished and satin nickel, offset by a polished brass lever with a smooth unlacquered antique brass sleeve.
Grafton Street, Mayfair
At Grafton Street, an office development in Mayfair, the team have taken inspiration from a pattern of shallow triangular prisms which feature on the façade, external railings and in the interior reception panels. A diamond shape is used in the cap and lever end, whilst the sleeve displays a tight knurled pattern designed following a period of investigation into the depth and spacing of the etched grooves to give the required effect.
Other projects include residential apartments at Bruton Lane, Mayfair, where glass rods used in the building inspired the use of fluting, and Macauley Road, a residential development in Clapham where we investigated using a leather sleeve. Further projects include central London office and residential developments, with each handle taking inspiration from its site and context, providing an opportunity to give an additional unique quality to our designs.