Squire and Partners completed a slender apartment building on London's Hanover Street in December 2013, which featured full height bespoke perforated shutters developed specifically for this site working with fabricators Astec Projects. The shutters are a contemporary reference to traditional timber shutters used in Mayfair residences to provide privacy and light modulation.
The building forms part of a mixed-use development which also provides a new office building and the Hus Gallery of contemporary art. Each typical floor contains a single apartment with a large open plan kitchen/living room to the front, which offers views from a full width balcony towards Regent Street and Hanover Square.
From 1800 to 1930 Hanover Street was the home of military tailoring, which influenced the design and craft in the detail of the building. A chevron motif used to perforate the facade is abstracted from military insignia, and combined with traditional military colours.
Spanning the width of the building, the shutters can be fully opened and closed forming a dynamic frontage to the street and assisting with environmental control. When closed the bronze shutters allow light to permeate through displaying the chevron pattern, and when open reveal flashes of red lining and gold trim.
Material and colour palette
The finishes and colours of the aluminium shutters make reference to the historic occupation of the site. Dark bronze refers to the traditional material of Mayfair shop fronts, and is perforated in a chevron pattern as a beloved military insignia. The crimson red makes reference to colours used in decorative military uniform – seen only from oblique views along Hanover Street, it acts like the flash of colour behind a military lapel, while the Regency Gold trims reference the colour and finish of metallic buttons and studs.
The shutters are a bespoke component designed by Squire and Partners and fabricated by Astec Projects. The typical floor shutters are fundamentally the frames and mechanisms of a Schuco ASS 70 FD aluminium bi-folding door system wrapped in a perforated skin. The Schuco system was stripped of all accessory components (glazing, weather proofing etc) back to the profiles. The leaves were then wrapped externally, with a dark bronze perforated anodised aluminium panel, internally, with a matching perforated crimson red PPC aluminium panel and edge trimmed with punctured Regency Gold anodised aluminium strips.
Double height screens
The folding sliding screens are manually operated rather than motorised to reduce weight and remove additional components to maintain the slender appearance of the balconies, and have two different forms of construction, one for the typical floors and one for the double height shutters.
The double height shutters are finished as the typical floors but have an additional structural component - to offset the inherent racking issues of the 6m tall leaves, the profiles were milled and a secondary steel sub-frame was introduced for rigidity and balance.