Mayfair Mansion – ‘Britain’s most expensive fixer-upper’

by Jun 30, 2018Uncategorized0 comments

A luxury development in London’s Mayfair. A very elegant grade II listed Georgian town house, described in 2014 by The Telegraph as ‘Britain’s most expensive fixer upper’. A restoration project by BJ Babb and IDL architects.

Rockhunter worked closely with IDL architects and Envy interior design to visualise 10 interior rooms, including a pool, cinema and games room.

The properties listed status meant that there was a significant amount of retained detail. A site recce gave us the opportunity to capture as much referential photography and dimensional information as possible – moldings, ceiling roses, friezes and cornices all needed to be recreated in 3D.

As a key part of the preservation and restoration project one of the rooms needed to have its 18th century Chinese wallpaper painstakingly removed before being lovingly restored and rehung. We obviously needed to recreate it ourselves – however by the time we were on site it had been removed. We were cautiously optimistic that Allyson McDermott (the conservation expert of Chinoiserie wallpapers) would allow us to photograph the paper in order to create high resolution texture maps. Her response highlighted our ignorance to the sensitivity of her work:

“Once conserved the paper is air dried, then loosely rolled and carefully stored, ready for installation………In order to get each sheet flat, we would have to spray it to relax it then stretch it onto our lining wall……I am concerned that we would be putting this very fragile paper at unnecessary risk in the handling and stretching process.”

We found a compromise:

“…we do have a very similar paper on digital file with many of the same motifs and probably originally painted at the same Chinese workshop at the end of the 18th Century”

We managed to digitally manipulate the files to bring the colours in line with those prepared for the refurbishment, shifting soft blue tones into whites and greys. A thing of real beauty, we felt inspired and motivated to do it justice!

Working with Melanie Envy we made decisions on the key pieces of furniture for each room. We then sourced accessories to support Melanie’s vision for the development, whilst also adding lots of cushions and throws to soften the design and add the lived in look essential for this type of luxury image work.

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