fossey arora spark eccentricity in the robinsons apartments
Irony, satire, and British eccentricity take center stage at interior design studio Fossey Arora’s unconventional homes in London, England. Titled The Robinsons, the residential building in Wembley Park from Quinton Living is the quirkiest building to date from a company known for its innovative and inspirational residences. Throughout, the space is defined by an eclectic mixture of familiarity and the unexpected to create interactive social and recreational living ranging from Paul Smith-style striped post boxes sitting atop Dr Martens-bedecked poles and a spinning mirror ball above the reception desk, to an outdoor steel slide connecting the rooftop to the lower level and a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party garden.
a Damien Hirst-inspired London taxi coffee bar and fridge | all images courtesy of the author
an eclectic mix of the familiar and unexpected in london
A curious mixture of familiarity and the unexpected grips residents the moment they walk into The Robinson. ‘We knew from the outset that The Robinson was going to be anything but conventional. With The Graduate as our inspiration, we’ve taken residents down the rabbit hole to create a Wonderland all of their own. From the communal areas to the apartments themselves, we’ve blended familiarity and comfort with eccentricity and polite irreverence. That sense of contradiction is core to The Robinson’s design concept’, comments the team at Fossey Arora.
The Robinson contains an extensive and eclectic mix of social spaces. The largest of the rooftop terraces houses a row of sun loungers, rumoured to be the longest in London at 50 metres, while plants in brightly painted oil drums and a juice bar in the shape of an orange enliven the space. A 7 meter stainless steel slide leads down to a mini courtyard below, which sits at the center of the large residents’ lounge. With a multi-layered art wall, a vast bank of brightly colored seats, a dining room and kitchen, work pods and private phone booths, residents can at once, work, play and relax. Unexpected elements litter the place, such as a fireplace topped by an arched, 19th-century Rococo style giltwood mirror set in the glass wall. Residents can look through both the fireplace and the ‘mirror’ to see London spread out below. Nearby is a Damien Hirst-inspired London taxi coffee bar, complete with a refrigerated section in the bonnet.
‘Including a painted London taxi within the residents’ lounge on the top floor fitted the character of The Robinson perfectly, as did creating a vibe that meant the space could be used for multiple purposes. That’s something we extended to the external areas as well. Lines between home, work and social have been significantly blurred in recent years, which means that multifunctional spaces need to suit a wide range of uses and needs’, note the interior designers.
Paul Smith-style striped post boxes sit atop Dr Martens-bedecked poles
interactive outdoor spaces foster a community connection
A multipurpose podium garden features a John Lennon-inspired peace garden for moments of quiet and reflection, with dense foliage surrounding the circular seating and creating a sense of safety and serenity. A wooden children’s playground which includes swings for adults, sits beside a secure dog park, and a spacious lawn area with deckchairs and a campervan filled with flowers. Further, a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Garden includes tables tucked beneath a wooden framework with a retractable roof, with climbing plants working their way up the frame. Above the tables, imitation crystal chandeliers and festoon lights hang from the rafters, while an oil drum BBQ and a bright pink kitchenette remain hidden away behind sleek wooden panels. Brightly colored giant flowerpots deliver a further twist of the unexpected.
The Robinson also includes work-from-home camper vans surrounded by picnic tables and deckchairs with open views of London, and a rooftop spa caravan complete with its own hot tub for relaxation, providing a community feel and social connection. ‘It is the crowning glory in a building that’s bursting with creativity and fun, as Quintain Living once more takes the rental experience to the next level’, comments Fossey Arora.
multi-layered art wallpaper
a vibrant interior
In the super lobby, Fossey Arora includes timber paneling, exuding a sense of comfort. In an eclectic contrast, patterned wallpaper that ‘would be perfectly at home in your grandma’s house’, is overlayed with translucent curtains which creates a sense of theater and contradiction. Music plays from massive speakers, the sound flowing throughout the building, through speakers in the podium garden and on the rooftop, as well as indoors. In the other lobbies, Fossey Arora adds fringed pendant lights, contrasting colored wallpaper and concrete benches with bright cushions to the warmth of the timber paneling. Meanwhile, corridors deliver Caribbean-style patterned carpets and individually painted front doors in a variety of colours, ‘all with grandmother-style wired lampshades floating above’.
The apartments at The Robinson combine classic, simple design features with raw materials and bursts of colour. Ceilings are exposed concrete with galvanised pipes, and lights are coloured metal or bamboo. Wardrobes are fitted with industrial-style curtains in place of doors, and kitchens are enlivened with a choice of a range of colours, from turquoise to chilli red. A simple ‘Yin and Yang’, black and white design is used in the bathrooms, complemented by subtle elemental touches, from bespoke, handmade Liberty pattern lampshades to plus and minus signs on the taps.
work pods and private phone booths
20 door knockers are peppered across the inside of the oversize metal doors to the super lobby
a large mirror ball spins and refracts light above the reception desk
the kitchens ranging in color, from turquoise to chilli red
the rooftop terrace is home to a row of sun loungers rumoured to be the longest in London at 50 metres