Project Name: Belgravia Residence, London

Location: Belgravia, London

Date Completed: 2018

Interior Designer: SHH Interiors

Architect: SHH

Project Management: Bond Davidson

Construction Company: Sizebreed

This six-story terraced property in Belgravia is located on one of the grandest and largest 19th century squares in London. It forms an integral part of the Grade 1 listed terrace of eleven houses constructed circa 1825, the building itself designed by Cubits Architect George Bavesi. Xavio Design of Mayfair worked on the project from 2013 to 2018, in close liaison with SHH Architecture & Interior Design. Xavio Design’s brief was to deliver an architectural lighting design throughout, including a special technical development focus on the stunning swimming pool in the basement.

The main house is joined to the mews house behind via a courtyard and an underground double basement that extends the full length of the plot. The overall area of this single residence is 24,500 sq. ft. Xavio Design’s favourite aspect of the project was the underground basement swimming pool / ballroom. The roof light is a bespoke design to give the feeling that you are in a ground floor building with an elegant orangery-style roof above you – in fact you are underground so there is no natural light. The whole pool space is designed to feel as if it is at ground level with natural daylight. The video-controlled illuminated ceiling over the pool has multiple programmes, including an ‘Aurora Borealis’ Northern Lights display.

Simulating daylight in a basement was a real challenge. Xavio Design successfully created the lighting design with a complex and fully customisable system, comprising of thousands of LEDs. The lighting around the pool complements what you would expect in natural daylight settings, maximising the space and the mirrored panels to enhance the effect. The lighting is also programmable to a ballroom setting, as the floor of the pool can raise up on hydraulic rams allowing the water to drain away, creating a solid level ballroom floor across the whole space for entertaining & dancing.

The amazing illuminated ceiling over the pool was created in conjunction with Dernier & Hamlyn and a great deal of research was required, plus highly specialised manufacturing skills – especially considering the humid pool environment. Another incredible piece of craftsmanship is the bronze meshed ‘Moroccan lantern’ lift, which rides up the centre of 6 floors in the Mews House. This has a circular lift car with a glass ceiling which looks up to a glass rooflight at the top of the shaft and the London sky.