Our client Northacre is one of London’s leading developers of very high-end residences, with a particular focus and expertise on the refurbishment of listed buildings. The team have worked with this client since 1987.


The Lancasters was originally an elegant parade of 15 magnificent stucco-fronted Grade II listed houses dating from the mid nineteenth century. In recent years this had been converted into a rambling hotel and other accommodation, and become dilapidated. Restoration by London’s leading team of developers, architects and interior designers has created a unique fusion of traditional architecture with brand new design and construction, incorporating the very latest in 21st Century digital technology. The architects wanted to ensure that they left the building in good shape for the next 150 years.


The majority of the 77 homes, facing south with views across Hyde Park, boast main reception rooms with imposing architectural detailing. Each home has been designed around the grandeur of these original interior features, such as high ceilings, ornate cornicing and fireplaces. The apartments range from 1,100sq ft to a majestic 5,400sq ft. There are also two wonderful houses of more than 10,000sq ft each.


The design emphasis was very much on ensuring that the requirements of modern living were provided without diminishing the architectural splendour of the original features. All apartments were to be wired for sound throughout, ready to install preferred audiovisual equipment. Each room was to be provided with an audio keypad to control volume and source switching. Principal reception rooms were required to be wired for surround-sound, enabling the installation of a home cinema. The architect and the developer required that there was as little “real estate” on the walls of apartments as possible and we were limited to one double gang back box per keypad location.


Each apartment has a unique lighting scheme, designed to offer solutions for everything from reading in comfort to enhancing artwork. All apartments benefit from a whole-home lighting control system to allow scene setting. All South-facing apartments were to be wired to allow for future installation of a full-range of shading options.


Touch-screen control was specified in every apartment. It was a requirement of the developer’s brief that HVAC controls were to be integrated with the this and the lighting systems and that door video entry communications and control and concierge communications and be integrated with the integration system. We have worked with this developer for many years to provide integrated single keypads that control lighting, audio and temperature, and their priority is to provide their purchasers with clear, elegant, intuitive and consistent controls. We all agreed it was critical to enable homeowners to proactively manage their energy use using this keypad.


Communal systems had to include a three-satellite dish SMATV system to provide for Sky and two foreign satellite dishes, utilising a single dish location at one end of the terrace. A development-wide internal and external CCTV system with day/night capability and 28-day recording was to be fully integrated with the access control system. Vehicular and pedestrian access control and video entry was to be provided and all these systems were to be centrally controlled and monitored from two locations at the concierge desk and in the manager’s office.