Grainger’s Nautilus Apartments draws on site’s maritime heritage

Reflecting the site’s rich maritime heritage, Studio Moren shares its design inspiration for the sustainable amenity spaces at Grainger's Nautilus Apartments.

Reception at Grainger's Nautilus Apartments Build to Rent scheme | Studio Moren | BTR News
Reception at Grainger's Nautilus Apartments Build to Rent scheme. Image courtesy of Grainger.

Residential landlord and Build to Rent provider Grainger worked alongside London based architecture and interior design company Studio Moren at its Nautilus Apartments development in Canning Town, East London.

The team’s design responsibilities included an informal reception area and relaxed, shared living and working spaces for residents. At Nautilus Apartments, part of the wider Fortunes Dock scheme, the water around the boats and the interiors of the vessels and steam-powered boats which used the dock was the stimulus for the look and feel of the development.

With a significant maritime heritage and history, the team at Studio Moren focused on this throughout theBuild to Rent scheme’s amenity spaces. Sustainability and creating connection was also prioritised. With the furniture, fixtures and fittings, they were carefully sourced to minimise the building’s environmental impact throughout its lifecycle.

“We thought back to the ships pulling into the dock and the relationship between the water and the quayside, adding elements inspired by those moments. We drew a natural wave throughout the design, expressed using organic forms and materials and a bright, airy palette accented with soft lighting. Subtle wall coverings inspired by the surrounding environment and textiles create a comforting environment where residents can work, relax and feel welcome. We believe that the reimagined, recycled materials match any new products in terms of quality and style, with many crafted by hand and having their own unique identity. Sustainability is critical to us and Grainger, and rightly demanded by today’s residential community and was one of our primary concerns when sourcing materials.”

Rachael Reid, Senior Interior Designer, Studio Moren
Communal area at Nautilus Apartments | Studio Moren | Grainger | BTR News
Communal area at Nautilus Apartments. Image courtesy of Grainger.

A diverse range of finishes were employed throughout the Nautilus Apartments property, including timber terrazzo tabletops made from off-cut timber from UK building sites, and surfaces made from plastics collected from various post-consumer and post-industrial sources.

Fabrics specified included Kirkby Design’s Fleck Eco, which combines recycled wool and acrylic yarns with TENCEL Lyocell and 100% PET recycled polyester yarns, all of which have been sourced from the fashion industry. The TENCEL Lyocell is made from sustainably grown eucalyptus trees and the PET recycled polyester yarns are produce from waste plastic bottles. In addition, for every metre of this fabric sold, Kirkby Design donates a percentage of proceeds to reforestation projects in the Scottish Highlands.

“Nautilus Apartments is a great new addition to our wider Fortunes Dock scheme, following the successful launch of Argo Apartments in 2018. Following a successful launch of Nautilus Apartments, our newest residents are now enjoying living at Hallsville Quarter, an excellent East London location, with a unique blend of high street and independent shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants on the doorstep.”

Helen Gordon, Chief Executive, Grainger 
Communal area at Nautilus Apartments | Studio Moren | Grainger | BTR News
Communal area at Nautilus Apartments. Image courtesy of Grainger.

Studio Moren and Grainger have also aimed to instill a sense of community throughout the design of Nautilus Apartments. An emphasis has been placed on the scheme’s intimate spaces, with chairs and tables of a suitable height to work and relax and acoustic timber paneling used throughout to create intimacy.

“Our projects seek to ensure that we create the feeling of a home from home, bringing together hospitality and residential to build something more than the ordinary. We wanted to design spaces where people felt they could spend time and connect with others, encouraging those positive experiences and engagement which inspire renters to build bonds with the local community and stay for longer.”

David Harte, Co-Head of Interiors, Studio Moren

Reflecting the growth in remote and flexible working, the Nautilus Apartments amenity spaces are woven through with workspaces, allowing multiple residents to work and collaborate throughout. A playful and relaxed atmosphere was fostered, with tables inlaid with chess boards as well as space for books and objects relating to the local area.