Students offer 'secondary skin' to Marylebone house designs

Ten final year Interior Design BA (Hons) students at Regent’s University London have wowed local residents with their plans for a much needed facelift to the rear façade of a group of 1960s terraced houses in Marylebone.

The street makeover project – ‘Secondary Skin’ – was set up as a design competition in partnership with the Devonshire Place Mews Residents’ Association (DPMRA) for Regent’s students as part of their six-week interior design module.

Speaking at a public display of the students’ final designs, held at Regent’s University London this month (November 2015), Chair of the DPMRA Matthew Cohen said:

“This project covers 31 properties between 13-27 Beaumont Street and 25-40 Devonshire Place Mews, and we’ve been thrilled by the creativity and concepts on show. 

“The students have been amazing and their work has given residents a real flavour of what can be achieved if we all work together."

A key objective of the competition has been to encourage members of the DPMRA to buy-in to the street makeover and implement the winning student’s design.

Matthew announced the winner of the competition as Zoe Bailey for her ‘Mid-Century Muse’ concept, alongside runner-up Ahmed Omar for his ‘Mod 50’ design.

Zoe said: 

“I listened carefully to the client’s comments about how they wanted a mid-century design, as well as the fact that the site is very dark at night and has lots of clutter, including parked cars. I wanted to beautify and unify it. One key feature of Mid-Century Muse is the carport, which camouflages vehicles from the street and helps create structure to the buildings.”

Ahmed explained:

“The rear façade of the Mews doesn’t have any architectural detail so I stripped it back into basic geometry and lines, then transformed this into something three-dimensional. I was inspired by materials including blackened steel, glass and used a matt grey colour scheme.”

Mark Gower, Programme Director of Interior Design at Regent’s University London, concluded:

“This live project has genuine community spirit behind it and has offered an authentic experience for the students, allowing them to have a client and listen to a brief, carry out a site visit, and work on achieving buy-in from the residents involved. We have high hopes the winning design will become a reality.”

The Secondary Skin design exhibition will run in the Knapp Gallery at Regent’s University London until the end of January 2016.