Debbie Phillips, head of domestic specification at Bristan, explains how the right bathroom style was created in the recently completed luxury development of the historic Royal Sea Bathing Hospital in Margate.
Overlooking Westbrook Bay, the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital is an iconic building which has stood on the northern coastline of Kent since 1791.Last year the historic hospital was brought back to life and went from disused to ‘des res’ as part of a multimillion pound project to turn the prestigious building into a luxury apartment complex. Under the expert guidance of the Harriss Group, the building has now been renovated into 78 elegant and stylish apartments, providing some of the most stylish living accommodation in Margate.
The journey to achieving this, however, was an acute one. With its status as a regional treasure, it was vital that the building was sympathetically renovated so as not to detract from its inherent elegance and classical features, while also bringing it bang up to date for the modern consumer.
Also, in targeting the top end of the market, it was integral that all elements of the specification for the apartments created a luxury finish to appeal to the more discerning buyer.
With the bathroom being a key selling point for any property, second only to the kitchen, it was especially important for the developers to choose bathroom product suppliers who could provide beautiful, luxury products which would also deliver a superior bathing experience. And given that the bathrooms and en-suite facilities for each apartment used clean and contemporary white sanitaryware, the chosen taps and shower fittings also needed to inject personality and add a real wow factor.
Shower in style
After searching the market the team’s specifiers opted for Bristan’s Carre shower. The initial draw was the shower’s styling; with a surface mounted rigid riser and drench shower head inspired by more traditional fixtures, and the addition of an integral diverter handset adding modernity as well as flexibility for the user. The result, the Harriss Group felt, was a perfect mixture of old and new.
More so, Carre offered numerous functional benefits. As a thermostatic shower, it is able to maintain the showering temperature by compensating for changes in the incoming water temperature and pressure to ensure water is always delivered at a safe temperature. Also, it features an automatic shut off in the event of a hot or cold water supply failure, thus reducing the risk of scalding – helping to optimise the safety credentials on the build.
As another major plus point, the shower features Bristan’s unique ‘Fast Fix’ fixing system –meaning it can be fitted a lot quicker than traditional setups, making the installer’s job a lot easier. The result was major labour cost savings for the housebuilder, as well as helping to ensure construction deadlines were met on time.
Next, it was time to consider the choice of taps. As one of the first things to catch a potential buyer’s eye when walking into the bathroom, here the remit was to choose a tap which was striking in design while remaining elegant and modern.
Consequently, the specifiers chose chrome basin taps from Bristan’s popular Nero range; combining a simple profile with soft, organic curves, the range epitomises pared-down modern luxury, injecting a new dimension into even the simplest of interior decors. Plus, for the eco-aware consumer, the taps are BMA approved and can be used with a flow regulator to reduce water usage.
Following the completion of the project, the end result was a huge success. Striking in simplicity, both the taps and showers have worked to inject an added dimension and subtle style statement in the otherwise minimalist bathroom design, all without compromising on the classic ethos of the build. And functionality is more than accounted for – whether potential buyers are seeking optimised safety, ease of use or the potential for water-saving, all boxes are ticked.
The end result features a product selection which captures the ethos of the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital scheme, and met the developer’s requirement not only for great looking fixtures and fittings but all the added advantages of competitive pricing and fast fit technology.