London’s fashion, jewellery and design weeks may be long-standing fixtures in the international creative calendar, but the recent addition of London Craft Week has given the city a unique edge. London Craft Week, which recently mounted its fourth edition, is the only festival in the world promoting craftsmanship: a celebration of the best in bespoke creativity from Britain and abroad.
From 9-13 May, London Craft Week showcased heritage and contemporary brands as well as independent designers at over 200 events in iconic buildings, museums and artists’ studios across the capital. Visitors had the opportunity to meet craftsmen working wonders in stone and wood, textiles and silver. Whether watchmakers, bookbinders, ceramicists or engravers, traditional makers or cutting-edge innovators, they share with their discerning clients a passion for authentic craftsmanship and the highest quality materials.
And that’s what made Northacre the ideal partner for London Craft Week. As London’s leading developer of significant revival and contemporary residential buildings, Northacre has distinguished itself through an appreciation of craftsmanship, heritage and innovation combined with matchless attention to detail and authenticity.
Since being founded by the Swedish architect Klas Nilsson three decades ago, Northacre has made its name by combining preservation with modern styles while maintaining an emphasis on craftsmanship – an increasingly rare commodity in the development sector. Northacre has set new standards for luxury developments, creating some of London’s most desirable residences and re-inventing the usage of heritage buildings to create homes that offer the best in contemporary living.
Each Northacre residence is created with legacy in mind to form something beautiful for generations to come. Whether developing notable listed buildings such as The Lancasters, The Phillimores, Kings Chelsea, and The Bromptons, or stunning new-build projects such as The Broadway in Westminster, Northacre’s schemes are carefully planned to retain or create landmark locations within London.
Commenting on the London Craft Week partnership, Northacre CEO Niccolò Barattieri di San Pietro said, ‘Craftsmanship has sat at the heart of our vision for nearly 30 years. We are delighted to be a part of this exciting initiative, as both Northacre and London Craft Week are engaged in London’s global reputation for creativity. We are thrilled to be part of the current conversation around modern day craftsmanship. Particularly as we see a growing appreciation of creativity and a quality, bespoke approach to development, especially among a high net worth international consumer.’
Guy Salter, chairman of London Craft Week, responded that he was ‘delighted for Northacre to be part of London Craft Week; we have a shared belief in the reawakening of the preservation and promotion of craftsmanship; to the role of hand, head, unique skills and true talent. It is another example of what, at its best, the world’s creative capital does well — mixing glamour with cutting edge; heritage and contemporary and the commercial with the cultural’.
Northacre’s commitment to authentic luxury was highlighted in the panel discussion it supported during London Craft Week at the Corinthia Hotel. Kate Reardon, the new editor in chief of Times Luxx, chaired a panel composed of Guy Salter, Murray Levinson, partner at Squire + Partners, Tom Savigar, senior partner at the Future Laboratory and Leanne Wierzba, a curator and design historian. In a wide ranging discussion, they spoke about ‘New Attitudes to Luxury’ and ‘The Global Search for Authenticity’.
The panel agreed that the modern-day consumer was more discerning than ever, and had got wise to inauthenticity. ‘Consumers around the world want to understand why something’s special and why it’s worth the money,’ said Guy Salter. An age of fake news and mistrust in institutions had only made consumers more exacting, said Tom Savigar: ‘In a post-truth era people don’t necessarily believe the marketing jargon but they want to understand the story’. Leanne Wierzba pointed out that authenticity related to individual and localised experiences, stressing that ‘You can’t really scale up authenticity.’
Which leads neatly on to Murray Levinson, whose architecture and design practice Squire + Partners are collaborating with Northacre on the development of six residential buildings at The Broadway. Murray spoke with authority on craftsmanship’s role in creating a beautiful and considered built environment. ‘Maintaining the historic is very important with a lot of purchasers, who feel they are buying a part of London’s history. They would understand that a stone portico is a luxurious element,’ he said. ‘On the other hand it’s important as architects that we push the bounds of contemporary architecture where we can.’
Like that of London Craft Week’s skilled artisans, Northacre’s dedication to craftsmanship and materials produces the type of luxury that is hard to come by: borne of experience, designed to last, and committed to a luxury that is truly authentic.
For more information on Northacre or their developments visit www.northacre.com.