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Oceanic House

London, United Kingdom

In the Grade II listed Oceanic House in London, history is almost tangible. This is the former HQ of the White Star Line shipping company, and the place where tickets to the RMS Titanic were sold. BLDA Architects created up market apartments behind the historic facades.

Link between cultures
“We do a lot of work with listed buildings in London”, says project director Chris Phillips. “One of the challenging aspects is to respect the history of the building. For Oceanic House, we visited the Titanic Museum in Belfast, which brought home the importance of these ships and what they represented: a link between countries and cultures, for people of all classes.”

“We specifically selected the kind of materials and used the design language that would have been recognizable in Edwardian times.”

Greek and Baroque motifs
Honouring the architecture of the building itself was another challenge, says Phillips. “Oceanic House is an Edwardian building, with high ceilings and Greek and Baroque motifs. The only significant aspect of the interior that has survived from the original is the structural steel frame, which to a large extent dictated the setting out of the interior walls to the apartments. Our task was to invoke the period of the original construction; to honour the magnificent external design by finishing the building on the inside.”

“It’s a huge challenge to achieve the design quality that people might expect in a location like this. Judging by the reception, we succeeded.”

Integral interior design
The large format herringbone flooring in the salons, hallways and reception rooms was integral to the interior design, Phillips explains. “The floor was set out on-site to the main axis of the rooms, emphasising the key lines of sight. It was then very carefully fleshed out, to avoid small cut-outs. Thanks to the quality of the subcontractor’s work, and the quality of the product, this worked out very well indeed.”

Products used
Flooring Honest FSC, Authentic Collection
Grades Premier 1-bis FSC
Finish Oil
Herringbone dimensions 20 x 85 x 510 mm (3/4" x 3 3/8" x 20 1/16")
Flooring HV 1295 FSC, Bespoke
Grades Premier 1-bis FSC
Finish Oil
Thickness 20 mm (3/4")
Plank widths 240 mm (9 1/2")
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