Last week on the blog we took a tour of The Department Store, a newly renovated office building in Brixton, which is now the headquarters of architectural practice, Squire & Partners. But the firm don’t just occupy the space – they were the creative force behind the transformation. Layers of history are evident throughout the former Edwardian department store, mingling effortlessly with modern touches and finishes. There’s a sense of decay and a sense of polish, all at the same time. A theme that continues in the staff bathrooms and shower rooms.

Staff WCs

This project was led on the C.P. Hart side by Julia Dawes from our Contracts division. It was important that the strong design aesthetic was mirrored in the WCs to prevent a disconnect of styles. This uniformity is evident in elements such as the colour palette and raw concrete floors. 

There are separate male and female WCs on each floor in an annexe. Spa-quality facilities were incorporated, including hand towel dispensers, vanity shelving and brass-framed individual mirrors. Samuel Heath’s Landmark brassware in an unlacquered brass finish and antique brass bottle traps from the same range were chosen to maintain the industrial feel that permeates the rest of the building. 

Working in tandem with Squire & Partners' interior design team, Julia suggested Duravit sanitaryware for its versatility, and Starck 2 back-to-wall pans with Geberit Kappa 50 flush plates and compact Vero handbasins to optimise space within the individual cubicles. Geometric hex tiles that incorporate the green, black and white colour theme are placed in random, unfinished motifs, while French-inspired brass door hardware reading ‘Ferme’ and ‘Libre’, recall the Bon Marché era.

Shower rooms

The shower rooms located on the lower ground floor next to the bike storage room have utility at their core, but also flaunt plenty of style. And there’s a beautiful contrast between the plaster finish on the walls and the sleek black doors with Samuel Heath brass door handles – the well worn and refined go hand in hand. 

There are seven individual shower rooms that showcase Dornbracht Tara shower sets in matt black with rain shower heads for maximum coverage, along with timber benches and full-height mirrors. A further three WC cubicles include Duravit Starck 2 close-coupled pans and Tara basin mixers again in matt black.  

What’s more, an accessible shower was installed with the same matt black Tara brassware, with a HEWI hinged shower seat, shower curtain and support rail.