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THE SURFACE WITHIN – 7th Anniversary
Although Minoli had always operated within London and the home counties, it had been many decades since the company had a permanent base within the confines of the capital.
After the success for the new corporate showroom in Oxford opening in the summer of 2010, it was decided that with the increase in market activity and the number of enquiries for Minoli product – that the time had come to return to the city.
During early 2011 the search began in the areas that had been identified as being the best possible locations for Minoli – Marylebone, Fitzrovia or Mayfair.
Many a day was spent on the streets of the West End, with little or no success, the buildings were either too large or too small, or without any character – we certainly didn’t want or need a straightforward ‘retail box’.
One particularly hot afternoon in the summer of 2011 Jonathon was heading back to Marylebone (Home House of course) for a well-deserved cup of tea, after a long day looking at sites and happened upon a row of residential and commercial buildings on George street that were being renovated.
The rest is history…
This part of George Street runs north of and parallel to Oxford Street. The area ideally located for ease of access to Mayfair, Marylebone and Marble Arch, we hoped our clients would be drawn to visit us at such a fabulous location, making the most of the fabulous amenities that were in the surrounding ‘villages’ as well as all that this neighbourhood had to offer.
This particular row of terraced shops and residential housing, in which the showroom potential resided, was built around 1800 and is associated with the Portman Estates own Gloucester Place development.
The Unit 71 – 73 George Street was Grade II listed and with English Heritage certification, having only been cosmetically refurbished in the renovation, the façade of No 71 still retained the ornamental stone carvings depicting four lions along the frontage, which were perhaps the mark of the builder or owner of the development at the original time of construction.
The buildings as shown here in the pictures were presented to potential users as a shell and as you will see from the images – there really wasn’t much there at all – but the site was the perfect size and in a wonderful location – all we needed now was a little design inspiration…