Circle Luxury Duplex Penthouse Design Tower Bridge

Guest post from Susan Quirke, Quirke McNamara Consultancy

The Circle

This was one of the first redevelopment projects in Shad Thames designed by the iconic Piers Gough in 1989 with its bright blue striking facade. The circus formed by the two separate semi-circles (divided by Queen Elizabeth Street) is clad in blue tiles, with a large sculpture of ‘Jacob’ – a shire horse who rescued many people during one of the fires to sweep through east London.

This property based at Tower Bridge (Shad Thames) was set over two floors the kitchen and open plan living room on the top and as you enter the bedrooms, study and bathrooms.

The property was very tired when I was shown around by the client and had been a major DIY project by the last owner with orange walls and cheap glass blocks and laminate flooring.

The new owner a single woman in her 40’s working in the city wanted to totally gut the space wanting a new kitchen and new flooring and new bathroom designs also.

Overall a high end hotel feel was the scope for the project using vibrant bold colours and rich dark walnut flooring.

The roof terrace also looks into the city and you can see the river from the bedroom with boats passing by coming from Tower Bridge going towards The Docklands.


On the lower floor for the guest bedroom we created a hotel style bedroom with illuminated floating bed & light feature sculptures. Bespoke storage units & fumed oak flooring maximise the luxurious feel of the space.  Dark rich purple and wine colours give the walls a luxurious feel overall.

The main bathroom we totally gutted so that we could create a new walk in wet room space with a curved smoked grey shower screen. A feature ruby red glass wall faces you with inset storage which then leads out of the shower to the large sink area with illuminated mirror and grey slate tiling.

While the ensuite off the master bedroom has a more feminine feel with textured silver mirrored walls & an inset waterproof TV with a luxury bath area.


We also added the same silver mirror finish to the back wall behind the spiral stairs which I lit with blue LED lighting to create a dramatic feature wall and show the stairs off within the space. Tiny Blue LED lights are also set within the floor guiding you to each room.

The home office is very bright and minimal with a white theme designing a full storage wall in white lacquer and a bespoke desk for the client to work from and with a view of the river from the balcony on this floor it’s the perfect space for working from home.

The spiral glass stairs clad in a grey Perspex with glass inset steps leads to the open plan living room/kitchen.


The Kitchen itself was a very tricky shape and not a large space and I wanted to create something dramatic especially with the double –height wall above that was eye catching and a social space within the room as it leads out to the long balcony overlooking the city with views of the walkie talkie I wanted to add a curved breakfast style bar in glass cantilevered from the front of the island so that in the evening the client could host parties from this area then moving on to the terrace as the night progressed.


We bespoke designed the whole new kitchen area incorporating a champagne fridge. Purple & black reflective quartz stone worktops & dark oak units with black & red glass splash backs & LED lighting & feature space extractor create a very modernist feel. I created a step up inset with LED lighting to divide this area from the dining space.

The roof terrace as such a fantastic space I added colour LED external lighting to bring a touch of glamour with the planting being illuminated in vivid jewel like colours of red and orange and greens & to highlight the dramatic water feature in granite and stone.

It also compliments the interior lighting scheme as there are no curtain on the full wall of floor to ceiling windows as the property is up high enough for no one to overlook it. So the interior and exterior blend together.

The Living room area is at the opposite end to the kitchen again with a double height feature wall. I bespoke designed a TV unit with integrated storage finished in a silver lacquer which I have illuminated with colour changing LED which highlights the Architectural features in the room. Beautiful Italian furniture in charcoal colours set off the area with a deep purple egg chair and oval white lacquered coffee table.


I inset floating glass shelves onto the side wall which I side illuminated so the light shines through them. This wall I painted a vibrant lipstick red. The overall colour scheme for the duplex is quite dramatic using rich reds and deep purples blending with the dark oak and walnut floors highlighted with black and red glass and worktops and a beautiful textured silver mirror finish to some of the walls creating the ultimate city duplex.


Susan Quirke

Quirke McNamara Consultancy

Copyright 2013

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