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The apartment with a point of view

Exemplar always produce prototypes when designing & constructing buildings. But what is a prototype and why do we do this?

In essence a prototype is used to examine the whole design process and helps identify areas for improvement and potential refinement that will enhance aesthetics and buildability. This early examination also means that revisions can improve robustness, as well as potentially saving time and money.

The photo here is one for our prototype of Fitzroy Place, a new development in the heart of Fitzrovia, London W1. The prototype was built in a warehouse in West London, which allowed ample space to construct and furnish this full sized two bedroom apartment. Once complete, it was the very first opportunity for us and the different contractors to review the complete design – from understanding the concept, to seeing its expression in plan and material form.

From the design perspective we could ensure that everything was properly coordinated, including the apartment layout, use of materials and lighting. It also enabled us to check the quality of finish and ensure that every element met our exacting standards. It was an invaluable process for the contractors, who could review for example the mechanical and electrical installation ensuring appropriate voids and service runs were maintained.

Putting aesthetics and detail to one side, one of the largest areas of knowledge that can be gleaned from building a prototype apartment is the increased understanding of the actual build process itself. This is imperative in ensuring that the large numbers of contractors work seamlessly to a dedicated and agreed programme and final product.

At Fitzroy Place, where we are creating over 200 apartments, the build of the prototype apartment has proved an invaluable and rewarding undertaking.

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