History and Influences
Before the introduction of the railway in 1857, Beckenham was a typical English village. Now absorbed into the London suburbs, it nevertheless retains an air which captures the essence of the English countryside with beautiful green spaces and community atmosphere. Grand historic houses and extensive parkland shape the landscape and elegant villas grace the tree lined streets. Beckenham has a genuine community feel, centred on the Green, which is flanked in a traditional way by shops, the local school and St George’s Church. Here, farmers’ markets, concerts and fetes take place. This retention of a village quality makes Beckenham quite unique.
We have been influenced by the sense of heritage and community which is apparent in Beckenham and wish to reflect this in the shape and presentation of the internal spaces. We hope to provide space for gatherings, performance and celebration as well as comfortable intimate places to relax.
We aim to create a vibrant, informal Cafe Area, adjacent to the Grand Lobby and Reception, the scale of which will echo the grandeur of the great houses surrounding the town. The Restaurant will be gracious in style, reminiscent of the manor house, whilst the Bistro will reflect Beckenham’s sporting heritage and be a cheerful location to dine and have a pint or a sherry!
The Emporium interior will echo the luxury and indulgences of any great manor house and the Cinema will be strongly influenced by the famous Chinese Garage, a local landmark since its construction on the Langley Estate in 1928.
Key to the design and a new feature for Signature is the Village Hall, a multi-purpose room which combines the functions of Activity Room and Training Room into one area, subdivided by an opening partition.
In addition to providing much needed extra space for activities, the room can be converted into a small theatre with a demountable stage. It is hoped that residents and their families will be able to share events such as concerts, religious services, fashion shows, fetes and other community based occasions.
In summary, the principles of heritage and community that define the character of Beckenham have provided the inspiration for the interior design. The shape of the spaces will encourage the residents to feel part of a real community, with design details and presentation reflecting the local heritage and respecting its history and personalities.