The Gessner, UK

May 12, 2022

Way of Life’s The Gessner is a collection of 164 apartments to rent and guest suites for short stays located in Tottenham Hale, London. Taking inspiration from member’s clubs, design studio Fettle Design completed the residential schemes.

A full-service contemporary rental offering for the UK, Way of Life’s 164 apartments to rent include a selection of studios, one, two, and three-bedroom apartments with views across London. Tenancies for the apartments start from six months to five years, and all apartments are pet-friendly, with many including private balconies. Amenities include an on-site café, fully equipped gym and full-time concierge and support team on site. Shared spaces for residents include a large rooftop garden with BBQ, communal kitchen and dining room, sitting rooms and lounges with fireplaces.  

Apartments are available furnished or unfurnished, meaning the interior architecture is decidedly neutral to allow residents to put their own stamp on their home or move into a fully furnished space curated in a way they can interpret. 

Way of Life’s offering includes full-service, contemporary rental agreements in London and across the UK. It is designed to lay the foundations for renters to make a home, with ready-to-move-in accommodation, no-fuss tenancy management and an in-house team to take care of billing, contracts, and general life admin, with no need for deposits or service charges.

Fettle’s curated design approach for The Gessner spans living spaces as well as communal areas, which include guest kitchens and dining rooms, lounges, an on-site café and workspace, and a large-scale rooftop terrace. The thoughtful design elements draw on Fettle’s experience with leading hotels, bars, and restaurants across the globe, which is reflected in the mixture of private residential spaces and communal areas, designed to anticipate how residents will utilise different areas throughout their tenure. 

Following Way of Life’s philosophy, the homes give residents the opportunity to make them their own. Most of the furniture is bespoke and suited to each apartment size, including some signature bespoke lighting pieces for shared spaces. A focus on quality and attention to detail is evident even down to the finer touches across the rooms; a fully equipped kitchen supplied by Borough Kitchen, Buster and Punch ironmongery, Earl of East bathroom products, smart TV from Samsung, equipment from YogaMatters and handmade ceramics from local artisans.

Dedicated guest suites provide opportunities for visitors to experience the Way of Life lifestyle and design, available for a minimum of two nights. Guests can stay in the double bedrooms and gain access to all the amenities and perks enjoyed by full time residents, including the same high level of finishes and thoughtful designs throughout. 

Andy Goodwin, Director at Fettle Design, tells darc about their involvement and approaches to decorative lighting throughout the residential project. “We were approached by Way of Life to design the interiors for The Gessner, taking on both the residential apartments, short stay guest suites and communal areas. Way of Life wanted to create a space inspired by best-in-class hospitality, so our experience working in hospitality – designing for hotels, restaurants, bars and members clubs – was a huge advantage,” he explains. 

“Decorative lighting is incredibly important when designing a space. One of the elements we introduced, which differentiates The Gessner from others in the sector, is the layered approach to lighting in the communal areas. We approached the lighting the same way we would for one of our hospitality projects, using a layered approach to create a residential feel and a beautiful ambience in the public spaces such as the lobby and shared spaces like the dining and living room. Low level lighting such as table lamps and floor lamps provide additional feature lighting, complemented by wall lights and picture lights which create this layered effect.

“Within the residential apartments and guest suites, we opted for a smaller quantity of lights to create the same effect in these more intimate spaces. Traditionally, apartments in this sector would not feature an abundance of lighting, but we introduced pendant lighting, and even chandeliers in some of the larger apartments, which is relatively unusual. These are complemented by table lights and smaller lights to allow residents to control the lighting in their apartment to suit their changing needs over the course of the day – whether they are working, relaxing, or spending time with friends – and create ambience when required.”

With the majority of fixtures supplied by Zico Lighting, Goodwin continues describing the importance of decorative lighting and how it impacts the overall ambience and impression of a space, as well as the design choices behind the fixtures used in various spaces: “In many of the communal areas for residents, such as the ground floor guest lounge and 13th floor dining room and resident lounge, we introduced larger bespoke lighting for impact. Ceiling fittings such as chandeliers or semi-flush fittings on the ceiling, create a main focal point within these spaces. We decided on bespoke fittings for the ceiling lights, to maximise the impact and make them a feature in their own right. In both the communal areas and the private spaces, we paired the larger ceiling lights with wall lights to create a sense of depth in the space. For the wall lights, we worked with a long-time collaborator Visual Comfort, which provided high quality finishes for the lights that align with the wider interior design of The Gessner.”

Goodwin’s final impressions were that of a renowned success for all involved: “We really enjoyed working with the Way of Life team to deliver The Gessner and have been delighted with the outcome. We utilised many of the same suppliers we use within the members clubs, hotels, and restaurant projects that we work on and believe that this, alongside our extensive experience of these spaces, has created a unique perspective to this residential scheme. We collaborated well with the client team who pushed us to develop a scheme that we feel is totally different to others in this sector and will be an amazing place to reside. We hope the residents enjoy living there as much as we enjoyed designing it.

“From a design perspective, the lighting was one of the areas that we pushed to differentiate from competitors and previous projects Way of Life has developed. We decided to reduce the amount of architectural and down lighting in the space and instead utilised incandescent light from decorative elements, creating a warm and inviting space. As you enter The Gessner and move around the public spaces, the lighting helps to create a sense of welcome, which invites you in and helps residents feel at home. From this perspective, the choice of lighting was a key reason why the project fulfilled the brief and has been so successful.”

Gavin Chetty, Creative Director of Way of Life, adds: “With their impressive track record in hotels and hospitality design, Fettle were our partner of choice to bring The Gessner to life. Fettle’s design sets a new standard for stylish, quality yet accessible rentals in London, with high calibre design, which has been considered down to the last detail. Our vision for The Gessner is to raise the bar for hospitality-inspired living in London and create spaces for residents, guests, and visitors to enjoy however they choose. We’re delighted to welcome the first residents and guests to experience this new Way of Life.”

Images: Way Of Life