Award-winning design house candy & candy has one sole purpose: the pursuit of perfection exceeding even the most demanding of expectations
By Nicole Kotovos
Photos Courtesy of Candy & Candy
“It’s not good enough to choose the best architect and say he is going to create a nice building. You need to have a great architect, a great designer and a great artist.”
London is already the most expensive place in the world to buy a luxury property, and the global hotspot is soon expected to set a new record, with price tags rumored to be topping out at 4000 pounds ($7600) per square foot at the luxurious One Hyde Park, a property redefining luxury in London’s real estate market. Candy & Candy, a design house known for top of the line projects worldwide, is handling the exclusive property that is taking London-and the world-by storm.
To get the scoop on One Hyde Park and the company handling it, Haute Living sat down with Nicholas Candy, one-half of the brother tag-team behind Candy & Candy (brother Christian was unavailable) at Candy & Candy’s impressive offices located on Brompton Road overlooking Harrods. Above Candy & Candy’s corporate offices is the administration office for One Hyde Park-Only those with proper credentials can enter this exclusive marketing suite.
The interview took place during a space of time between Nick’s marketing meetings with members of two distinct royal families, both interested in properties handled by Candy & Candy. As you can see, Candy & Candy is not your traditional design house. As award-winning property designers, they exist with one sole objective: To exceed even the most demanding of expectations. The company accomplishes this by using top of the line technology, infrastructure and materials while maintaining a type of open-door office policy. It is a company that is conducive to creative thinking and promotion, one where even interns are free to share their architectural dreams with their colleagues. It is home to a flat structure, where no one has a title, and everyone has a say. As Nick says, “We give people chances. If you come with a great design, we are very open-minded. We sponsor all the best design houses and colleges and take the best from there.” It is this open-mindedness that has allowed the company to grow. Candy & Candy currently employs 75, and is expecting to have more than 250 employees by the end of next year.
Candy & Candy will continue to grow and take ideas to the next level in pursuit of the company’s three purposes: To transform apartments and houses into exquisite homes, to design and develop perfect interiors and to design stunning and substantial apartment complexes of unrivaled excellence.
ONE HYDE PARK
It is this last objective that One Hyde Park falls under. And while the property may have unbelievably high prices, the cost reflects not just the cost of the home, but of the entire lifestyle experience encompassed in living at this state of the art property. Candy & Candy have united the best architects (Richard Rogers Partnership) with the best interior designers and interior architects (Candy & Candy), the best lighting artist (James Turrell) and the best service provider (Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group) into one building on Hyde Park. This is what destination living is all about: Living at One Hyde Park, which is considered by many to be one of the best projects in the world, will be like living in your own hotel of the future. The property features eighty units, ranging from one to ten bedrooms, located on the park. The building will feature thirty-six full-time staff available 24 hours a day, and will include Mandarin Oriental Hotel services, private screening rooms, a video center, a wine cellar, a cigar humidor, a golf simulator, squash courts, a gym offering yoga and Pilates, steam room, sauna and swimming pool. It is expected that this property will take home the highest price ever paid for a property worldwide
As Nick says, “In terms of buildings, no one has ever done what we are doing anywhere in the world. It’s not good enough to choose the best architect and say he is going to create a nice building. You need to have a great architect, a great designer and a great artist.” Candy & Candy exemplifies this ideal in their properties located throughout the world. They bring together the best of each industry–such as architect, interior architect, interior designer, lighting artist, and service providers– to construct an amazing all-around experience. Presently, they have completed properties in London and Monaco, with projects in the works such as One Hyde Park, 21 Chesham Place and Middlesex Hospital in London, a resort in the French Riviera, two new yachts, two new jets and a visiting center in Qatar. Candy & Candy hopes to one day expand into the United States. Also in the works is a furniture store, so everyone can bring the Candy & Candy look into their homes. As if this wasn’t enough to keep the duo busy, these two young brothers are launching a worldwide magazine, with all proceeds going to charities.
Despite the brother’s busy schedule, when you sit down with them, you become the center of their attention. Nick exudes enthusiasm at a constant-rate. His charming English accent and quick smile put you at ease, and you get the feeling that he is genuine, an important quality to have when closing multimillion deals. It is immediately apparent how much he loves his work. He says, “I don’t think you can do anything right unless you work hard, and right now, I am working the hardest I ever have.”
Both brothers, now 33 and 32 respectively, were born in London and raised in Surrey. Their mother is Greek Cypriot, their father half-Italian, half-English. Nick and Christian were inspired at a young age by living in a family of the arts: their mother and father were both involved in stage and production. Nick recalls, “From the age of six or seven, we were on photo shoots and sets, so we grew up around very creative people.” Their parents lived and understood the struggles of an artist’s life, and therefore tried to persuade their sons to take on income-stable careers. They took their creative background and turned it into a world-renowned company that is more than income stable.
The brothers currently reside in Monaco, where they work together and live together. Their yacht, Candyscape, moored in Monaco, is Nick’s favorite project to date. It comes as no surprise that there is a Candyscape II (complete with 65 meter helipad) near completion, along with a concept yacht that will have an internal and external waterfall. The plan is to have the external flow through the various decks, finally coming to rest in a pool, while its internal cousin will fall through the middle of the boat, pooling in a Japanese-style pool with a glass bottom. Nick says, “They are trying to tell me this can’t be done, but we will find a way.”
Being that the brothers spend the better part of every day together, it is inevitable that tensions will arise, but Nick is quick to dispel that: “We get on well, but make no mistake we argue,” he says. “But it’s always for the greater good of the company.” The two play off each other extremely well, both at work and at play. The two are both in relationships, but not yet married, although they believe it is in the cards.
But before that step is taken, Nick says, “I want Candy & Candy to be a global brand.” The duo is working hard on accomplishing this through various projects, the most interesting of which is The Middlesex Hospital, a famous landmark on four acres near Oxford Street. The huge, historical hospital will be managed by Candy & Candy, and turned into apartments, retail spaces and offices. “It has one of the most unbelievable chapels you have ever seen, which we are turning into a restaurant. It’s the coolest thing.” Like I mentioned, his enthusiasm oozes, and you can’t help but get caught up in his vision.
He says, “Luxury, in the future, will be about an experience. We are lucky because all the people that come to us want to have that experience, whether it is on a jet, on a yacht or in the apartments. They want their senses to be brought alive.”
At the 21 Chesham Place development, Candy & Candy is working in collaboration with Foster and Partner to make senses come alive. This project is introducing London’s largest and most luxurious lateral apartments, and is to be the first lateral living space in Belgravia, London’s most important conservation area. The units will be approximately 8000 square feet, and the level of detail included is incredible. “Our interior designers fly all around the world sourcing the finest materials, right down to hand-picking the best slabs of marble to make sure they have the best veins,” says Martine of Candy & Candy. These state-of-the-art apartments come complete with smart system wiring to control lighting, security, video entry, audio, visual, curtains and external doors. Internal temperature will be controlled via advanced comfort cooling systems with unique UV solar filters integrated into the windows. Two of the units will come with their own indoor swimming pools and steam rooms, making this property the ultimate luxurious living environment.
Candy & Candy was able to accomplish all this because they work with the best technology groups in the world, always coming out with new ideas and pushing existing boundaries. They are always trying to create firsts. A prime example is their invention of the “Intelligent Mirror” for the fashion-conscious. By combining a 50″ Plasma screen with a hidden camera, Candy & Candy have created an interactive mirror that allows users to see their attire from all angles, complete with playback features, revealing the body mid-spin. The Intelligent Mirror also features a movement sensor to eliminate the necessity of an on/off switch. It features a clothing catalog archiving system, which keeps records of all your outfits and archives seasonal looks as well as downloads fashion look books from top luxury brands.
Another development to quell one client’s desires was interactive wallpaper. The end result was wallpaper featuring butterflies that flew away when they were touched. Candy & Candy strives to constantly enhance people’s living spaces. “No” is not a word in the company vocabulary.
The company also has two planes in the works by Bombardier, a top manufacturer, which will soon whisk the brothers off to their various developments around the globe.
In recent years, Candy & Candy has received many accolades including ones at the Best Contemporary Design Awards, at the Evening Standard Best Lifestyle Awards, and was awarded Best UK Property at the International Property Awards for the past four years. These two brothers are young, personable and achieving monumental levels of success. With their continuous pursuit of perfection, Candy & Candy will continue to captivate the world for years to come.