The lower ground floor of this existing four storey Edwardian Villa, in St. John’s Wood, London has been reconfigured and reinvented to create a 200sqm lateral apartment of flowing open plan living spaces that are visually and physically connected to the garden, flooded with natural light and imbued with a unique atmosphere by rich and unusual material textures and spatial juxtapositions.
Central to our approach was the insertion of a ‘joinery spine’ manifested as a continuous cabinetry element that runs 100ft (32m) throughout the apartment and acts both as a ‘threshold’ and a ‘container’ of objects and functions.
As a container, the joinery wall has been designed to meet the changing programmatic requirements of the spaces it serves, initially comprising of coat and hat storage upon entrance to the home, moving progressively towards kitchen cake stands and candle display shelving to the rear dining area. The brass framed glass vitrines that punctuate the wall are designed to animate the spaces in which they sit; lined with grey felt as a twist on the traditional green museum display cases and lit with concealed LED lighting, they provide a stage for a continually changing display of the client’s collection of favourite objects or their latest culinary creations.
The palette of materials for the project has been carefully chosen to give a distinct character to each of the spaces. Contemporary finishes such as the douglas fir flooring and joinery wall and the concrete worktops have been blended with bespoke brass handles, traditional Belfast sink, brass taps and natural limestone flooring. Where spaces have been opened up the new structure has been left bare to retain a reading of the original plan form and where ‘period’ features have been inserted their artifice has been revealed. Throughout the apartment reclaimed lighting has been carefully chosen and positioned often to provide both a specific material or sculptural presence within the space as well as a particular quality of light.
Photographs by Charles Hosea.
Hats shown by Pip Hackett.