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tex-tonic house 1


tex-tonic house 1

The idea of substance is crucial to the work of Paul McAneary Architects. In its most obvious manifestation substance speaks of physical materiality and the haptic quality of architecture – what things are made of and how they are put together. It also alludes to a rigour underscoring both the ideas behinds buildings and their actual construction. Typically, this takes the form of a craft-based approach to detailing and fabrication, often as a result of research and experimentation.

Tex-Tonic House 1 forms part of a project for the conversion of two luxury apartments on the top floor of a former Post Office building in central London. In both cases, the way in which materials are wrought, manipulated and repurposed gives the architecture an expressive contemporary resonance.

Within a fluidly open plan, double-height volume, space is defined and demarcated by a series of orthogonal elements. As the client enjoys entertaining, they required a versatile living space for parties and relaxation. Enclosed by oak walls, two bedroom boxes are set at the end of the long living room, nestling under its pitched roof structure. Paul McAneary Architects experimented with various types of surface treatments and finally alighted on a method of wire-brushing and sand blasting with a caustic soda finish to give the oak a weathered appearance. Further experiments with fabrication experiments yielded the distinctive monolithic concrete fireplace, which was cast in situ.

A new timber lattice structure supports a specially designed acoustic ceiling to dampen echo and reverberations within the large single volume. An elegantly thin mezzanine floor is suspended from the roof structure creating a long gallery that seems to float above the living space. The idea of the house as an urban eyrie, functional yet appealing intimately to the senses, finds powerful expression in this cultivated synthesis of space, light and materials. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value £2.4M
Location Victoria, London
Client Private
Date 2008 – 2010
Area 466m²
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design through to end of construction, material creation, lighting design, glazing design, landscape design, planning
Consultants DP9, Peter Deer & Associates, Clancy Consulting
Main Contractor LS Construction
Sub Contractor Plankco, Black Isle Bronze
Supplier Aston Matthews, DirectStone, Palmalisa Zantetedeschi, Quantum, Catalano
Awards 2015 YAYA – Finalist, 2014 UK Property Awards – Won Best Architecture Single Residence London, UK, London Evening Standard – Highly Commended for Best Apartment, 2013 International Design & Architecture Awards – Shortlisted for Residential £2.5 – 35 Million Award, RIBA Awards – Shortlisted for London Regional Awards, SBID – Shortlisted for Residential Intelligent Design Category, 2011 Design Awards – Won Living Space Design of the Year, The Wood Awards – Shortlisted for Structural Award
Exhibitions 2012 Young Architect of the Year 2011 NLA Don’t Move, Improve
Press 2014 Jill Entwistle, ‘Back to School’, FX Magazine, February 2014, 2013 New London Architecture Annual Publication, New London 2013/2014, Home Design A Passion for Living by George Lam, Tiago Krusse, ‘Tex Tonic’, design Magazine, November / December 2013, 2012 Modern Lux Housing by Sandu Publishing, ‘Tex-Tonic House 1’, Designer and Designing, December 2012, James Cleland, ‘ Textural and tectonic’, Renovate, July 2012, ’10 Best Architects’, Grand Designs, June 2012, Claduia Saracco, ‘Loft Bilivello a Londra’, Vero Casa, May 2012, Annalisa Boni, ‘Londra con Vista, Casa Resart, April 2012, Paolo Ruggiero, ‘Tex-Tonic House, Casa Trend Magazine, March 2012, Sarah Baldwin, ‘The Space Race’, Grand Designs Guide, March 2012, Alison Nicholls, ‘ First Class Stamp’, KBB, February 2012, Aldo Mazzolani, ‘Abitare in una scatola’, Ville & Casali, February 2012, Judith Wilson, ‘Architect profile. Paul McAneary’, House & Garden, January 2012, 2011, ’Tex-Tonic House. A double height penthouse apartment in Victoria, London’, Designing Ways, November 2011, Juliaus Vladickos, ’A Warmer Minimalist’, Centras Magazine, October 2011, ‘Wooden Wonder’, Grand Designs, September 2011, ‘Loft Boxes’, AT Casa, September 2011.‘Interactive floor plans: Interiors round-up’, Wallpaper, 24 August 2011, Gemma Figueras, ‘A spectacular London penthouse designed by Paul McAneary Architects, diary DESIGN, 23 August 2011, Jamie Derringer, ’Text-Tonic House by Paul McAneary Architects, design milk, 4 August 2011, Megan Jett, ‘Tex-Tonic house 1 / Paul McAneary Architects,. ArchDaily, 2 August 2011, ‘Tex-Tonic House 1’, ArchiTonic, July 2011

Brief The clients brief in this invited competition was to design two apartments on the top floor of the existing Central London post office and Phillips de Pury art auction house in Victoria, London. The client expressed a wish for large volume ‘loft’ spaces and his desire for contemporary design and functionality. Paul McAneary Architects response won the competition with a proposal for expressed natural tectonics through numerous new details and even developing a new material type – of cast timber bronze.

Concept Design Since the two apartments are built on top of the existing Central London post office, the postal delivery system has been the inspirational source of the concept design. Paul McAneary Architects responded to the brief by expressing and magnifying the ‘post box component-concept-element’ into large boxes of natural materials accommodating for the private programme. We placed three bedroom boxes within the large double height loft space, to provide rooms for sleeping accommodation: additional to the master bedroom and two further bedrooms, they accommodate the master bedroom walk-in wardrobe, en-suite bathroom and a shared bathroom. In line with a more contemporary domesticity, the private programme area is relatively modest in size. The client expressed the desire to have a large versatile living space perfect for relaxation and parties, as a result the living area is spacious and serves multipurpose events. The overall architectural language is modest and dramatic at the same time: mixed timber tectonics have been applied with an emphasis on their texture and intrinsic beauty. The amount of ‘vertical natural light’ flooding through the large skylights, walk on glass and the horizontal curtain walling maximise the exquisite effect of the natural grain and pattern of the timber ceiling, oak beams and floor as well as the bronze ‘timber texture’.

Private Accommodation Boxes The ‘boxes’ of the Tex-Tonic House display natural textured materials. The thick, ‘chunky ‘100mm x 200mm oak sections have been designed to express the depth of the sand blasted oak with an expressed ‘finger’ or ‘comb’ joining detail. The array of boxes is illuminated from below to bring out the natural texture of the material to the full. For the box in the centre we developed a new material, a cast bronze timber cladding. During the preparation process of the timber for the cast we brushed out the summer growth of the timber to articulate the maximum texture. Following this process the timber was burnt to remove the timber’s hair. Following the cast of the bronze an acid solution treatment was applied to achieve a blackened bronze finish. Finally the ridges were brushed to create ‘highlights’ expressing the wood texture of the bronze.

Suspended TimberMezzanine Floor The aim was to make the mezzanine floor plate to appear floating: the structural challenge was to reduce floor thickness to the minimum possible, as a result it is only 95mm thick. This was technically achieved by suspending the floor from the steel roof structure. Slender 50mm bars support the very thin floor. The chilled wine store is supported by 10mm thin fins, which apart from the structural purpose, function together with the 2268 metre tension wire as shelving for up to 3200 bottles.

Cantilevered Stairs The cantilevered solid oak stair treads lead to a structural glass floor which provides natural light and a transparent connection between the lower kitchen and dining areas as well as the office area and wine store at mezzanine level.

Fireplace The large open plan main living area is broken up by a freestanding sculptural concrete fire place, addressing both the living as well as the dining area. The in-situ cast concrete fireplace with exposed timber plank shuttering combines both the natural concrete and natural texture of timber. The result is a ‘raw’ material with a very natural texture – a simply beautiful product.

Front Door The entrance to the Tex-Tonic House is made of 200 year old Rhodesian Teak. It measures 3,70 metre x 1,40 metre and weights approximately 450 kilos. The door is illuminated from above to emphasise the beautiful texture of this precious wood. The oversized appearance and the textured feeling of the door generate the visitor’s enthusiasm and expectation for the interior.

Dining Table The dining table is similar to the front door made of 200 year old Rhodesian Teak surrounded by 12 mahogany Chippendale dining chairs.

Lighting Our lighting philosophy was to provide numerous options that could be tuned to different settings and saved to facilitate the multitude of uses of the space at any time of the day or night. Apart from the lighting for the kitchen and dining table, all light fittings are concealed all lighting is therefore indirect as a result minimalistic and atmospheric. The settings can be adjusted from very dim to a dramatic use of light.

Roof Garden The client is passionate about gardening and vegetation.Therefore we designed a 21 metre long vertical living wall: a self-contained and irrigated planting system incorporating ‘acid yellow’, green and white planting scheme. The long horizontal curtain walling maximises the perception of spacial continuity between the interior and the exterior so that the external roof garden becomes a vital ingredient of the internal living space.

Technology We aimed to hide the technology as much as possible, to fully integrate all requirements so as the space could remain as calm, uncluttered and contemplative as possible. The space has a fully integrated AV system including B&W surround sound speakers and an integrated monitor into the storage wall which facilitates the numerous and ever increasing types of media. The KNX system that was installed allows the occupier of the spaces to operate light, sound, heating, alarm, blinds, internet and TV from any space within the apartment, from their iPad.

The project’s main features are:

The timber boxes built out of 100mm thick, wire brushed and sand blasted oak with a caustic soda finish.
The cantilevered stairs also in 100m thick wire brushed and sand basted oak to match.
The sandblasted oak beams and columns, with dowelled mortise and tenon pinned joints.
The use of reclaimed timber; the 200 years old Rhodesian teak to produce the oversized front door and matching dining table.
The detailed ceiling lattice work, also in oak that supports an acoustic ceiling;
The 466sqm of 300mm wide engineered oak flooring that was sand blasted and olive and white oiled before having a hard wax oil finish.
The thin mezzanine floor, also finished in the manipulated engineered oak boards.
The cast timber shuttering upon the concrete monolithic fireplace;
The development of cast timber bronze to produce the bronze box cladding – a world’s first.
The kitchen fitted with Gaggenau appliances, an automated wine dispenser and herb garden with automated irrigation system.
The floating wine cellar at mezzanine level with wine bottles displayed horizontally, so that the labels are visible. The special lighting from below produces a beautiful glowing effect of the bottles.
The lava stone feature wall in the guest WC made of lava cut into 10mm x 10mm strips.
Sky-showers: the installation of skylights above all showers.
The living wall: the 21 metre long vertical roof garden.

tex-tonic House 2


tex-tonic House 2

The idea of substance is crucial to the work of Paul McAneary Architects. In its most obvious manifestation substance speaks of physical materiality and the haptic quality of architecture – what things are made of and how they are put together. It also alludes to a rigour underscoring both the ideas behinds buildings and their actual construction. Typically, this takes the form of a craft-based approach to detailing and fabrication, often as a result of research and experimentation.

Tex-Tonic House 1 forms part of a project for the conversion of two luxury apartments on the top floor of a former Post Office building in central London. In both cases, the way in which materials are wrought, manipulated and repurposed gives the architecture an expressive contemporary resonance.

Within a fluidly open plan, double-height volume, space is defined and demarcated by a series of orthogonal elements. As the client enjoys entertaining, they required a versatile living space for parties and relaxation. Enclosed by oak walls, two bedroom boxes are set at the end of the long living room, nestling under its pitched roof structure. Paul McAneary Architects experimented with various types of surface treatments and finally alighted on a method of wire-brushing and sand blasting with a caustic soda finish to give the oak a weathered appearance. Further experiments with fabrication experiments yielded the distinctive monolithic concrete fireplace, which was cast in situ.

A new timber lattice structure supports a specially designed acoustic ceiling to dampen echo and reverberations within the large single volume. An elegantly thin mezzanine floor is suspended from the roof structure creating a long gallery that seems to float above the living space. The idea of the house as an urban eyrie, functional yet appealing intimately to the senses, finds powerful expression in this cultivated synthesis of space, light and materials. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value £1.7M
Location Victoria, London
Date 2009 – 2010
Area 466m²
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design through to end of construction, material creation, lighting design, glazing design, landscape design, planning
Main Contractor L. S. Construction
Supplier The Plank Co., Black Isle Bronze Ltd, DirectStone Ltd, Palmalisa Zantetedeschi
Press 2014 Jill Entwistle, ‘Back to School’, FX Magazine, February 2014 2013 New London Architecture Annual Publication, New London 2013/2014, Home Design A Passion for Living by George Lam, Tiago Krusse, ‘Tex Tonic’, design Magazine, November / December 2013 2012 Modern Lux Housing by Sandu Publishing, ’Tex-Tonic House 1’, Designer and Designing, December 2012 2011 ‘Tex-Tonic House. A double height penthouse apartment in Victoria, London’, Designing Ways, November 2011
Awards 2015 YAYA – Finalist 2014 London Evening Standard New Homes Awards – Highly Commended for Best Apartment, UK Property Awards – Winner of Best Architecture Single Residence London, UK 2013 International Design & Architecture Awards – Shortlisted for Residential £2.5 – 35 million award, RIBA Awards – Shortlisted for London Regional Awards,SBID – Shortlisted for Residential Intelligent Design Category 2011 Design Awards – Living Space Design of the Year, The Wood Awards – Shortlisted for Best Structural Category
Exhibitions 2012 NLA Don’t Move, Improve! 2011 Young Architect of the Year

Garden Room House



Garden Room
House

Garden Room House shows how a Victorian family house can be imaginatively transformed by adding a single glass room to the existing dwelling. This simple move reconceptualises the garden as a transformable indoor/outdoor room and frees up the footprint of the house, enhancing the effect of natural light and maximising storage.

Previously, the client had struggled to gain planning permission for a small side extension and approached Paul McAneary Architects to propose an alternative. Paul McAneary Architects devised a design that effectively doubles the terraced house’s ground floor footprint and creates a garden room in its truest sense.

The rear of the house was formerly occupied by a dilapidated garage. This was demolished and the resulting awkward, underused space replaced by a single storey extension connected to the kitchen by a glass walkway. A central courtyard is created, defined on three sides by the living space and a set of fully retractable glass doors, cunningly engineered so that the corners are free of supports. When the doors are open, garden and ground floor meld into a seamless and senuous inside/outside realm. The garden becomes not simply an extension of the kitchen, living and play room, but a continually colonised connection between these spaces.

The original decking, which became dangerously slippery when wet, was replaced with grass and integrated drainage, extending the life of the garden through different climates and seasons. Blurring the distinction between inside and out, garden and house are on the same continuous level, so that space flows fluidly between between the two.

A curved ceiling extends along the length of the house, finessing the junction with a 19m long storage wall, the largest Paul McAneary Architects have created to date. Concealed LED lighting animates the repetitive geometry of the storage wall, while a recessed bench and two shelving units provide functional focal points. White oiled oak flooring, deliberately skip sawn to achieve a rougher texture, adds warmth to the interior.

From concept to detail, the remodelling aims to open up and enhance the living space creating a practical and civilised armature for family life. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value £ 340k
Location Waltham Forest, London
Client Private
Date 2014 – 2015
Area 117m²
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design through to end of construction, interior design, lighting design, glazing design, furniture design, survey,building control, 3D visualisation
Main Contractor John McEvilly, MC Construction, www.mcconstructionuk.com
Supplier Plank Co, Easigrass Ltd, IQ Glass
Press 2016 The £100k house: Tricks of the Trade, BBC 2

Oblong House



Oblong House

Spanning over seven floors with seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms, a spa, wine cellar, cinema room, library, glass lift, glass bar and numerous intricate bespoke details, Oblong House is a tour de force of residential refurbishment. With a contract value of £12 million, the brief was to restore and rationalise an existing property in South Kensington, which had been separated into seven individual flats, and return it to its original state as a single dwelling. The client specified an ultra minimalist design, with deep, rich colours and textures for a compelling, contemporary twist. Taking advantage of the building’s spectacular height and layering, Paul McAneary Architects devised a concept that separates the various functions into a legible hierarchy linked by new vertical circulation. The topmost floor houses a library and office, then as you descend, you are taken on a journey through the different domains of private to public, work to relaxation, culminating in a luxurious cinema and spa in the basement.

Conceptually, the different layers are united by a series of specially designed oblong features, from a minimal glass lift shaft to an oblong, back-lit, polished glass installation floating within the entrance area. Physically, floors are united by a 16m high section of a tree, which extends the full height of the house, set vertically in a new glass lift shaft and visible from the glass lift car. Light illuminates the striations and textures of this arboreal relic, so that it appears to be organically rooted within the building. The tree itself took time to find, as it was important, from a perspective of ecological responsibility, to source a specimen that was already fallen. Continuing the theme of nature, a planted green wall reflects the horizontal rhythm of the architecture with even bands of vegetation animating an otherwise unusable area of wall.

The ambitions of a radical contemporary design had to be balanced with the preservation of period features. Paul McAneary Architects response was to create a series of striking modern elements that contrast but are not at odds with the historical fabric, inculcating an elegant synergy. The rear facade is distinguished by the largest double glazed unit in Europe. At 4m high, it had to be specially craned into place. Coupled with internal glass floors, it forms a dramatic vertical light well, bringing daylight into the depth of the plan and can be completely opened to form a dramatic entertaining space. A frameless structural glass floor emphasises the visual connection down into the basement, encompassing the entire rear facade. The floor uses glass spacer bars so eliminating the need for steel supports, an new technique specially developed by Paul McAneary Architects to ensure the most minimal design possible. Low iron glass, characterised by its extreme clarity, is used throughout the project.

Acting as a historic backbone to the building, the original stone staircase winds up seven storeys. Juxtaposed against this is a self-illuminating glass art piece that floats above the steps, spiralling up the stairwell with an effortless grace. Designed and fabricated in collaboration with glass artist Jeff Bell, thousands of pieces of roughly textured handmade glass are attached to a steel core. Walls are finished in smooth, polished plaster, an extremely refined and layered plaster made from crushed marble, designed to counterpoint the rough glass and mirror the glowing form of the installation.

A basement cinema room sits below the structural glass terrace. The basement was excavated and the house underpinned to achieve a more elevated ceiling height. A TV is built into the wall for everyday use and a retractable projector screen can also be deployed. A huge horizontal black out blind transforms the space into a cinema. Another project-specific innovation, it measures 8m x 4m and runs under the glass beams across the entire ceiling. Once the blind is drawn, the room is plunged into darkness; perfect for film viewing.

The juxtaposition between traditional and contemporary is also apparent in the breakfast room. Restored architraves and skirting boards frame the room with their opulent patterns, while the floor to ceiling stone fireplace forms a powerful contemporary focal point. The stone chimney breast stops before reaches the cornice, giving the illusion of the smoke mysteriously disappearing. Built-in lighting creates the visual illusion of it lifting off the wall.

A barrel-vaulted wine cellar is set in the basement. The curve of the ceiling meets the walls with geometrical precision as a perfect tangent. Wine fridges line the walls encased in precisely detailed joinery. A cantilevered staircase descends into this viticultural trove, its treads made from blocks of dark coloured wenge to match the solid wenge floor. Piercing the curved ceiling is a seamless shard of glass which appears to hang from the roof, levitating off the ground. On the floor above it acts as a banister.

Bathing is elevated to a fine art. In the master bathroom, a monolithic shower is set in a shaft lifting straight up to a skylight. As you shower under a rain sky shower head, you are bathed in natural light. All visible drains are removed to achieve a completely pure form, emblematic of the project’s theme of dark, contemporary minimalism. Principles of hotel design were incorporated in order to increase the pressure of the entire water system by 15 times the normal rate. For the baths, a specially designed hyper functional steel faucet was created after considerable research. Capable of filling a large volume Boffi bath in well under two minutes, it is a unique and incredible feat of engineering.

Inspired by the Japanese concept of tsukubai, a traditional washbasin provided at the entrance to sacred places, PMA developed a bespoke stone basin. Made from semi-porous travertine, the silver-grey basin is rough carved with polished inner faces. Smooth timber joinery accentuates the natural texture of the stone. Steam room walls are clad in slate, a material traditionally used for waterproofing. This creates an intensely dark, organic space with clean lines and natural materials. Steam condenses and runs down the walls, adding to the exotic atmosphere.

By contrast, the bar area was designed to be as transparent as possible. Made entirely of UV bonded glass, there are no steel connections creating a spectacular set piece for entertaining. Behind the shelves, a glowing wall emphasises the sense of ethereal transparency, creating warm, colorful patterns as the light shines through liquor and bottles.

Oblong House was an an extremely challenging yet highly rewarding project for Paul McAneary Architects. The complex refurbishment saw the team work on every detail at every scale, from the huge glass rear facade to the design of each individual door handle. Devising customised elements and pushing boundaries were the key to realising this powerful, contemporary twist on modern minimalism. Yet it is also a sensitive renovation that respects the historic elements of this handsome London townhouse, giving it new life through new interventions designed to stand the test of time. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value £12M
Location London
Date 2008 – 2011
Area 950m²
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design, interior design, lighting design, glazing design, furniture design, survey,building control, 3D visualisation
Press 2013 BD New Architects

Paul McAneary Architects’ Office



Paul McAneary Architects' Office

In 2010 Paul McAneary Architects moved their offices, the short distance from Soho to Covent Garden, to a 17th century printers works. The old stone building is situated in Flitcroft St, near the soon to-be transport hub of London, Tottenham Court Road. The project aimed to reinstate open spaces that had been partitioned during the building’s previous conversion into an office.

To make the basement level functional, it was imperative to increase the height of the room. Paul McAneary Architects used a special cast fibre concrete floor, that could be set to only 70mm thick. A laboratory has been incorporated into the new layout, a space for the architects and designers to experiment with new materials and finishes, gaining first-hand expertise in their rapidly developing field. Architecture models can also be created safely and efficiently using the defined area.

The open plan space is designed for exhibitions and launches, with clean light walls and completely adaptable lighting. 4 light wells, from the street level bring natural light down to the basement, above alcoves that can be adapted for a plethora of uses. A structural glass floor will bring the maximum amount of light possible down, whilst connecting the two areas of office.

Ground Floor

The ground floor facade has been developed to bring the maximum amount of natural light possible. The largest structural glass panels achievable have been inserted within the existing openings in the facade. The heightened visibility, and renovated facade, will regenerate Flitcroft street, ensuring it maintains the vibrance of this central London location for years to come.

A sky light has been introduced into the back of the office, bringing light to the full extent of the plan. It is placed above a design room, directly above a glass box down into the basement level. Connecting all the levels of the project, and providing a shaft for large architectural models to be extracted gracefully through.

Furniture

Paul has designed the desks that will make up the essential part of any office. They exude the minimal elegance of the Paul McAneary Architects office, a simple grey frame with a frosted glass top resting on top. The glass top acts as a light box, ensuring every architect can trace at their desk whilst working simultaneously on their mac. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value £100k
Location Westminister, London
Area 238m²
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design through to end of construction, interior design, lighting design, glazing design, furniture design, material creation, survey, planning, building control, 3D visualisation
Supplier Plank Co
Press 2018‘Paul McAneary Architects: how a Japanese facade transformed a London alley;’ OnOffice 21 February

White Oak House


White Oak House

This radical remodelling of an apartment in a 1960s block in London’s Hampstead transforms a gloomy cellular interior into a set of fluid and light open-plan spaces. The client is Japanese, using the flat as a base for occasional trips to London, so perhaps such an approach of precise and elegant economy might have been anticipated. Yet the outcome has a formal and experiential resonance beyond the usual clichés of minimalism. The simple act of removing partition walls and adding new elements activates spatial relationships in new ways, and the material palette draws on natural textures to cultivate a studiedly neutral aesthetic.

In a series of controlled moves, the plan is deconstructed from its original compartmented arrangement and opened up to create a sense of tranquil spaciousness. The master bedroom now extends the full width of the plan, augmented by a large en-suite bathroom, a living area leading to a terrace and a small ‘secret room’ equipped with a vanity unit. The enlarged L-shaped living space combines kitchen and dining areas, the latter connected to a second terrace.

Freeing up the plan meant reconsidering arrangements for fire protection and this prompted the design of an ingenious pop-up fire lobby. If smoke is detected, an extra door is activated to swing into place over the main entrance to provide the necessary fire resistance.

Views and light are diffused through gauzily translucent blinds, which resemble contemporary versions of traditional Japanese shoji (rice paper) screens. These bathe the interior in a soft radiance, yet still suggest a sense of the surrounding parkland landscape. New bespoke elements frame and define space but are also multi-functional: for instance, an exquisite oak cabinet in the living room is both a bench and light fitting. White walls and oak are a recurring duality; other materials include honey-coloured travertine for the bathroom floors and bamboo decking for the roof terraces. Crisply cubic bedroom furniture was specially designed with table tops resembling veneer. However, like the travertine floors, they were chosen for their economy and adaptability, following extensive consideration of different samples.

The projects was run on a design and build contract, which meant that the practice controlled all detailing, construction and sequencing of trades. This gave it an invaluable insight into the practical and process aspects of interior remodelling, enabling it to deliver an outcome of the highest quality for the client. Such attention to detail, which included selecting all the furniture and fittings, creates a modern gesamtkunstwerk in the manner of Danish Modernist Arne Jacobsen, renowned for his all encompassing approach to design, where carefully considered individual parts coalesce to form a rich and compelling whole. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value £200k
Location Hampstead, London
Client Private
Date From – 2015
Area 474m²
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design through to end of construction, interior design, lighting design, glazing design, furniture design, survey,building control, 3D visualisation
Main Contractor Paul McAneary Architects
Sub Contractor Paul McAneary Architects

Toni & Guy


Toni & Guy

This proposal for a Toni & Guy hair salon updates the hair salon’s original interior brand identity, which had become marooned in a monochrome and brushed steel time warp.

Based on the unifying concept of a luxe spa, the aim was to revitalise both the space and the brand by finessing a few key moves around the notion of warm minimalism, rationalising the ceiling landscape and introducing supergraphics.

Simple and streamlined, the scheme it demonstrates the potential of well-chosen materials and the seamless integration of technology.

[By Catherine Slessor*]

Haptic House


Haptic House

Haptic House is a renovation of a Grade II-listed Victorian dwelling in Hampstead to meet the changing needs of a young family. With its concern for simple, natural materials intended to age gracefully over time, the project is underscored by the concept of wabi-sabi, a Japanese aesthetic code which stresses the beauty of imperfection and transience.

The original house was an unmodernised, four storey semi-detached villa in a Conservation Area. The project focused on extending the rear of the building and remodelling its various floors, with only minimal changes to the historic frontage. Inverting the conventional relationship of living and sleeping spaces, the ground floor is converted into a master bedroom and the lower ground level transformed into a fluid, open-plan living, dining and kitchen space in direct contact with the garden. The topmost storey is remodelled to create a pair of identical home offices, with back-to-back children’s bedrooms on the first floor.

Reinforcing the connection between daily life and the presence of nature, the lower ground floor is excavated by half a metre so the garden is at eye level. A crisply detailed frameless glass extension augments the living space, enhancing light penetration and garden views. Glass is employed structurally, as columns and beams, while motorised aerofoil louvres made of cedar protect the delicately diaphanous butterfly roof from glare. A central gutter channels rainwater off the glass extension on to a ‘staining wall’. Sluiced by rust-impregnated rainwater interacting with tadelakt, a traditional, lime-based Moroccan plaster, the appearance of the wall will evolve over time.

The transition from inside to outside is defined and expressed through different manifestations of stone. Individual York stones are inset into a specially mixed terrazzo which forms the floor of the living space. This ‘stepping stone’ path flows out into the garden, extending up a cantilevered staircase crafted from solid stone, designed to emphasise its monolithic quality. Looping around the garden, the meandering trajectory is marked by reclaimed sleepers made from Azobe hardwood. Its focal point is the Suspended Shade, a dramatically cantilevered timber structure which functions as a discrete pavilion for contemplation and entertaining.

Ground and lower ground floors are linked by an immaculately detailed timber staircase featuring a wafer thin balustrade of laminated glass capped by a slim bronze handrail. This forensic yet poetic attention to detail extends to every aspect of the remodelling. For instance, the book-matched oak veneered doors enclosing the long storage wall in the main living space were exceptionally complex to produce, making intense demands on the craft skills of specialist joiners. Equally, the Spathroom on the first floor is a tour-de-force of highly considered detailing and fabrication. Inspired by Japanese bathing rituals, the outcome is a sumptuously sensual bathroom lined with teak and slate to create an intimate, womb-like enclave for washing and relaxing.

As the clients work from home, the upper storey is brought into play to provide two identical offices. In a twist worthy of an espionage novel, small secret rooms are inserted behind twin libraries, controlled by electromagnetic locks that can be concealed in the spine of a book.

Rigorous emphasis was placed on the selection of materials and how they are put together and experienced. Natural materials, such as York stone, oak, teak and slate were chosen as they have an inherently warm, haptic quality that responds to touch. A bespoke blackened, unpolished patina resembling dark bronze was applied to all ironmongery and metal fittings. Silky smooth clay plaster and rough exposed brickwork add further textural and visual richness. Embodying a crucial tenet of wabi-sabi, materials are intended to be subtly transmuted by the passage of time, weathering beautifully through use and the slow patina of age. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value £1.6m
Location Hampstead, London
Client Private
Date 2011-2015
Area 474m²
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design through to end of construction, material creation, lighting design, glazing design, landscape design, planning
Consultants Gareth Atkinson, William Dick TBC
Main Contractor Symm
Sub Contractor Simon Heslop, Paul Davies, William Garvey
Supplier Lazenby, tadelakt, Delta Light
Press 2018 ‘Paul McAneary Architects’ dlist Verified
Awards 2017 Designer K&B Awards – Won Bathroom Design of the Year (over £15k) with Spathroom 2016 The UK Property Awards – Highly Commended for Best Architecture Single Residence London 2015 The Wood Awards – Finalist for Interior Design of the Year with Spathroom

Glass House



Glass House

Set among the historic warehouses and granaries of London’s Shad Thames, this project remodels an unusually large loft space in a converted 19th century mill house. The client requested a space for entertaining and displaying pieces of art, but also wanted to engender a sense of privacy and intimacy within the cavernous former industrial space.

The sophisticated scheme explores the use of glass in its many forms to adapt and enhance the existing interior. In particular, it features the latest electrochromic ‘smart’ glass technology that enables glass to metamorphose from opacity to transparency by the flick of a switch.

Pushing the boundaries of the material, Paul McAneary Architects employed the largest possible panels of smart glass to experiment with visual connections between the different spaces around a central atrium. When the glass is clear, boundaries dissolve creating a dramatic sense of spatial fluidity with through views from living room to kitchen and dining room to living room. Yet if a more intimate setting is required, the glass can be switched off to achieve an opaque finish.

The original ensuite bathroom was open to the master bedroom, an arrangement that has been retained, but with the inclusion of a smart glass enclosure for privacy. A similar principle applies to the large television screen, disguised by Mirona glass which acts as a mirror when it is not backlit. A crisp, clean-edged frame to match the monolithic black floor encloses the glass with the flat screen behind it.

When the television is turned off, the mirror accentuates the feeling of space, a deft sleight of hand that transforms the living room. In the bedroom a bronze Mirona glass mirror conceals the television, adding warmth to the interior. A large screen of acid-etched glass brings copious natural light into the bedroom. The smooth finish of the acid etching gives the glass a luxurious visual and sensual quality. This is augmented by two 3m high slots infilled with glass bricks, which generate compelling patterns of light, shadows and reflections.

Distinguished by a sharp monochrome palette of white walls and black floors, the project’s elegantly minimal aesthetic forms the perfect backdrop to the client’s collection of contemporary art, featuring pieces by Damian Hirst and Harland Miller. Yet it also alludes to history – the loft’s main entrance is framed by a lambrequin, giving a traditional element a sharp, modern twist. [By Catherine Slessor*]

Contract Value £1.8M
Location Southwark, London
Client Private
Date 2010
Area 245m²
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design through to end of construction, interior design, lighting design, glazing design, survey,building control
Main Contractor Sterling Build
Sub Contractor AV Nick Acheson
Supplier Vitra, Vola, Viabizzuno
Press 2013 Katie Hughes, ‘The Great Escape’, Renovate, March 2013 2012 Candace Jackson, ’A Bachelor Reboots, A London executive replaces a traditional home with a modern white loft’, Wall Street Journal, 1 June 2012