This imaginative conversion of a flat in Maida Vale streamlines a cramped and awkward arrangement of rooms into a series of elegant, rational spaces. The flat occupies the ground and lower ground floor of a Victorian house and had been refurbished without much regard to the quality of the spatial experience or the logistics of circulation.
Entry was by means of a bedroom rather than a hall, so a rolling storage and library unit was specially developed which could either enclose the space for privacy or open it up, giving increased flexibility of use. The clients collect African art, so the remodelled apartment, with its dark walnut floors and white walls, forms a backdrop for an array of vivid paintings and sculptures.
The living area on the ground floor is opened up to the garden with full height sliding glass doors bringing light into the depth of the plan. Within the ground floor, ceiling bulkheads subtly demarcate function, forming a slightly lowered ceiling over the dining area cultivating a sense of intimacy.
The staircase linking the two floors is ingeniously adapted as a wine store. Enclosed by glass panels it employs a network of horizontal tensile wires to support the wine bottles, transforming quotidian objects into a sculptural array. Specially developed construction details respond to the technical challenges involved with a pleasing economy and refinement.
An arched space on the ground floor unifies and rationalises circulation. The geometry of the perfect 90 degree arch confers the modest interior with an almost ceremonial aspect. Another deft sleight of hand is a hidden dressing room secreted within the storage wall of the master bedroom.
Such discreet yet thoughtful moves neatly optimise space and circulation, transforming a hitherto disconnected and experientially dreary London residence into a luminous modern enclave for contemporary living. [By Catherine Slessor*]
Contract Value £180k
Location Maida Vale, London
Design Team Paul McAneary Architects
Design Service From design concept to detailed design through to end of construction, interior design, lighting design, furniture design
Main Contractor Sterling Build