A central London flat with flexible living space
When VW & BS were invited to redesign this central London flat the brief was to create a flexible living space that could accommodate a variety of functions and be simple in design.
Their starting point was to restore the first floor room, which had previously been divided into a separate kitchen and living room, back to something of its originally intended proportions. This meant that the three tall arched french windows at the front of the property could be fully appreciated and the lovely terrace overlooking the street with its wrought iron railings be brought back into use.
To make use of the height of the space an additional mezzanine bedroom /study area was added above the open plan kitchen. A translucent polycarbonate folding screen allows this area to be closed off - a large one opening on to the main living space, and a much smaller screen looking over the staircases at the back. When open, there are views from the front right through to the back bedrooms. At the same time, the spaces can be closed off with a large floor to ceiling pivoting door so that people can come and go with a level of privacy.
"We like this kind of project because it allows us to devise an architectural solution to a volume of space," said Voon Wong, director at VW & BS. "This was not just about a revised floor plan to allow for better circulation - it was a three dimensional project including the height. The budget was tight and that is good because we think the polycarbonate as a material worked really well in terms of its translucency and the honeycomb pattern of the material, and if the client had wanted to spend more money, maybe the solution would have been less interesting for this screen."
Simple finishes have been used throughout - oak floors and white painted plaster walls.
No original features remained at the property when VW&BS began work on the project but the sense of an elegant Victorian drawing room has been partly restored through the careful refurbishment of the windows and shutters along the full width of the front.
Photography by Michael Franke