APARTMENT IN COMPAYNE GARDENS
West Hampstead, London, 2007
The modernization of this spacious first floor flat in West Hampstead was influenced by the restrained budget; the existing practical layout – each room is off a central long corridor acting as a bisecting axis of the entire floor plan – was maintained in order to avoid wasting useful resources; it was therefore decided that the constraints – budget and layout – would instead become the principal elements generating the design.
The central long axis was cleared of all the remainders of previous refurbishments to provide a clear new route from the entrance to the glazed conservatory at the far end of the flat: this was further emphasized by positioning functional and ornamental objects along its length as markers of significant events. Each object is designed like a small-scale ad-hoc art installation: a light cove, an etched glass curtain, a box-like walk-in wardrobe, a breakfast bar, a folded sculptural ceiling. They all participate to recognize the course that one is to follow from one extreme of the house - the octagonal turret at the front corner of the Victorian building – to the other – the conservatory at the rear. The result is an improved flat arranged around a newly found relationship between interior and exterior.
To bring all the spaces together, a limited selection of new materials is used throughout: Portuguese limestone, black MDF and laminated plywood are combined with a view to complement the retained Victorian features.