A dreary 1950’s modernist terraced house and garden in Kensington has been transformed into a bespoke family home for artist/writer/designer parents who work from home. The brief was to create a flexible, multi-functional spatially diverse house. And this has been achieved with an understated confidence. The beautifully detailed ‘floating’ stair provides the vertical focus of design – from which the spaces open up. Also successful is the discrete curved office (not studio) addition that doesn't cry out but gives the interior an extra shot of brilliant light. The spaces are varied and distinct yet a great sense of fluidity, light and visual connection is achieved. A dramatic exotic garden has been created that compliments the house perfectly. The French/ Mediterranean planting clearly resonating with its French inhabitants. The garden is then theatrically pulled into the basement kitchen reflected in a linear angled mirror above the work-surface. The detailing and spare use of quality materials successfully references Bauhaus while clearly grounded in the 21st C.
“The house is part of a rare 1950’s modernist terrace in Kensington. It had not been touched since the early 1950’s but the lifestyles of the new occupants (two artists with a young family) demanded fresh thinking and debate. The organization of spaces is re-orientated to create: a double height art studio; a study onto a new terrace; a mezzanine bedroom; a timber lined writing room and all spaces arranged around a free standing staircase that rises like a giant saw-toothed sculpture. The rear façade is modified with a new curved glass study and a ground level kitchen below a new first floor terrace. The kitchen is the heart of the house and focused onto Todd Longstaffe-Gowan’s spectacular raking garden. We proposed making the house stricter Bauhaus than it had ever been. Todd on the other hand made the garden of Palm trees and rolling box more Baroque than it had ever been. Collaboration and juxtaposition is all. The mixture of spaces and the new garden provide intimacy, privacy, surprise views, conviviality and contemplation.”Gumuchdjian Architects