Proctor & Shaw creates wooden wall to incorporate storage and service requirements of London apartment
Situated in a period block in Marylebone, London, this apartment has been completely designed and renovated by London-based architectural practice Proctor and Shaw.
“The challenging brief required re-configuring the inefficient existing one bedroom, one bathroom layout to incorporate two double bedrooms each with ensuite facilities, along with a generous open plan kitchen, dining, and living space. The top floor of the existing building had been rebuilt following bomb damage during the war, which meant the existing spanning concrete structure allowed a complete reconfiguration of the non-load-bearing internal walls to suit the client’s aspirations for the space. The beautiful cantilevered communal stair in terrazzo from this earlier 1950s refurbishment also set the tone for a crafted approach rich in material texture. The chosen design solution incorporated a series of fixed furniture interventions that structured a newly orientated layout maximising every square inch of the property’s modest 75 msq footprint. Ensuite bedrooms are organised behind a finely detailed full height timber profiled screen wall to allow a consolidated street-facing living space running the full length of the apartment. The wall incorporates all storage and service requirements for the apartment, including kitchen appliances and hanging cupboards, resulting in a highly efficient plan. Lye-washed batten profiles modulate the organising wall to create a subtle texture enlivened by the characterful grain of the Douglas Fir timber. Flush finished frameless doors and discreet machined handles are concealed in the timber profiles adding a sense of craft and delight to the touch. The screen is complemented by 5m long full length solid Douglas Fir floor boards, both supplied by Dinesen, where the vertical rhythm of the screen and seamless floor emphasise a sense of height and depth to the space. The main living space is anchored at each end with bespoke wall to wall furniture units in ultra-matt clear sealed dark grey through-coloured MDF, topped with black pitted bespoke concrete worktops. At one end kitchen cabinetry, the other a cantilevered wall bench unit with integrated drawers, these bolder elements reinforce the lightness of the timber screen and frame a quartet of existing street-facing sash windows. Simply finished bedrooms with flush faced built-in hanging cupboards and bespoke Douglas fir bedside cabinetry are each accompanied by ensuite shower rooms, finished in a seamless microcement finish to walls, floor, ceiling and cabinetry to create a sensuous cocoon-like atmosphere. Bespoke concrete vanity units with integral sinks and brushed stainless steel fixtures feature in both spaces alongside through-coloured MDF lined cabinetry. We also designed bespoke loose furniture for the space, including an eight person dining room table with a thin framed powder coated steel base finished with a matt black MDF table top to match fixed furniture cabinetry. Attention to detail in the craft of the black concrete kitchen worktop is celebrated through the seamless integration of backsplash and basin, bespoke matt black finished Quooker boiler water tap, flush fitted black ceramic induction hob and colour matched flush wall sockets. Appliances are built-in throughout, and services integrated to provide optimum performance and comfort without impacting on the visual qualities of the space,” explained architect Mike Shaw