Built in the 1990s, the original layout of this central London developer-built apartment had conformed to the standard cookie cutter solution. Defined almost entirely by compliance with regulations and conservative market convention, the front door had opened onto an unwelcoming windowless L-shaped corridor, with solid fire doors providing the necessary separation from the rooms, including a charmless and entirely separate internal kitchen. An arrangement with which we are all familiar.
Our re-imagining of this apartment demonstrates how a fresh approach can make much better use of the available floor area in a typical developer apartment of this type by incorporating the space previously wasted in the internal corridor in a more enjoyable flexible naturally-lit open-plan arrangement.
Within this open-plan space, a central ‘floating’ block, articulated with a concealed LED strip around its top edge, now conceals an existing structural column and houses a home office work station. It also, crucially, allows a spacious kitchen to be incorporated in the open plan living space to one side of it, by providing an alternative escape route to the front door on the other. Two full-height concealed fire doors on electro-magnetic holds, complete the enclosure of a protected escape route from both bedrooms and living space in the case of a fire, and also provide flexibility for separation of the work area from the living area, or temporary increased separation of the open living/cooking area from the bedrooms as and when required.
Bathrooms and storage, which are located logically in the deepest internal area of the plan, are finished in grey glass mosaic to enhance the ‘cave like’ sense of them having been carved out of the carefully detailed white finishes and white-oiled wide plank douglas fir flooring that unify all the other naturally-lit areas of the apartment.