Covering All Angles
Covering All Angles: architects in London and Surrey
We speak to four top architects about their favourite projects and how they overcame the design challenges around them…
FROM DILAPIDATION TO REGENERATION
One of ambigram architects’ favourite projects involved recreating a family home from a dilapidated Victorian villa that had been converted into two flats. The challenge was, of course, to completely remodel the interiors but also sensitively blend the old with the new.
Andries Kruger, co-founder with Justo Garcia, explained how they achieved this: “We contrasted modern materials with traditional craftsmanship, creating a strong bond between old and new which can be seen with natural wood against expansive clear glass, and large format porcelain floor tiles against hand laid solid wood parquet.”
A dramatic double height living space was created, with expanses of glass, which flood the interior with light. The tall single pivot glass door connects the lower levels to the garden. Meanwhile, a bespoke chandelier was designed for the living space. The laser cut light is in two parts that can be moved independently to create different moods.
A block of high-end apartments in Wimbledon Village, for Vanfame Developments, created a challenge for Andrew Pinchin Architects in that it needed to fit in with two very different architectural styles that it would sit between. Alex Pinchin explains: “I feel it is a particularly successful transitional building for an architecturally challenging site, set as it is between a tall Victorian house and a much lower, shallow pitched 1960s block of flats.”
“Working together with Merton Planning, we produced a design that fits well into the streetscape and has won admiration from locals and visitors alike. It brings a contemporary interpretation of traditional architectural forms. The building uses the highest quality low maintenance materials throughout. The living spaces have the benefit of opening onto large terraces with views over mature trees, whilst fully respecting the privacy of neighbours.”
GROWING WITH A FAMILY
How a family uses their space can be completely transformed by a good architect. L+ Architects came up with a scheme that would make a larger family home from the existing Edwardian house, with a big open plan living and dining space with a separate living room and two additional double rooms with en-suites. “The constraints of the site meant that we had to incorporate natural light cleverly from different aspects to gain extra luminosity in the rear extension,” explains L+ Architects’ Pablo Lambrechts. “We also upgraded the façade of the existing house. The design achieves an uncompromisingly modern aesthetic, with a continuous finish from inside to outside. The expansive glazing draws light deep into the property and the extended areas create a protected terrace which becomes fully integrated into the internal layout when all
patio doors are open.
DESIGNING FOR LIFE
A good architect really understands how a space will be used by the occupants. JK Architects worked closely with the clients of this house in Barnes Village. JK Architects’ John Karayiannis explains: “The house had previously been extended but this resulted in a disconnected ground floor layout with lounge and living accommodation separated from a small kitchen hidden away at the front of the house. As with every project, we presented several options to the client to review.
“We agreed that the modern approach of opening up everything to create one large living / kitchen and dining space was not desirable. Instead, the challenge here was to make several understated interventions which together result in a positive change to the way this house can be used. It was also important for the design to remain in keeping with the aesthetic of the existing house and this gave rise to our choice of materials and key elements such as the doors.”
The new extension is small but creates a dramatic difference to the way this house can be enjoyed. The extension infills the area to the side of the existing extension and projects slightly beyond into the garden. Internally, the new kitchen has been centrally located to become the focal point of the living and dining accommodation but can also be separated if necessary by the use of beautiful internal glazed screens. A new cloakroom and large utility room are added to complete the arrangement.”