Central London Flat by VW+BS Architecture and Design is a lesson in how smart and functional living can be achieved within a vibrant and bustling inner city location.
Central London Flat by VW+BS Architecture and Design belongs to an extended family of several generations from South East Asia, who regularly visits London for work and pleasure. The flat could be used by two families staying for a two week holiday, or just two adults in London for a few days of work. Therefore their brief to architects was to create as flexible a space as possible that could accommodate a variety of functions and be simple in design.
The starting point for the design team was to see how they could reinstate the first floor living room back to something of its originally intended proportions so that the three tall arched french windows at the front could be restored and the lovely terrace with its wrought iron railings be brought back into use.
The height of the space (4.2 metres) was a very important design feature, which the architects wanted to make use of so an additional mezzanine bedroom/study over the open plan kitchen was included. The space could be closed off (if needed) with a translucent polycarbonate folding screen, a large one opening on to the main living space and a much smaller screen looking over the staircases at the back. When open, there are views from the front right through to the back bedrooms. At the same time, the spaces can be closed off with a large floor to ceiling pivot door so that people can come and go with a level of privacy. The back bedrooms and bathrooms were rationalised and refurbished with new finishes and storage units.
The finishes are simple… oak floors and joinery and white painted plaster walls, so that it can suit the tastes of all the visitors. Although the feel of the flat is now very contemporary (there were few original features left in the flat when work started) the sense of an elegant Victorian drawing room has been partly restored by the reinstatement of its proportions.
The private spaces at the rear of the flat are simple, calm and suited to the clients’ needs.
Design team: Francisco Serradilla, Antonio Rentero, Voon Wong
Photographer: Michael Franke