Long-time South-West London architect Tom Pike at Giles Pike Associates says gone are the days when clients wanted to recreate a smart country home in the city, with traditional interiors and period features. “That type of client has disappeared and now corporate lawyers who work in smart offices, travel a lot and stay in luxury hotels want a more sophisticated solution. That frees your imagination. Today’s client is much more turned on by modern design.” Just look at what the company has created at a home between the Commons…
Previously a spice warehouse, and then Victoria Beckham’s design studio, this warehouse flat in Ransomes Dock in Battersea’s fast-expanding “creative district” around Parkgate Road has been given a designer overhaul by bespoke developers CLPD. The look is “industrial organic,” with polished concrete floors, distressed metal worktops in the Minacciolo kitchen and marble surfaces. In the vast living area, there’s contemporary wooden panelling and furniture from Vitra and Carl Hansen.
Architectural designer John Osborn built his own home, in Abbeville Road, and incorporated clever architectural tricks and smart solutions to maximise space. The five-bed house is spread over four floors and includes an electronic hatch in the kitchen floor which reveals a hidden staircase into the basement. Here, the sloping walls are covered with stepped and illuminated recycled scaffolding boards (pictured). Among other features are a secluded rooftop terrace which opens from the master bedroom, laundry chutes on every floor and photovoltaic panels that generate electricity so the house has green credentials, too. See page 24 for a potted, pictorial history of John’s house build.
Granit Architecture is busy creating homes for a new way of living, explains Director Robert Wilson. “The phrase is ‘broken plan’ as opposed to ‘open plan’,” he says. “That’s the biggest shift. People want living rooms and kitchens interconnected with bookcases or glass or furniture so you don’t necessarily see all the areas in one go.” The company transformed a Victorian terraced house in Clapham’s Briarwood Road over a 14-month period and entirely reconfigured the layout. The cellar became a full basement for a cooking, eating and entertaining space and this has been galleried into the ground floor, which is a library and living space. There is a double-height lightwell at the back and a double-height Crittal wall to access a courtyard and terrace (see page 62 for the floorplans).