Advertising
Advertising

You are here

Composite Index

Read Article

Corporate high-flyers and admitted neat freaks Bruce Thatcher and Kirsty Leighton couldn’t handle the chaos anymore. With two small boys and demanding jobs (he works in hedge funds, she’s a PR executive), they craved order, light, and space but were prepared to settle for a washing machine. In came architect William Tozer with a plan that inserted clean white planes into the envelope of their Victorian terrace house in London. Christened the Composite House, this renovation collates Tozer’s decade of experience making small partial renovations into a complete overhaul that builds on, rather than obliterates, its Victorian origins. As the sky darkened on a rainy afternoon, Bruce and Kirsty showed us around.

  • 
  Bruce Thatcher and Kirsty Leighton behind their London home.  Photo by: Matthew Williams
    Bruce Thatcher and Kirsty Leighton behind their London home.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

  • 
  Kirsty’s favorite space in the house is the living room, where she and her girlfriends curl up on the sectional sofa to gossip over a glass of wine.  Photo by: Matthew Williams
    Kirsty’s favorite space in the house is the living room, where she and her girlfriends curl up on the sectional sofa to gossip over a glass of wine.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

  • 
  With the sliding doors open, the kitchen connects to a courtyard and spare bedroom, where friends who come over for dinner sometimes take up residence for days.  Photo by: Matthew Williams
    With the sliding doors open, the kitchen connects to a courtyard and spare bedroom, where friends who come over for dinner sometimes take up residence for days.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

  • 
  The kitchen table.  Photo by: Matthew Williams
    The kitchen table.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

  • 
  Bruce and Kirsty loved the idea of a kitchen island rather than traditional work surfaces around the walls. Bruce fancies himself a chef and hates to have his back to everyone when he’s cooking. This island, from the Boffi LT line designed by Piero Lissoni, allows guests to gather around for impromptu sushi rolling or casual breakfasts.  Photo by: Matthew Williams
    Bruce and Kirsty loved the idea of a kitchen island rather than traditional work surfaces around the walls. Bruce fancies himself a chef and hates to have his back to everyone when he’s cooking. This island, from the Boffi LT line designed by Piero Lissoni, allows guests to gather around for impromptu sushi rolling or casual breakfasts.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

  • 
  If tidiness is paramount for the family, a place for the kids to play outdoors is equally important. The climbing wall at the back of the garden is entirely the work of Mark Tiarks, who built the Composite House and who relished a chance to step out from beneath Tozer’s plans and design an aspect of the house himself.  Photo by: Matthew Williams
    If tidiness is paramount for the family, a place for the kids to play outdoors is equally important. The climbing wall at the back of the garden is entirely the work of Mark Tiarks, who built the Composite House and who relished a chance to step out from beneath Tozer’s plans and design an aspect of the house himself.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

  • 
  Bruce worried about what to put in the double-height space above the kitchen table—–until he found these Tom Dixon–designed mirror balls. “They were installed at random and when William came over that evening, he said, ‘Fantastic, well done.’ So we left them like that.”  Photo by: Matthew Williams
    Bruce worried about what to put in the double-height space above the kitchen table—–until he found these Tom Dixon–designed mirror balls. “They were installed at random and when William came over that evening, he said, ‘Fantastic, well done.’ So we left them like that.”

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

  • 
  Bruce is a wine enthusiast and a stickler for efficiency, so this prefab concrete cellar with an ingenious passive ventilation system was a natural choice. It maintains a constant temperature, and its stacked horizontal bins can store up to 1,400 bottles of wine—–a good excuse to keep adding to the collection.  Photo by: Matthew Williams
    Bruce is a wine enthusiast and a stickler for efficiency, so this prefab concrete cellar with an ingenious passive ventilation system was a natural choice. It maintains a constant temperature, and its stacked horizontal bins can store up to 1,400 bottles of wine—–a good excuse to keep adding to the collection.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

  • 
  Blond Dinesen Douglas-fir floorboards stretch the length of the house, framing its clean planes and lines. The stairs, which cantilever out from the house’s original bare brick walls, are mounted on brackets and made from the same material. The house and Dinesen itself are well matched: Both are just over a century old.  Photo by: Matthew Williams
    Blond Dinesen Douglas-fir floorboards stretch the length of the house, framing its clean planes and lines. The stairs, which cantilever out from the house’s original bare brick walls, are mounted on brackets and made from the same material. The house and Dinesen itself are well matched: Both are just over a century old.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

  • 
  Bruce and Kirsty are obsessively tidy, so copious storage was a must. An entire wall in their bathroom opens to reveal a cabinet that is exactly the depth of a fat roll of toilet paper, and one of their kitchen cupboards was specially fireproofed in order to house that dastardly appliance, the toaster.  Photo by: Matthew Williams
    Bruce and Kirsty are obsessively tidy, so copious storage was a must. An entire wall in their bathroom opens to reveal a cabinet that is exactly the depth of a fat roll of toilet paper, and one of their kitchen cupboards was specially fireproofed in order to house that dastardly appliance, the toaster.

    Photo by: Matthew Williams

@current / @total

More

Add comment

Log in or register to post comments
Advertising