A London Townhouse Has Glass Circles in Its Floors to Filter in Ample Natural Light

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
After gutting the interior of a dark, five-story townhouse, a bright and open space is born.

When a client was looking to incorporate an open, light-filled atmosphere into their central London townhouse, they turned to local firm Andy Martin Architecture to help reimagine the space. 

To deliver the transformation the owners were seeking, the team gutted the five-story property, and added a new ground floor made entirely of glass footpath paving lights—which are common on London commercial streets—to allow an abundance of natural light to enter the space.

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Thanks to the glass perforations connecting the first two levels of the home, the structure no longer suffers from a dark, gloomy interior. The team also incorporated a handmade steel staircase to link the ground floor to the basement.

Thanks to the glass perforations connecting the first two levels of the home, the structure no longer suffers from a dark, gloomy interior. The team also incorporated a handmade steel staircase to link the ground floor to the basement.

The dappled light brightens the basement which houses the kitchen and an open-plan living and dining area.

The dappled light brightens the basement which houses the kitchen and an open-plan living and dining area.

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Here is a closer look at the kitchen area.

Here is a closer look at the kitchen area.

The use of the perforations throughout the home help to intensify the light through various aperture dimensions. They also led to the project's name: The Perf House.

The use of the perforations throughout the home help to intensify the light through various aperture dimensions. They also led to the project's name: The Perf House.

The glass lenses of the circular pavement lights are a common feature on London streets.

The glass lenses of the circular pavement lights are a common feature on London streets.

An up-close view of the details in the circular perforations.

An up-close view of the details in the circular perforations.

On the first floor, solid steel plates transform into a perforated metal spine, which cuts right through the building to the top floor. 

On the first floor, solid steel plates transform into a perforated metal spine, which cuts right through the building to the top floor. 

Glass surfaces act as transparent room dividers throughout the home. Here, an open living area is divided by a ridged glass-and-steel-framed french window.

Glass surfaces act as transparent room dividers throughout the home. Here, an open living area is divided by a ridged glass-and-steel-framed french window.

The glass partition doors assist in opening the space up, while also enhancing the natural light.<br>

The glass partition doors assist in opening the space up, while also enhancing the natural light.

A perforated steel plate&nbsp;forms a wall between the staircase and the room.

A perforated steel plate forms a wall between the staircase and the room.

Here is a peek at the exterior at night. As you can see, floor-to-ceiling sliding windows open onto a decked bamboo patio.

Here is a peek at the exterior at night. As you can see, floor-to-ceiling sliding windows open onto a decked bamboo patio.

Project Credits: 

Architect of Record: Andy Martin Architecture, Andy Martin

Builder/General Contractor: Elvin Properties, Chris Elvin

Structural Engineer: Michael Blacker Partnership, Michael Blacker

Lighting Design: Pinto Design, Pedro Pinto

Interior Design: Andy Martin Architecture, Andy Martin

Cabinetry Design/Installation: Calanpoint Joinery, Alan White