In London, Kirkwood McCarthy crafts a house where furniture workshops once stood.
In London’s Bethnal Green district, on a site that once housed furniture workshops, Kirkwood McCarthy created a three-story home that cleverly blends into its surroundings. Thanks to a cranked roofline, an upper level addition provides room for an ample master suite without blocking the neighbors’ access to daylight. Double-height windows bring light streaming into sunken living spaces. All of this is hidden behind a façade that harmonizes perfectly with the area’s terraced run. No longer a workshop, the home is now a jewel box.
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Set in a conservation area, the home’s façade was designed to blend into the street’s terrace style. To that end, it is clad in red bricks from Traditional Brick & Stone and punctuated with sash windows. The concrete toned lintels hint subtly at the modernity that lies within.
From the rear courtyard, the house’s form becomes clear. Double-height windows bring light into the sunken living spaces while the set back upper level allows for a private, brick enveloped balcony. The house’s cranked roofline ensures that the neighboring property still has daylight access.
The kitchen is situated in a sunken basement, underneath the staircase’s walnuts steps. The same joiner who built the house’s timber elements built the white cabinetry which are finished in a 40% gloss lacquer. Silestone countertops and integrated appliances maintain the space’s simple lines. Additional storage is fitted under the staircase.
The home’s living room is located on the lower level, opposite the kitchen. The herringbone-patterned brick floor is partially covered by a carpet purchased in Istanbul. A sofa and Muuto sideboard anchor opposite sides of the space.
Viewed from above, the lower level’s brick floors establish a sense of continuity between the living spaces and the outer courtyard. Two-stories of glazing ensure that the lower levels never feel gloomy.
The second floor mezzanine can be used as either a bedroom or a study. A simple curtain moderates daylight from the rear windows and ensure that the space remains private when being used as a bedroom. A Ligne Roset desk and chair provide a comfortable work station while the day bed, also by Ligne Roset, is ideally suited for lounging about.
The house’s stacked floors progress vertically from the communal basement, through the mixed-use mezzanine, to the private bedroom. Its staircase responds to these functions. Perforated folded steel steps between the ground level and mezzanine allow for greater access to sunlight. Between the mezzanine and upper level, solid folded steel stairs and partitions serve as the bedroom’s acoustic barrier.
On the uppermost level, long drawers coated in the same lacquer finish as the kitchen cabinetry make the most of the cranked roofline. A simple partition separates the bathroom and bedroom, which houses a bed from Natural Bed Company, ensuring that light permeates the entire floor. American Black Walnut flooring unites the entire space.