The interplay of contrasts became the driving force behind this renovation of a Covent Garden penthouse for a Hong Kong-based jewellery designer and the changing needs of her family.
The design needed to be approached with absolute freedom. The interior was completely remodelled to do away with any former boundaries that made the existing space so unapproachable and rigid, but also to ground the project in both its exterior and interior contexts of London, and the Client. This introduced a new playful flow of movement, and unexpected layers of depth and intrigue.
The new apartment was kept clean and clear. By redesigning the layout and opening up windows and doorways, new views could be created. Bespoke commissions with artists, crafts-people and industrial manufacturers dot the space with moments of intensity, colour, and delicacy.
A winding neon light punctuates a perforated staircase of anodised aluminium which becomes the pivotal centre of the apartment. The staircase, whose pierced form emits its own iridescence when moved around, leads up to the master bedroom, lined with soft and scented cedar wood walls hiding the bathroom of copper hardware and handmade details. In the centre of the room is a bespoke bed in deep forest green, lacquered with gold, silver and copper, and carefully protected with a silk velvet cushion.
Elsewhere, concealed doors, marked by industrial brass door handles lead to two other bedrooms. Around the walls, a line runs through these spaces, constantly drawing the mind to the main living space and gives reference to the setting in Covent Garden. A modular and movable design in the living area allows the room to be multifunctional and versatile, blurring the boundary between kitchen, dining, and living.
After the completion of the project, the life of the apartment has slowly begun as the owners and their careful curation of new art pieces and commissions cohabit the space.
Jewel in the apartment: The industrial form of the anodised aluminium staircase is precision manufactured and finished to be iridescent and soft the touch. Beneath, the ephemeral neon light contrasts with it natural flowing shape.
A glimpse of the iridescent blue aluminium staircase through an arched doorway leads up to the Master Suite
The soft light from the neon sculpture, sitting on a jesmonite shelf interacts playfully with the perforations of the stair above.
Bespoke kitchen Cabinetry: hand painted timber fluted panelling, with solid terrazzo work surface - the kitchen wraps around the room in a bold blue, anchoring it in place, yet keeping the space light
Brass details stand bright against the dark cabinets and terrazzo drawers. Hand painted in blue, the timber grain comes though the slatted detailing
Modular and Versatile space, the kitchen and dining break away from rigid form to blur the boundaries between the two areas as the kitchen cabinets wrap around the room. Soft natural oaks unite each element together.
Open plan kitchen and dining, brought together with soft and natural materials with a backdrop of the deep blue cabinetry of the kitchen
New opening to the hallway and Master bedroom allow views to the bespoke sculptural elements of the stairs and the Master Bed
The blue cabinets of the kitchen run through into the living area with a softer natural oak top tying the room together. A modular sofa can be moved in different configurations.
A clever use of space: due to constraints of ceiling height, the Master Bedroom En-suite has been opened up with slatted cedar wood screens, and the sinks separated out so that you pass through on your way to the bedroom. The sinks can be concealed away in a wardrobe to hide them from view
Concealed sinks in the Master Bedroom: Handmade Moroccan tiles, copper Vola taps, and a bespoke terrazzo sink create a delicate and intimate moment hidden inside the bedroom cupboards
Slatted cedar wood screens hide the shower, giving glimpses of more handmade tiles and copper details as you pass
Closed off: softly scented cedar wood sliding door shuts off the Master Bedroom from the rest of the apartment. The sinks can be hidden away from view
A bed finished in a traditional lacquer by master craftsmen sits as a central sculptural items in the centre of the master bedroom. Behind the slatted wardrobes follow back into the bathroom
Green steel side table inspired the geometric sculptural form of the bed, with a background of slatted cedar wood wardrobes
Boys Bedroom: vintage furniture, fun lighting, and colourful fabrics create a playful yet cool bedroom for the families young son. A datum line runs around both children's bedrooms at the same height of the living room floor
Mid-century modern desk and wall shelving create a perfect workspace
Clean lines and industrial fittings continue from the bedroom into the En-suite Bathroom
Soft colours, and natural oak inside the hidden writing desk makes an intimate space for creativity in the Girls Bedroom.
Precision engineering: the staircase is milled from 20mm sheets of industrial aluminium, shot blasted and anodised to create a soft to the touch finish
- Michelle Young