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Narrow House, London, United Kingdom

Monday 27 Apr 2015
 

New lease of life for former office space

 
Narrow House by Form Design Architecture in London, United Kingdom
 
 
Narrow House by Form Design Architecture in London, United Kingdom Narrow House by Form Design Architecture in London, United Kingdom Narrow House by Form Design Architecture in London, United Kingdom Narrow House by Form Design Architecture in London, United Kingdom Narrow House by Form Design Architecture in London, United Kingdom Narrow House by Form Design Architecture in London, United Kingdom
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Form Design Architecture transforms dark office complex into light-rich Covent Garden townhouse 

The narrow deep plan of this tall terraced late 19th century building was ill-suited to its previous use as offices, with escape distances pre-determining the necessity for the centrally located lift and stair core that sub-divided the floor plate into small inflexible work spaces. This configuration was ideally suited to the creation of residential space, with naturally-lit rooms of domestic scale located to the front and rear, and support spaces located inboard around the retained central stairs and lift. A use further suggested by the domestic style of the Dutch-gabled brick front elevation.

A change of use was therefore recommended by the architect to the developer client, with planning consent subsequently granted, contrary to local policy, for the creation of a luxurious 4-bedroom house. Subtle changes to the section of the building have created external spaces and allowed natural light to penetrate deep into the plan. These include the creation of a soaring 6m double-height kitchen/dining space opening onto a small new ground floor courtyard; the replacement of the original hipped roof with an additional split-level studio floor - with terraces front and rear; and the creation of an entry courtyard recessed behind a decorative metal screen that echoes the proportions and format of a shopfront on the pavement line.

Redundant storage spaces in the artificially-lit lower ground floor have been given new life as a state-of-the-art cinema and gym; with sophisticated systems throughout the house providing control of lighting, AV, blinds, heating/air con and blinds via hand-held tablets. Fastidious detailing and a limited palette of high quality materials, together with a fire-engineered approach to layout (removing the necessity for lobbies), have helped to create a calm restful interior with a good spatial flow between the six floors of accommodation. 

Key Facts

Client
Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
Form Design Architecture

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