Apartments, Chelsea, London, UK 2005
The refurbishment of a deep, narrow end of terrace building in Chelsea, London. Two residential units were created on a total of six different existing levels.
The larger unit to the ground and lower ground floor features a crystalline structural-glazed roof light over a new stair. The geometry allows movement to the lower level without conflicting with the existing building and openings above. In the lower ground floor both bedroom and washroom are accessed off of the stair. A concealed pocket door allows the plan to remain open and offer glimpses beyond. Mirrors are used to extend the space and reflect some of the light borrowed from above.
The roof light is partially translucent for modesty but allows glimpses and morning sun to penetrate into the lower level. Additional light wells and incisions provide an open series of connected spaces for both living and working.
In the smaller of the two units, a serviced pod accommodates a galley kitchen, wc and washroom. Reading like a large piece of furniture, the pod also provides fire separation, services and storage. The freestanding pod element allows for the periphery to be left open, and a continuous floor finish unifies the space. This makes the modest apartment more spacious, with sliding door panels and flush door handles accentuating the feeling. Translucent glazing again allows borrowed light between spaces.