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Shifting Spatial Structures "...a series of interconnected spaces..."

The aim of this project was to create a series of interconnected spaces within which the demands of family life could be accommodated with ease. An open plan arrangement dominates the majority of the ground floor providing a series of spaces with a partially visual and auditory connection, but with discrete areas for reflection and isolation. The newly enclosed area at the rear provides a zone for all quotidian duties outside of the living space, and the glass roofed courtyard allows an opportunity for relaxation slightly separated from the main internal space.

The arrangement of rooms upstairs reflects a more segregated approach, providing each family member or visitor with their own personal space to retreat to. The smaller individual rooms were purposefully left as blank canvasses for the young occupants to personalise.

The interior layout on the ground floor is organised around a series of communal public spaces and the integral passage linking one to the next in varying ways. Segments of walls / boundaries shift laterally to open up the visual field from one end of the scheme to the other, thereby opening up the structure of the “room”, and limiting the relevance of the door. Within the main suite above, all of the functional elements are arranged as an island within the shell of the space, previously two bedrooms. This allows a fluidity of movement between the three areas; thereby continuing the fluidity also expressed in the ground floor layout.

The division of public space vs. private is described in the choice of materials used, predominantly for the floor surfaces. To maintain the fluidity of the spatial sequence on the ground floor, a continuity of colour and texture was desirable; this is only contrasted by the slate floor in the sunken room due to the change in level. On the first floor this is contrasted with a softer treatment for the circulation areas and smaller rooms. The mirrored wall delineating the passage to the first floor acts as an interface which bounces light back into the main space below.

A myriad of fittings punctuate the ceilings, providing a notation for the organisation of space below, reflecting the static areas and axes of movement between them. Natural light also permeates the building through large original windows, enhanced by the conversion of one into full height opening doors onto the garden.

Furniture may take on many guises; becoming part of the structure, integral to the scheme. An example of this is the sliding full height screens / paintings, which also conceal storage units from view within the master suite. Furniture may also act as a sculptural element. In this way the independent kitchen island morphs into a high level table, the horizontal plane cantilevering from the solidity of the kitchen base.

As an RIBA Chartered Practice, please contact us on 01636 814624 or email for guidance on all aspects of your current project from design and cost through to planning and construction, and we will help realise your vision.


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