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Synergy of Space "... a layout, unfurled to encourage a flow of rotation..."

The aim of this project was to create an inter-related body of spaces, acting as a whole, within which the needs of a maturing family could be answered. This could only be made possible by addressing the under-utilised former extension to this family home; by further incorporating it into the main body of the house through a systematic removal of awkward divisions, and extending the top level so as to complete the whole. A further staircase to echo the existing main stair is inserted to connect the upper two floors thereby creating a credible top floor suite with its own roof terrace.

The ground floor layout was unfurled to encourage a flow of rotation around the central core of the house, the staircase. This level is entirely used for public areas; spaces for varying forms of entertaining, living and dining. Each space is separated only by opaque glazed fixed screens and doors to evoke the sense of each part belonging to the whole, and to urge the circular passage between them.

To persist with the process of subtraction in order to rationalise the internal space, and to invite the onward momentum to the upper levels, the glazing advanced into the central staircase. The frameless glass balustrade allows light to bounce around this volume of motion, creating a clearer visual connection between the levels.

Lighting is used to accentuate the axes of movement throughout the scheme; a myriad of fittings punctuate the ceilings or are embedded in the walls and steps providing a notation for the organisation of trajectory. Floor lights are used to delineate areas of focus or stasis. The new staircase to the second floor incorporates hidden strip lighting within the recessed handrail to emphasise the ascending route.

The full height kitchen island unit plays many roles. Firstly, it conceals a structural column necessary for the new open layout of the kitchen/dining room. Secondly, it houses a wealth of storage units and appliances. Thirdly, a lighting feature is integrated at ceiling level to provide another ambient source of illumination in this area. The adjacent concrete surface acts as both worktop and table/desk due to a floor level change on either side.

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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