Space Group Architects have completed the refurbishment of a 200sqm/2000sqft penthouse located between Shoreditch, Spitalfields Market and the City of London. The duplex apartment already benefits from a large roof terrace and fantastic views. It was our task to enhance exactly these and to completely remodel the otherwise run-down property.
A dramatic new atrium plus a double height void enable a natural air and light flow throughout the entire day. By exposing the existing steel structure, the wooden joists and fair-faced brickwork hidden behind plasterboard walls, we have started recovering character. The space is then complimented by a riot of predominantly natural materials: Bark, reclaimed wood, raw stone, mild steel, leather, concrete and slightly textured, glowing moss-green resin panels come in the shape of monolithic zone or room defining volumes.
The aim was to create a lively loft-type lower level that reflects the spirit of its neighbourhood whilst the upper level is supposed to be a retreat to relax, study and escape from the surrounding madness on the streets below.
A new staircase connects the two levels in the form of a raw steel block that appears solid from the side and see-through when seen head on, thus orientating the outlook towards the terrace. Frameless glass balustrades also enable uninterrupted views of the city skyline.
The new kitchen consists of a breakfast bar made of naturally grey weathered, untreated wood which is combined with a polished concrete preparation island. Above the island incandescent light bulbs dangle off an exposed copper service pipe which is offset against the black painted wooden joisted ceiling. A long stainless steel ‘slab’ contains all appliances including a variety of modern gadgets.
The new bathrooms provide individual, spa-like experiences: There is a steam room, a large walk-in shower with a ‘rain-maker’ and a bath with a thrilling view of London. An exciting material palette consisting of polished concrete, mild steel, acrylic stone and heavily textured slate refine the perception of having entered a ‘druse’.
The scheme also involved changes to the façade to enable natural ventilation, unobstructed views and privacy where required.