The British Homes Awards

LITTLE VENICE

Industrial Edge

Between the stucco Victorian mansions sits a matt black zinc and glass contemporary building attached to a former coach house. This new residential building replaces a derelict warehouse that had once been a joinery shop for an antique furniture company. The interior design of the new home acknowledges the industrial heritage of the site with bespoke fixtures and unusual finishes, employing the best of British craftsmanship. The judges praised this winning scheme for “its innovative details and materials used in an eclectic way”.

The sleeping quarters are set in a theatrical dark space with an Alice in Wonderland play on scale. Double height wall paneling, reclaimed parquet floors from the demolished warehouse and an oversized fireplace are lit by a vast 1960s chandelier of cast yellow and white glass. A dressing room of cedar with sliding leather doors and a leather floor overlooks a walled garden.

There is a deliberate duality about the contrasting moods in the private and public areas of the house. A massive pivoting brick wall concealed in the engineering brickwork links these two contrasting worlds.

Beyond this threshold point is a radically more modern space bathed in natural light from a hydraulic pivoting wall of glass and a louvred skylight above. The furniture and fabric are a mix of old and new with a generally bleached colour palette around the black brick fireplace. A specialist plaster finish is set against a textured finned ceramic wall which passes out as a continuous plane into the garden. A number of items of furniture were built to commission. The scheme’s interior designer Wells Mackereth designed the bespoke steel and cast glass pendant light.

A slab of structural glass in the floor of the main living space hints at a library and screening room below. Here a chestnut leather conversation pit is sunk into the polished concrete floor.

In place of slick high-tech solutions, the design puts structure and mechanics overtly on show. Steelwork is left rusted and raw. Exposed engineered winches and cable mechanisms raise a bespoke metal and glass lantern and a plasma screen.

ARCHITECT:

Wells Mackereth Architects
Address:
5e Shepherd Steet
Mayfair
Lodon
W1j 7HP
Tel: 020 7495 7055
Fax: 020 7495 7044
Website: www.wellsmackereth.com
Contact: Sally Mackereth