Apartment in Hampstead

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nomadic inhabitation, photo: P. Christou June 03
street room, photo: P. Christou
design sketch, cooking bench
design sketch cooking bench
cooking bench, photo: P. Christou, Dec 02
gaps in cooking bench, photo: P. Christou, Feb 03
park room, photo: D. Spero, March 04
view from park room towards cooking room, photo: D. Spero, March 04
photo: D. Spevo, March 04
steel plates inlaid in oak floor, photo: P. Christou, March 03
windows towards the park, photo: F. Beigel
plan of good rooms

An Apartment within a late 19th Century House in Hampstead, London

(construction completed Dec. 2002)

This apartment is on the first floor of a paired house in a Victorian terrace built in the 1890’s overlooking a park. It has four rooms and a little hall room. Two rooms look out to a magnificent view of the park and two rooms face into the front street with mature plane trees. All rooms are three meters high making the small rooms tall and the large rooms generous and spacious. The existing house is a typical well mannered late 19th Century building with sash windows, ceiling cornices, skirting boards with moldings, four-panel doors with architraves, and highly ornate cast iron fire places, all well built and in their original generous proportions.

An architectural infrastructure of good rooms

We thought one should repair and fully reveal the proportional, tectonic and contextual dignity of the original ‘good rooms’, removing insensitive additions. We see this matrix of rooms as an architectural infrastructure, an emptiness, a raw shell.

New floors have been installed with solid American oil finished white oak in three rooms and the hall. In the little room to the street and in the hall mild steel plates were inlaid into the oak floor in form of large stepping-stones. In the large room to the street we laid a Korean ‘hanji’ paper floor made with pulp of the mulberry bush soaked in a natural resin.

Nomadic inhabitation

One must tread carefully not to obscure the qualities of the raw shell. We are taking care that the programme of inhabitation does not dominate architectural space. We would like to get around the idea of single purpose rooms, kitchen, dining room, bathroom, bedroom, living room etc. Rather, we have chosen to take more of a camping approach to inhabiting the raw shell rather than a fitting-out approach. We think each room should be a room for living (and working), even the smallest room in the house.

Selected Publications

The Galleria, (Korea)
‘Artist and space’, Oct. 2005, p.168-171.
New London Interiors
by Kieran Long, Merrell Publishers, London, New York, 2004, ISBN185894 2373, p.156-157.
Context 3 Korea
‘Apartment in Hampstead, London’, Issue 241, Sept. 2004, ISSN 1227-611103, p.128-133.
The Sunday Review, The Independent on Sunday
'Rooms For Maneuver', by Ellis Woodman, 25 April, 2004, p.31-33.
Building Design
'Small wonder', by Ellis Woodman, 18 July, 2003, ISSN 0007-3423, p 9-11.