The clients for this domestic refurbishment and extension owned a one-bedroom flat in the upper ground floor of a three-storey over basement Victorian villa in Hampstead, North London. In order to increase the amount of space they had, they purchased the flat above theirs on the second floor. Our principal brief was to connect both flats without infringing on the existing centrally positioned common staircase that leads from ground to third floor.
The new stairs are solid walnut open threads with a carbon steel handrail and balustrade; the openness of the stairs structure and threads allows light through from both sides and maintains the continuum of the existing walls, and ceiling without breaking up the kitchen and dining space.
The new walnut veneer kitchen with terrazzo countertop was placed along the wall facing the stairs to keep the centre of the space free for a refectory table and a series of pendulum lights.
On the upper floor, the existing rear windows in both study and sitting room were dropped to the floor to elongate the view over Hampstead Heath. A suite of walnut shelves was designed to unite all three rooms horizontally into one floor; the spacing varies to suit the room function, such as book storage for the study.
The walnut display shelves, designed in an homage to the art deco style to reflect the client's collection of objets d'art of the period, are connected structurally by means of vertical steel ribs. It shares the visual language of the stairs to connect both floors vertically.