Not so long ago, the beautiful residence depicted in these photos used to be nothing but an old warehouse full of rust and dust. But then its saviors arrived: two theater and film directors with a mission to turn that space into their new cozy home. And that’s exactly what they did with the help of APA.
It was the studio’s highly innovative and collaborative approach that allowed this space to gain such a strong personality. APA is an architecture and design practice that creates bespoke spaces as part of exceptional projects such as this one. The residence we’re talking about is located in London, England.
There are many interesting design features worth mentioning. The large windows are definitely a big plus. They’re actually the only things that remained intact and were preserved throughout the renovation and transformation. Originally, the windows were partially concealed but they were fully exposed and have become a defining feature of this unusual home.
Given the history of the building, a very rough and industrial décor is expected. However, although there are a few striking elements that suit this description, the overall look is quite sophisticated. The décor is authentic and well-balanced.
The most imposing element in the house is a black metal cube placed at the core of the floor plan. This volume was in fact inspired by the look of the metal doors present throughout the space. It sits at the center of the home and it has a series of sliding doors and walls which reveal the functions inside.
The cube is mysterious and poetic, being a metaphor that depicts the creative process of a film director. Just like an empty metal box is filled with the director’s imagination and used to create images and stories, this volume conceals unexpected features and houses a lot of great stories.
Inside the cube there’s an archive of books, films and photos belonging to the owners. It’s these treasures that turn the box into a mysterious safe. In addition to the archive, the volume also contains a bathroom and a laundry area.
Built with raw steel walls and blackened mesh screens, the box also features metal shelves and recesses which increase its strong industrial appeal and imposing look. In addition to serving as a shell for the spaces inside, it also acts as a divider.
On each side of the cube there’s a different function. The living area, working space, kitchen and dining space as well as the reading and sleeping areas are all organized around this metal cube and stay separate while being part of the same open floor plan.
Apart from this large metal cube, the home also impresses through features such as beautiful Shoji screens that conceal the sleeping area, solid oak shelves, black ash screens and interesting colors such as steel blue or dark olive green.
The Shoji screens were custom designed to match the pattern of the windows in order to obtain a cohesive and uniform look throughout the spaces. The materials and furniture were inspired by the owners’ travels and family history and they now define a new chapter in their lives.
Although the color palette is simple and neutral being mostly composed of grays, whites and blacks, the space is decorated with unexpected textures and interesting combinations of materials and this makes each individual function gain a character of its own and stand out in a unique way.
Balance and harmony define this warehouse home. Its history has almost been completely forgotten, the windows being the only detail that gives it a foothold in the past and anchors it to a time long gone.