In a secluded locale within an urban London neighbourhood hides The Workshop. This mysterious property can only be accessed through a shadowy passage next to a classic Victorian terrace but, upon entering, visitors are privy to the very finest in expansive city living.
The plot was originally developed by structuring a roof between existing, adjacent buildings. It has since been impressively augmented by Henning Stummel Architects, who have transformed a once derelict expanse into a sleek, modern home. So impressive is this design, in fact, that The Workshop was awarded the RIBA London Housing Award for 2014!
The steel-framed roof remains but now contains a transparent apex, inviting a generous intake of light to permeate the rooms below. The result is a delicate structure relative to the surrounding brick homes with modern and industrial finishes bathed in a calm and tranquil air.
Let's take a tour…
From the street The Workshop presents a clean and simple facade. Luminescent, glazed doors provide a break from the more traditional architectural surrounds, with minimal, practical information decorating a muted tone.
This simplicity adds to the mystery of the home, with only a lucky few able to discover exactly what's being worked on within…
The Workshop living area is perfectly designed to accommodate the best of both indoor and outdoor living and entertaining. Furnishings have been selected for maximum comfort, with the chic, leather couches serving as an invitation to relax and recline. The TV and fireplace provide a subtle focus for the room on a quiet night in, although the area can easily be adapted for more social purposes.
Outside, an exposed brick wall provides privacy from nosy neighbours and continues the subtly industrial theme of the home. A lively array of plants refresh the courtyard, adding colour and decoration and drawing visitors outdoors for spring and summer entertaining.
Once inside we truly get a feeling for the expanse of the home with the steel-framed roof stretching high above. The roof now benefits from transparent panelling running through its apex to allow for maximum intake of natural light, as well as insulation to shield against the chilly, English winter.
Sturdy, steel beams traverse the length of the walls, accentuating the height of the space and adding an element of understated, industrial sophistication.
This perspective lends insight into the openness of The Workshop's interior, with kitchen, dining and living areas existing in harmony beneath the high ceiling.
The dining table is minimalistic and streamlined, providing a foundation for socialising and interaction without drawing unnecessary attention or overwhelming the space in the absence of guests.
The length of the table and its subtle lines seem to direct us towards the living areas, which are perfectly designed for relaxation and conversation after a hearty meal.
What London home is complete without the rustic warmth of a fireplace? This element of the living area allows for winter indulgence with a book or a good film in the same way as the courtyard is wonderfully designed to seize the opportunity for spring and summer socialising.
A vintage rug warms the smooth concrete and the leather furnishings provide stylish comfort.
Sleek lines and subdued colours define this kitchen, with the polished concrete finish of the kitchen island mimicking the floors below, in keeping with the industrial design elements prevalent throughout the rest of the home.
Understated lighting hung from a metal frame could well be an extension of the roof and beautifully illuminates the smooth, clean surfaces below.
From this perspective we once again get a sense of the spaciousness of the home and the balance and harmony of the living areas.
High ceilings, plentiful light and beautifully spaced partitions in lieu of walled-off rooms combine to calm the space, creating a sense of flow and tranquility. The understated colour scheme provides the ideal backdrop for splashes of character, such as artwork and the eclectic decoration of an industrial-style bookshelf.
The Workshop's sleeping quarters are situated on the upper level, allowing for a steady intake of natural light and continuing the thematic flow of the floor below. The two bedrooms are connected by a short corridor and courtyard but can be easily be closed off for privacy through the use of doors and curtains.
Decoration is minimal, allowing for soothing surrounds and deep, pleasant dreams.
From the rear we get a sense of how The Workshop hides amongst traditional buildings in the neighbourhood, providing an oasis of industrial luxury amidst London's terraced streets. The use of expansive windows further aids the intake of natural light, whilst the rustic, casual appeal of the back garden, with its large tiles and overgrown greenery, hints at a space whose primary purpose is relaxed enjoyment and that doesn't take itself too seriously.
For more inspirational ideas on London renovations, take a look at this Edwardian Terrace Renovation, East London.