Commissioned by a private Kenyan client, ‘Peponi’ meaning paradise in Swahili was designed as an escape from the city. Cascading over a three storey Victorian conversion in London, the house was created to mimic personal journeys and memories experienced by the client. The brief was to create a 'home from home' experience, where the house exhibited materials, textures and design affiliated with the client's layered cultural background.
The over riding vision was to create a physical expression of a 'Wish You Were Here' postcard greeting for each room as a response to the brief. Creating a 'home from home' space requires an in depth knowledge of the client and their references of travel. The Studio engaged the client and the team to unravel what elements were essential. With an ever increasing requirement for spaces inside the home to reflect personal experiences and identity, the Studio carried out a study on surfaces, objects and physical spatial manipulation for inspiration.
To start, the space had to be completely opened up so that at any given point, the house would be evenly lit with natural day light. The butterfly ceiling profile of the Victorian House was opened up to make way for large skylights to direct natural day light into the top floor open plan living and kitchen space, reducing dependence on artificial lighting. This concept was continued on in the wet room, which sits at the top of the house. A dramatic sky light features above the rain shower to create an indoor-outdoor bathing experience and steal a little extra daylight during the short winter days. Opening up of the roof at various points also allowed for natural ventilation of the entire house.
Demolition of some existing structure allowed for the house to be opened up allowing excellent views across the flat from one room to another, creating a seemless transition between spaces. A three storey high feature wall was created to help navigate across the various floors of the house (see elevation section no.3 below.) The feature wall showcased a bespoke cantilevered steel frame staircase and space for artwork before continuing outside to form of a living green wall on the terrace. A material palette was carefully selected to align with the clients concerns on sustainability. Hand-made natural pigment tiles were sourced from a supplier in North Africa that sustained traditional manufacturing techniques. Natural stone was ethically sourced instead of composite stone to save on carbon footprint. For optimal thermal performance, natural wool was used to insulate floors and walls. A garden terrace was created as a sanctuary for tropical plants, with water harvesting introduced for irrigation.
For the interiors, designers who highlighted exceptional craft and design were sourced such as Moroso, Established & Sons, Yinka Ilori, Eva Sonaike, WorkHouse Collection, Alvin T, Soane and Hay. These pieces were mixed in with distressed antique furniture from designers such as Far Global and Gong to create a variety of textures. Contemporary art work in bright block colours by Duval Timothy completed the home.
Nuru /noun - Light
A large automated skylight sits directly above the bed, allowing early morning sun to filter through a dense mosquito net.
Chair by Yinka Ilori, Vintage Bench by Far Global and Quilt by Hay
Chombo /noun - Vessel
Clad in naturally stained Oak, the wire brush flooring accentuates the wood grain when walking bare foot.
Vintage Iron Bowl by Far Global
Maji /noun - water
Hand made cement pigment tiles from North Africa were sourced to create a splash of colour through geometric patterns.
Floor Lamp by Soane, Antique furniture pieces by Far Global, Armchair by Alvin T and cushion by House of Arike. Rug by Moroso. Basket Table by Gong. Turned table by Workhouse Collection. Woven Mats and Basket by Rush matters.
The Wet Room
Mvua /noun - rain
An indoor/outdoor wet room at the highest point of house creates a tree house quality, removing itself from the main living spaces.
Antique chair by far Global
The Living Room
Joto /noun - heat
Original Victorian butterfly ceiling opens up to create 4m tall wall spaces. Bespoke joinery houses a fireplace to create a sense of community and warmth.
Day Bed and Tables by Moroso, Rug by Chaplins, Poufs by Eva Sonaike, Arm Chair and Screen by Far Global, Floor Lamp and Sculpture Necklaces by Gong, Turned Tables by Workhouse Collection, Art Work by Duval Timothy.
Kupika /verb – to cook
Blue toughened glass for bespoke joinery showcases ingredients and utensils for Swahili cooking. Carrara marble in a naturally honed finish creates a smooth surface for food preparation.
Tray by Established & Sons, Wooden Utensils by Kirsten Hecktermann.
Original layout showing congested stair circulation and limited access to living and kitchen.
Proposed Plan showing new arrangement of open plan living and kitchen spaces with direct access to terrace and bedroom.
Plan and Sectional Elevations showing out door Terrace as a continuation of feature wall.
Plan and Sectional Elevations showing open plan living and kitchen space.