Artist studio conversion | VATRAA

City of London / United Kingdom / 2021

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11 Love 781 Visits Published

LOCATION Kensington and Chelsea, London
PROGRAM Basement extension, full refurbishment and conversion of a former artist studio into a 4-bedroom house AREA 137 sqm (vs. 60 sqm before extension)
STATUS Completed 2021
ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIOR DESIGN VATRAA PHOTOGRAPHY VATRAA



SUSTAINABILITY APPROACH air source heat pump, removed gas, whole house MVHR, efficient thermal insulation, improved airtightness, led lighting, raw finishes approach to reduce materials to minimum necessary ANNUAL CO2 EMISSIONS 3.16 tonnes (vs. 6 tonnes for a typical household)
DWELLING CO2 EMISSION RATE (DER) 28.06 kgCO2/m2 (16% better than Target CO2 Emission Rate of 33.47, and 60% improvement compared to the before situation of 47.29)
DWELLING FABRIC ENERGY EFFICIENCY (DFEE) 86.98 kWh/m2/hr (2% better than Target Dwelling Fabric Energy Efficiency of 89.02, and 50% improvement compared to the before situation of 172.65).


The client commissioned VATRAA for the challenging task to extend and transform a former artist studio into an energy efficient, 4 bedroom house. By turning constraints into opportunities, we transformed an open-space studio into a journey of atmospheres, developed on contrasts such as dark-light, warm-cold, or intimate-open. Inspired
by the clients’ interest in spirituality and meditation, we explored the spiritual quality of space through views, light and materials orchestrated in a simple, calm composition. Given the site constraints, the facade interventions are minimal (extension for stair enclosure, roof lights) and push the development towards the inside and below ground.


The basement is the most intimate level of the house, hiding the sleeping area within a protective, rectangular enclosure. Separated by a fully glazed facade with minimal timber frames, the lightwell feels part of the interior, offering full privacy while showcasing carefully selected elements of nature. Raw materials enhance the atmosphere of the space - concrete screed, exposed timber joists and bare plaster react in the presence of natural light and create a calm, serene environment.


The ground floor is the semi-private level of the house. Designed to capture natural light from the lightwell and the floor above, it contains the entrance lobby, a meditation room and a study area in an atmosphere that is both calm and vibrant. Set under a glass roof enclosure, a slim stair made of only 8mm metal sheets allows maximum natural light to penetrate towards the floors below.


The first floor is the active, vibrant level of the house
where the homeowners spend most of their day. Planning constraints have required us to blank out half of the glazed roof for privacy reasons, thus reducing natural light. As the rooflight is the main light source, the internal finishes and layout have been designed to enhance the light and guide it internally to the floors below.


As with all our projects, furniture, lighting and crafted details are not an afterthought, but rather an integral part of the design process.


On the inside, transparent, glass lighting objects have been selected to enhance the perception of space and create a subtle play of light and shadows. On the outside, the outdoor light resembles the white pebbles found in the lightwell, creating a glowing, meditative atmosphere.


Designed uniquely for this project in close collaboration with the homeowner, 20 free standing furniture
pieces made of solid oak and stainless steel become complementary to the raw finishes - concrete floor, plaster walls, timber ceilings, rendered lightwell - while offering an overall coherence at detail level.


 

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    LOCATION Kensington and Chelsea, LondonPROGRAM Basement extension, full refurbishment and conversion of a former artist studio into a 4-bedroom house AREA 137 sqm (vs. 60 sqm before extension)STATUS Completed 2021ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIOR DESIGN VATRAA PHOTOGRAPHY VATRAA SUSTAINABILITY APPROACH air source heat pump, removed gas, whole house MVHR, efficient thermal insulation, improved airtightness, led lighting, raw finishes approach to reduce materials to minimum necessary ANNUAL CO2...

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