Paul+O Architects have given a completely new aesthetic balance to a residence on Faroe Road in West Kensington, London, UK, where a typical Victorian house has been face lifted with the introduction of contemporary design. This cubistic 410sqm residence is a mirage where the house's history is blended with the new, all artfully adapted to the outside surroundings.
Taking up the space of two Victorian houses, Paul+O Architects had a generous 9.5m wide open plan to play with. The house is unequivocally contemporary while retaining its relationship to the surroundings by accentuating the informal asymmetrical picturesque massing of the garden elevations and by the cladding grey colour tone which is apparent in hints here and there along the road. This great mass acts like the focal point. Landscaping and its relationship to the indoors was of prime importance in this residence. Each floor has been designed to have full height windows accessing either an external terrace or a courtyard. On the ground floor, the soft landscaping is designed to be informal. Trees and plants are strategically placed to frame views and work with the spaces opening up onto it. On the first floor terrace, dense planting creates screening and a visual connection to the treetops of neighbouring gardens.
photo © Fernando Guerra, FG+SG Architectural Photography
Moving inside, a simple palette of traditional materials is used throughout the house, basalt and fumed oak timber on the floors, basalt showers, dark stained timber windows, dark bronze ironmongery and off white plastered walls throughout. The GF mainly white open plan is a great contrast to the exterior pallet. It is the entrance to the contemporary living of the indoors. With just a rectangular continuous wall acting as a sub-divider between the living space and the kitchen, this unit acts as a fireplace & storage area whilst concealing all the kitchen units as well. This is a true ‘celebration’ wall for all that want to see nothing reminiscent of a kitchen or any other type of living accessories. The long oak veneered kitchen bench which is visible from the dining/living room has been designed to look like an elegant sideboard adding a party to the ‘celebration’.
Downstairs a new basement has been introduced providing additional living spaces and utility areas. Walking upstairs to the first & second floor's private quarters through the dramatic staircase the sense of great open living is retained. Here privacy can be introduced by closing of access to the staircase which is present at every level. Privacy is also present in the rendered walls which give way to strategically placed louvered screens accentuating the long views diagonally from the house, as well as gaining more privacy for the client from the neighbours opposite. Smart design and the use of up-to-date technology systems is a key feature in this residence. The sophisticated KNX system allows all the heating and lighting to be easily and intelligently controlled from a touch screen in the house or by a laptop or mobile phone when not.
Who would of thought that Faroe Road would be an address to look towards for the future of contemporary?