A Cascade of Light: Flow Architecture London Row House Renovation
Architect: Flow Architecture, Magrits
Location: London (GB)
The row house is situated in a historically protected urban area of London’s Kensington district. This location meant that the outer appearance of the house was to be preserved as much as possible. Therefore, the architects concentrated on the building’s interior. They have generously opened up the floor plan, which used to be narrow and confining, and accentuated the vertical plane with a central light shaft featuring a surrounding access zone. The adjacent living spaces are distributed over five storeys.
As the new heart of the house, the atrium is accompanied by a curved stairway. Two unframed skylights let the light cascade in from above. The amorphous shape of the light shaft creates the impression that the sunbeams are seeking a way into the building. The adjoining rooms are pleasantly lit via a band of vertical wooden slats. Cut-outs in the ceilings join directly onto the light shaft and connect the individual areas. The upper levels are home to the bedrooms, while the lower storeys and the new basement are divided into a living room with library and a cooking-dining area with a view to the outdoors and constant light that alters the appearance of the bespoke fittings and light-coloured surfaces in the house as the light changes over the course of the day.
The rear of the house has been expanded by a small addition. Large, panoramic sliding doors allow a fluid transition to the garden. Lovingly appointed with benches and planters of fibreglass-reinforced concrete, the outdoor area continues the slightly futuristic design of the interior.