Montagu Square 02
Location: Montagu Square, London, UK
Size: 4500 sq.ft
Completion: March 2013
An elegant hybrid of classic english architecture and traditional japanese styling, Montagu Square house demonstrates how a series of innovative material treatments can imaginatively marry a myriad of disparate influences and breathe new life into an historic building. In transforming the space the owners of the house were keen to preserve its edwardian heritage but also wanted to open out its inherently oppressive dark corners, and heavy corridors, in order to create a more modern, uncluttered ambience. The result showcases a series of seductive, sculptural design interventions including a marble plinth stairwell with a ‘floating’ upper staircase, expansive sliding glass doors throughout and bathrooms clad in marble.
Re-emphasising the japanese accent, the sweeping walls which face the central staircase were crafted from charred japanese cedar (an ancient oriental technique to presereve the timber), the fireplace in the first-floor living room was restored complete with ornate timber carvings and a traditional teppanyaki cooking booth, with huge glass surround, was installed in the first floor kitchen. An open hallway and cool, marble entrance floor (adorned with a modern print) add a personalised touch beyond either cultural tradition.
The most extraordinary and transformative feature however, is a contemporary extension at the rear of the house, within which a glass void has been embedded inside the centre of building. Creating an internal glass courtyard the extension whose floors are made from white polished concrete allows sunlight to flood into the lower levels of the space, epitomising the building’s metamorphosis from subdued to sublime.