Designed by Nimtim Architects, Westbourne Gardens is an ambitious internal refurb of a first floor apartment in London, UK. The flat itself is small (less than a new 1-bedroom apartment according to new housing rules) but with generous ceiling heights and a strong sense of its grand past.
Project description: How to make the most with what you’ve got Westbourne Gardens is a first-floor apartment within a grand early-Victorian Terrace facing the triangle of Westbourne Gardens in Royal Oak, West London. The flat is only 45m2 which is less than the current London Housing Design Guide’s minimum for a 1 bedroom flat (50m2).
The existing flat had been divided into 3 long, narrow spaces with a false ceiling and none of the original features exposed. Nimtim were approached to assess how the flat could be modernised and amended to make better use of the existing spaces for a children’s heart surgeon who splits her time between London, Leeds and Southern Egypt.
She was looking for a pied-a-terre that could offer sanctuary from a busy schedule in the heart of London. The brief was to create a workable and liveable flat that still retained the generosity of scale and detail of the original spaces.
The proposals sought to retain this sense of space by maintaining the existing ceiling heights and allow a reading of the entire flat as one. Three new distinct elements were added: a small and compact kitchen, a stone-clad/ marble-lined bathroom and a bedroom with in-built wardrobes formed in dark cherry-wood veneer. These elements form an elegant and considered three-dimensional composition of forms.
They retain the grandeur of the main space at the front of the flat but still provide all of the requirements for a contemporary living space. The bedroom/ dressing area is conceived as a darker more intimate space at the rear of the apartment with a fold-down bed and bespoke fitted wardrobes. The central bathroom pod is set down from the ceiling, to allow light to diffuse through the apartment from the front to the bedroom at the rear. High level acoustic glass provides invisible noise separation and a large acoustic door folds back to appear as one with the walls.
The bathroom is clad internally in white Carrera marble and externally with a grey marble. The kitchen backs onto the bathroom pod with it’s marble becoming the kitchen splashback. The front of the apartment is more colourful and playful with teal coloured kitchen units and a single piece of green marble forming a bespoke dining table.
The floor is finished in white-stained large format chevron oak which runs throughout the connecting the spaces. The finished project provides a comfortable living space within an exceptionally small footprint whilst still retaining the spaciousness and generosity of the original Victorian interior and architecture.
Architect: Nimtim Architects
Project: Westbourne Gardens Apartment
Location: London, UK
Photography: Megan Taylor
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