Advertise Here

Monday, August 27, 2012

Linear Tales

By Teresa Simon
Photography: Courtesy the architect 

The illustrious St. Pancras in London 

When a jet-setting architect pays tribute to historic memorabilia, the results are meaningfully sensuous…

“Doing clever things with residential property intrigue me,” says Thomas Griem - German-born, German-trained, London-based architect and interior designer. Explaining his penchant for residential design, he says that besides being demanding, residential projects can be challenging when clients are not sure of what they want. “This is where my three key factors step in – time, cost, and quality,” he explains.

.

.

With a decade’ as architect and designer at Yoo, Thomas has just branched out independently a year ago; and some of his latest challenges are already taking him around the world. A recent accomplishment – a Grade I refurbishment at the distinguished St. Pancras in London, is a visual treat that balances up-to-the-minute living with old-world charm.

.

Located in one of the most important historic buildings in London, the apartment space in the ‘attic’ volume of this gothic building features original timber trusses and beams. In keeping with Grade I tenets, where nothing can be touched without approval and permission from English Heritage, these very elements became the take-off points of design ideation for the project.

.

Respecting that internally, all items considered original needed to be retained, protected and reinstated too, all rustic elements have been softened with the introduction of sophisticated materials and sleek furniture creating an understated ambiance with minimal design elements such as cantilevered glass balustrades and a contemporary-styled kitchen. All doors including handles and architraves have been conserved and all windows cleaned up and double glazed. A fireplace of little detail in the dining room, sits pretty now, repaired and reinstated. Cleverly camouflaging the existing pine floor boards throughout, with the best oak flooring available in Europe, the rest of the structure is left to be as true as possible to this amazingly huge loft space. 

.

.

Permissions were sought for certain necessary structural changes and in association with Arup engineers, a new staircase/library structure, an arresting feature of the double-height space, is cleverly cantilevered from thick masonry walls and not supported off the 4th floor, which, incidentally, was not able to support more weight. Additionally, the 6th floor has been rebuilt and a new floor constructed above it to work as a lower ceiling to the master bedroom on the sixth floor and therefore provide better lighting, audio video etc.; it also holds the remote controlled ripple fold curtain, which enables the homemakers to close the bedroom off of the triple-height entertainment areas.

.

.

.

.

.

“Design has to add value,” says Thomas. And this linear box with its interesting interludes that are defined by its structural language, sports a design that is simple, logical, and all set to survive for a long long time… This, in Thomas’ opinion, confers design with a degree of intelligence.

1 comment:

  1. Old heritage respect and refurbishment is our duty but the new life style will keep on changing as per the need of the hour,we will keep on upgrading but Heritage will remain same,remembering us our past,so keep moving on,goodluck.
    In response to IAnD's discussion thread: Inherent respect for our heritage can only enhance contemporary lifestyle. Agree?

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...