Parliament View, Lambeth Bridge, London
Extensive remodelling and full refurbishment of this riverside apartment with views over the Houses of Parliament in London.
This riverside apartment enjoys spectacular views over London’s River Thames and the Houses of Parliament in Westminister. The original layout though was compartmentalised, and the natural light and views couldn’t be enjoyed from all of the rooms. The kitchen in particular had no natural light and was disconnected from the rest of the reception space. The client commissioned us to transform the space before they even moved in.
We extensively remodelled the internal layout of the apartment so that the light and views could be enjoyed throughout. The existing reception room and kitchen were opened up and a new open plan space created. Combining sitting room, dining space and the kitchen, the new layout transforms the use of the apartment. At the start of the day the client can now prepare and enjoy breakfast with the view over London. In the evening they can entertain friends in the space without being separated from them.
We re-planned the existing services including the air conditioning systems in order to create this sociable interior layout. We also networked the property and installed surround sound for the cinema system.
In the sitting room we designed bespoke cabinetry to house a variety of functions, and without restricting the natural light in the room. As well as storage space, the unit houses the cinema system and the air conditioning systems we relocated in order to make this interior layout possible. A clever folding desk pulls out from below the screen for the client to use as a desk when working from home.
The sofa was also specially made in order to work with the space and the proportions of the room, and is a wonderful place to put up your feet and watch the river below. A Facett chair by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec in purple wool is a fun counterpoint to the off-white leather sofa. A silk textured wallcovering is hung on the wall behind the sofa, with an additional panel inset in the joinery behind the screen.
The dining table is in the centre of this entertaining space, with a solid oak timber table providing seating for six. The leather and timber Pilotta chairs by Rodolfo Dordoni for Cassina are a modern classic.
Lighting is carefully considered and designed as always, and a discreet and flexible scheme allows the lighting to be altered for times of the day, use and mood. A sculptural light fitting hangs over the dining table and narrow-beam lighting on a separate circuit allows the table and diners to be lit for an intimate feeling, with the rest of the room remaining in a softer light. Concealed lighting over the kitchen cabinetry washes over the ceiling to light the area farthest from the windows without relying on downlighting.
The kitchen itself is a sleek and simple lacquered white design, offset with a striking combination of silver slate wall cladding, a white glass Elica extractor, and worktop of Carrara marble. Beautiful Gaggenau appliances complete the specification.
Within the overall layout we considered not just each of the spaces in isolation, but also the movement and transitions between the spaces. In the hallway a delicate timber slat panelling detail decorates the back wall, inspired by the original foyer decoration of the nearby Royal Festival Hall on the Southbank. As well as providing a warm and welcoming feel on entering the apartment, in conjunction with the lighting this creates a series of changing light and shadows across the length of the entire wall.
At the end of the hallway the layout was reworked to eliminate the a view of doors to other rooms. The view down the room is now of an artwork at the end, enriching the experience of moving within the space.
The master suite layout was extensively reworked to create a bright and open layout with natural light all the way through the bedroom, dressing room and bathroom. Again we moved the air conditioning systems and hid them discreetly in the cabinetry. The client had always loved Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chairs, and although they weren’t right for the reception space here, we used a similar upholstery design to create a unique bedhead in white leather.
A new dressing room layout provides twice as much storage as before. Open hanging and shelving means the client can see all of their clothes, and hooks with hand-stitched leather on the front of the cabinets allow them to select and put together different outfits to try. The pocket doors to the bathroom are fully mirrored, creating a fully mirrored wall to the end of the dressing space.
The master bathroom is a calm and enveloping sanctuary – clad in rich and luxurious flamed Cumbrian limestone. Concealed LED lighting washes over the textured surface of the stone and provides a dramatic visual effect across the walls. The same limestone in a honed finish is used for the bespoke vanity unit and the flooring. A custom mirror-fronted cabinet provides storage space and conceals the LED vanity lighting. The large walk-in shower area has an enormous Raindance shower head, and the slick installation includes a wet room system with hidden drainage.
The guest bathroom was also refitted, including porcelain wall and floor finishes and another custom vanity storage cabinet.
The flat is unrecognisable from the original – in layout, style and finish – and the client was thrilled when they moved into their new home.