Bayswater, London

1990

This four-storey, four-bedroom house is set behind a retained and extended traditional front facade on a private garden square in west London. A contemporary facade at the rear overlooks a public road. Together with the gravel garden, the strong geometry evokes memories of the heroic domestic architecture of the early Modern movement. The unusual layout includes a ‘flying freehold’ above the entrance hall to the adjoining property. The shallow floorplan comprises of a front-to-back dining room on the ground floor, a double-cube vertical void space at the rear and a double-cube sitting room that spans the full width of the house — a piano nobile. The open-plan interior is achieved using full-height doors recessed into wall pockets. These are held open by electromagnets that allow the doors to close automatically when activated by the smoke detection system or if closed by a switch. With concrete floors, metal staircase and white plaster walls, the house has a deliberately robust aesthetic.