House interior, London
LONDON (UK) - For atmos, the office of Alex Haw, the focal point of domestic life isn't the fireplace, but the staircase. Just as in their recent conversion and extension of a house in Clapham, the stairs are central in this renovation of a house for an actress and musician in Stoke Newington, a part of the London borough of Hackney.
From the outside the intervention is nearly invisible. The massing was generated from the view-lines along neighbouring High Street, tucked carefully out of sight to achieve planning permission for a new storey with an outdoor space hidden within the row of listed buildings.
As Haw describes it: 'The house assembles around a central open stair, its timber strands growing upwards towards the light and unleashing delicate tendrils to frame each step, a single thin metallic line dancing across to offer the lightest of additional support to the hands that seek it. To the left, spaces sneak into the stair – as bathroom storage below or the underside of the desk above – while to the right the open treads fan and splay into a generous array of surfaces for the living room. Their lower steps support a seat and soft-spot, while their upper elements flow around the sitter with a sea of books and shelves.'
The stair becomes furniture and space, and as such, integrates and unites the whole interior in a comparable way as the undulating lines of Art Nouveau did a century ago.
Sunday | 24 July | 2011 | United Kingdom | Hans Ibelings