Fresh, decorative, graphic, tactile.
A four word client-expressed manifesto, to guide our response in the renewal of this 1960s Span apartment in Blackheath, London.
Following our sensitive remodelling of a 1957 Span apartment in nearby The Priory, the studio was appointed by an architectural critic and magazine editor to add a new architectural layer to this much revered host.
In 1969, architectural critic Ian Nairn profiled Eric Lyons of Span for Omnibus, entitled ‘The More We Are Together’. Nairn’s off-the-cuff comment relating to Lyons’ use of wall hung tiles prompted our investigation into the strongly delineated external motif and how this might be acknowledged internally.
Our work is, and has been, increasingly interested in the notion of craft; that which is informed directly by the hand and assumed traditional, and that which is indirect and investigates modern methods of construction via both automated, additive and subtractive, means.
Here, we relished the opportunity to further our knowledge in CNC (computer numerical control) cutting (and assembly of these items thereafter); we used an etched phenolic plywood as cast for several concrete items; notably the new fireplace and hearth, together with designing and fabricating much of the fitted furniture.
Crucially, it was important to understand, protect and enhance the special character of these ultimately modest, yet exceptional residential buildings.
Status: Completed Winter 2014 / Furniture Commission Underway