>A003 The Priory

Carl Trenfield’s first solo project was to carefully refurbish this mid twentieth century Span apartment within the Cator Estate, Blackheath.

An extract from early Span literature states:

‘It spans the gap between the suburban monotony of the typical ‘spec building’ and the architecturally designed individually built residence’

Struck by the existing, and well-functioning spatial arrangement, a celebration of, rather than imposed-on, approach was sought.

The Priory, as with many Span apartment blocks, is characterised by strong vertical and horizontal delineation with each bay serving a function.  When viewed in elevation, the spine walls that divide each bay run rhythmically along primary facades; a two bedroom apartment in its smallest configuration consists of two bays, a two bedroom with an extra reception room consists of three bays, though that is then further dissected in its depth to receive the communal stair and shared storage facility for neighbouring apartments – a three bedroom apartment then occupies three ‘clean’ bays.

Seeking to further highlight the bay tectonic, the single spine wall dividing accommodation that is public; lobby, lounge and kitchen and that which is private; bedrooms, bathroom and storage, was enhanced to express an external rhythm internally.

This spine wall becomes a continuous ‘carrier’ for the new wall hung wood burning stove and bench, purpose built storage units and self-cast in situ concrete worktop with integrated herb trough.

Realised through the careful application of a restrained palette of materials, our intention was to acknowledge and introduce similar materials to those that were used at inception, such as the five finger parquet, reinterpreted here for warmth, in American Black Walnut.

Eleanor and Carl Trenfield
Blackheath, UK
Carl Trenfield, Eleanor Trenfield
Adam Stevenson. Villeroy & Boch