MATA Architects created gallery-like apartment for family of art collectors in London
London-based studio MATA Architects recently completed an extensive refurbishment and interiors fit-out of a central London apartment in a mansion block initially constructed at the turn of the last century.
“Our clients, a couple with two teenage children, were downsizing from a large house. They wanted to transform the existing 4 bed flat into a 3 bed flat of the highest quality. The transformation would include structural alterations to the layout and new services for new bathrooms. As collectors of art and antiques, our client’s brief centred on the desire to create space to display and enjoy their collection in their day-to-day lives. From the outset we saw an opportunity to be unlocked with the large hallway. On the one hand it was grand in scale. On the other, however, it was an internal ‘room’; windowless and dark, a long corridor of monofunctional circulation space. It could be so much more. We started by exploring 2 radically different potential layouts for the flat. Both options had one principle in common; the large hallway was treated as an additional ‘room’ that opened up and flowed into the living spaces. In so doing the hallway benefitted from ‘borrowed’ natural light and views through adjacent rooms and out to the street. It was no longer internal in nature. The layout we chose worked in as far as practically possible, with most of the services. The kitchen remained in the same location, as did the living and dining rooms but we sought to open up these spaces more to one another and to the hallway. We spent a long time assessing various structural solutions with our structural engineer; from full demolition of walls in the living areas to more strategic and local demolition of sections of walls. We found that the more strategic, surgical demolition not only saved our client money, but also responded to a central part of the client brief to create or preserve wall space for the display of artwork. Retaining sections of wall also contributes to a layering of the space; a more nuanced rendering of spaces where one space leads on to another and another…,” explained MATA Architects