In this five-storey Georgian period private house in Bloomsbury, London, Gianni Botsford Architects have used natural and artificial light together with a monochrome colour palette to create a visual tension between abundant and minimal lighting. The effect is cinematic and painterly and an appropriate backdrop for the collection of photographs and prints the owners of the house have amassed over the years. In fact, many of the rooms are designed around works of art hung in specific places.
Overall, the strategy has been to retain the spaces within this Grade II listed building intact. Architectural features like skirting boards and cornices have been retained but abstracted through the use of single colours in rooms extending though walls and ceilings. Original Victorian radiators are exposed, while floors remain unlevelled in a deliberate decision to allow the historic character of the building to contrast with contemporary additions.
Bathrooms are hidden behind clear and translucent glass panels in black burnished stainless steel frames. Evoking light-boxes, they are rooms-within-rooms. Many of the new alterations including the polished concrete floor on the lower ground floor create a spacious and generous feel within the home. On upper levels the original pine floorboards have been stripped and oiled a dusty grey adding to a sense of spaciousness. Where possible original ceiling beams have been exposed. Bespoke fitted furniture includes douglas fir cabinets in the kitchen.