Established in 1999, our agency lies in the spatial reinterpretation and creative adaptation of structures for new uses. Working across the public, private and commercial sectors, the practice advocates the adaptation of given existing structures, and celebrates the virtues and capacities of spatial reinterpretation which is relevant now more than ever.
Located along a hidden mews in Knightsbridge, Egg a fashion boutique regarded for its minimalist approach to the clothes it stocks and the way they are presented to the buyer, acting more like a gallery than a traditional shop. Hidden by timber shutters that open up to reveal plain white and wooden interiors, the intervention serves as a new home for the boutique’s owner and an expansion of the back-of-house facilities for the adjacent shop.
The arrangement of internal spaces and the materials selected were inspired by Egg’s pared-back design character, defined as both elegant and informal. A series of timber containers have been inserted into the existing building, dividing domestic and commercial functions and occassionally blending the two. These boxes sit within the volume of the roof and create the nest-like atmosphere of an attic or store room, with skylights allowing light to filter downwards into the spaces below. Small openings create surprising views through to adjacent rooms and a timber staircase is made up of a series of planks suspended above the hallway.
Interior walls remain unadorned, and materials are bared in an honest and robust display. Objects of furniture are minimalised, further emphasising a halcyon disposition and creating a collection of tranquil spaces for occupation. Built-in storage cupboards hide the clutter of everyday life and blend into the walls when closed.
The Japanese concept of unburdening and recuperating of the spirit through the process of cleansing transcends into the character of the bathroom, where a bespoke wooden bath crafted by Studio Anna van der Lei sits behind doors that open onto the mews, and the sound of water trickling through the bending copper pipes is a moment of serenity behind the bustling main street.
It has been a joy to work on this home and shop for Egg and we’ve enjoyed the ambiguities of the two-sided brief for this live-work space. We have sought to carefully enhance the identity of the boutique while bestowing a distinct character and atmosphere for the new residence in the attic space above the shop.