Perched atop a multi-use complex in East London, this charming home was once in such a desolate state that there was no way for the homeowners to enter it but through a staircase that was shared with the office below.
Hence, when Vine Architecture Studio was tapped to rework the space, at the fore of their agenda was to completely reimagine its spatial scale, layout and also decor in order to realise a cosy apartment that is stylish yet practical.
From its original iteration, the home was delineated clearly into four equal quarters with masonry walls. These the team at Vine Architecture Studio sought to preserve in the renovation, using them to intersect the home into areas for dining, relaxing, sleeping and cleaning respectively.
An interesting feature of the home was the ceiling heights that undulate from higher to lower throughout the home; this created an interesting visual rhythm of ebbs and flows that added to the home’s sense of liveliness.
The home’s rooftop setting also allows for natural sunlight to be its main source of illumination, of which the design team took full advantage of by building in expansive windows and a sloping roof. The inclination of the roof was carefully considered based on the angle that the sunlight would stream in; therefore, direct overbearing sunlight and highly fluctuating temperatures throughout the day could be kept to a minimal.
Sustainability was also one of the main considerations for the team, who employed generously throughout the home reused materials and natural fabrics; this contributed to the home’s overall aesthetic that is modern, minimalist and earthy.
In addition, the interiors centred around a feeling of harmony, designed to create a calm and soothing feeling as a respite from the homeowners’ busy urban life and buzzy surroundings of Mile End Road. Hence, a palette of light-coloured oak wood and wooden panels painted white created a simple yet complementary aesthetic.
Small modern details are found interwoven into the space such as ultra-thin sliding doors and electric blinds on the ceiling, which allow for the homeowners to easily control the amount of sunlight that fills the home.
Grand light oak sliding doors open up to a spacious bedroom, and the same material of the door is also used in the adjacent kitchen cabinets. The floors feature the durable Accoya wooden panels, which turn to a beautiful hue of light silver as time goes on, complementing the home’s light-coloured palette seamlessly.
Similarly, the home’s exteriors are decorated with an elegant aesthetic of light brown and white-painted bricks, lending to a rich sense of tactile materiality. They complement the home’s most striking feature: a bright yellow spiral staircase that is also framed by bright yellow fences. This added a touch of playfulness as if adorning the home with an audacious structural art piece, connecting the home to its rooftop terrace where picturesque views of East London can be enjoyed.
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Photography by Nicholas Worley