Light Falls House by FLOW Architecture and MAGRITS
Go with the Flow
Victorian terraced houses, a near-ubiquitous feature of British cities, are popular for their elegant facades and period features but much less so for their skinny proportions and outdated layouts. Hence the profusion of rear extensions and attic conversions, which all too often result in disjointed spaces and poor circulation inside. Not so for the Light Falls house, a remarkable transformation of a mid-terrace house in the upmarket area of Kensington in London.
Designed by FLOW Architecture and MAGRITS, this house is a masterclass in optimising flow and movement. At the heart of the house is a sinuous staircase and a dramatic atrium, which brings light all the way down to the living area on the raised ground floor. The floor of the latter is cut back at the rear to create a curvaceous mezzanine overlooking a bright and airy lower ground floor, with light pouring in through double height windows.
The sense of fluidity is further accentuated by the slatted wood panelling which winds its way down from the skylight at the top of the atrium, pass the bedrooms on two levels (where the slats act cleverly as blinds) and coming to an end on the raised ground floor level, where it morphs into an elegant ceiling feature. The white walls and extensive use of natural timber further adds to the organic feel of the house; the lining of the bottom of the stairs in timber is particularly effective.
This is a beautifully organic house which shows how Victorian terraced houses can, with a bit of imagination, be transformed into fluid open plan spaces fit for 21st century living.