Artillery Mansions – Unlocking Space

Built in the 1990s, the original layout of this central London developer-built flat had conformed to the standard cookie cutter solution. Defined almost entirely by compliance with regulations and conservative market convention, the front door had opened onto an unwelcoming windowless L-shaped corridor, with solid fire doors providing the necessary separation from the rooms, including a charmless and entirely separate internal kitchen – an arrangement with which we are all familiar.

FORMstudio’s re-imagining of this flat demonstrates how a fresh approach can make much better use of the available floor area in a typical developer flat of this type by incorporating the previously wasted the space of the internal corridor, optimising area to create a more generous, flexible and naturally-lit open-plan arrangement.

Within this open-plan space, a central ‘floating’ block, articulated with a concealed LED strip around its top edge, now conceals an existing structural column and houses a home office work station. It also, crucially, allows a spacious kitchen to be incorporated within the open plan living space, as well as providing an alternative escape route to the front door. Two full-height concealed fire doors on electro-magnetic holds, complete the enclosure of a protected escape route from both bedrooms and living space in the case of a fire, and also provide flexibility for separation of the work area from the living area, or temporary increased separation of the open living/cooking area from the bedrooms as and when required.

Bathrooms and storage, which are located logically in the deepest internal area of the plan, are finished in grey glass mosaic to enhance the ‘cave like’ sense of them having been carved out of the carefully detailed white finishes; white-oiled wide plank Douglas fir flooring unifies the other naturally-lit areas of the flat.