Pure Tranquility

22 / 01 / 2019
For more information, visit DROO Architecture website.
Photography: Rei Moon
This article is only available in English.  
The white, grey and earth colours of the interiors take us over and invade our soul when the doors are opened to us. We are in London, where we went to discover this relaxing apartment designed by DROO. For this project, Michel Da Costa Goncalves and Amrita Mahindroo created a “spaces of meditative calm”, characterised by “the chiaroscuro effect of light and shade”. With a style that is both poetic and elegant, this home becomes a timeless refuge, revealing itself slowly as you move through it room by room. We talked to Amrita, Co-director and Architect of the practice.

Which ambiance did you want to create?
We made a complete refurbishment and created an extension on the roof. I wanted something really unique and beautiful that lent itself to family life without becoming an open playpen for the kids. I created a series of nested spaces they could entertain, work, sleep in without feeling on top of each other.

What kind of materials and colours were chosen in order to give more texture and brightness to the house?
Chelsea is a very wealthy, upmarket neighbourhood, but has a tendency to feel a little stiff so we really wanted to do something that felt sumptuous but not likely to date. We wanted to add a richness of detail and texture to the spaces and were not afraid, of letting the apartment transition between light and dark, so that the interior corridor spaces were painted in darker tones and lined in walnut battens, whilst the living spaces and the bedrooms are in lighter tones and sun-filled.
 
What were the main challenges during the process?
The townhouse is in a beautiful period building but unfortunately was stripped of many of its original period features, so we focussed on what remained and took it into a new contemporary direction which allowed us to really focus on the palette of materials, adding richness to the spaces, through contemporary detailing in the woodwork, the richness and warmth of the regal walnut palette against the warm greys and blues, focusing on the chiaroscuro effect of light and dark between rooms as a you move through the home via the staircase, revealing through reflections, with the glass screens to the majestic staircase via the kitchen.

How would you define the final result?
Exuding a quiet strength of character, the interiors of this West London Townhouse, play with the chiaroscuro effect of light and shade to create spaces of meditative calm. The rich tones of natural walnut wood have been used throughout the house in varying details, from the floors, the joinery and the majestic staircase with its forest of walnut battens through which the light seeps slowly. We sought quiet from the intensity of urban living and wanted to create spaces in this home in which we could slow down, be at home, and with this slower pace, observe and appreciate the finer details of our daily routine; filling the bath, feeling the warmth of the light against the marble kitchen benchtop, climbing stairs, all ordinary events, made to feel so much more than ordinary through this dramatic play of light and dark. 
 
Can you highlight some of the most relevant elements of the house?
London Period townhouses are often characterised by lots of varying levels and half landings between floors, which we used to our advantage to create moments of pause and reflection, smaller antechambers to the dramatic rooms, lined in walnut and painted in darker hues. The secondary bedrooms which were smaller were painted in Dulux denim drift, in these moody blue shades which sit beautifully against the lighter joinery and contrast the space.
We used a large glass wall within the kitchen to give the impression of a larger space and so that the stunning bocci Chandelier could be experienced from both above and below.
The kitchen is from Binova, a high spec Italian company that prides itself on fine detailing, and beautiful finishes. We used an Agape Bathtub and Alape and Watermark Collection Taps ware in the bathrooms.