British studio 1508 London has converted a Victorian post office in London into an apartment where perforated concrete shutters can be used to open and close different sections of the interior (+ slideshow).
Commissioned by an art collector, 1508 London planned an "impactful but warm" space where large artworks can be hung from the walls.
Smaller rooms are clustered together on one side of the apartment, freeing up the rest of the space for a double-height living room.
The concrete shutters were added to shield two bedrooms on the first-floor mezzanine, but the circular perforations offer residents glimpsed views down to the spaces below.
"This concrete elevation is the primary feature, allowing abstracted light to pass into the bedrooms in the morning and creating an unique installation of glowing lenses at night," Chris Godfrey of 1508 London told Dezeen.
A double-height entrance foyer beyond is lined with steel panels that have been chemically weathered to create a grainy appearance.
"The raw, natural material palette further expresses the formal rationale and, by referencing the owner's taste for Russian political art, creates a dramatic backdrop to the same," said Godfrey.
A kitchen and bathroom are tucked away at the back, while a black steel staircase leads up to the mezzanine.
Photography is by Michele Panzeri.
Here's a project description sent from 1508 Architects:
Converted Victorian postal office
Situated in a converted Victorian Postal office in central London, interior and architectural design studio 1508 London have created this imposing apartment for an art collector.
A clear and legible parti has been derived where strong, orthogonal volumes of accommodation are inserted with the pre-existing, near triangular, double-height space to create playful and intelligent inter-relationships.
The raw, natural material palette further express the formal rationale and, by referencing the owner’s taste for Russian political art, creates a dramatic backdrop to the same.
Each material has been carefully selected and crafted to provide depth, texture and richness.
Chemically weathered steel metal panels clad the double height entrance foyer; creating both a warmth of reception and a striking sense of purpose. A central perforated black steel staircase seems to float within the entrance foyer creating a strong yet delicate link between the two volumes but standing strong as its own element.
In the main reception, a powerful singular form comprising of pre-cast concrete panels define and shield the more private aspects of the apartment. Hundreds of purpose-made acrylic lenses puncture the concrete envelope are carefully positioned to playfully provide amplified light to, and distorted views from, the inner spaces; simultaneously highlighting the mezzanine programme from the reception side.
Imposing concrete doors open up onto the main living space from the mezzanine level, transforming the elevation and the spatial relationships: each space is therefore influenced the contiguous throughout different times of the day and modes of use.
The result is a impactful yet warm interior within which the owner can entertain, relax and display large and impressive pieces of art harmoniously.