Victorian post office converted into
an apartment by 1508 London

| 12 comments
 

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).

Victorian post office converted into an apartment by 1508 Architects

Commissioned by an art collector, 1508 London planned an "impactful but warm" space where large artworks can be hung from the walls.

Victorian post office converted into an apartment by 1508 Architects

Smaller rooms are clustered together on one side of the apartment, freeing up the rest of the space for a double-height living room.

Victorian post office converted into an apartment by 1508 Architects

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.

Victorian post office converted into an apartment by 1508 Architects

"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.

Victorian post office converted into an apartment by 1508 Architects

A double-height entrance foyer beyond is lined with steel panels that have been chemically weathered to create a grainy appearance.

Victorian post office converted into an apartment by 1508 Architects

"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.

Victorian post office converted into an apartment by 1508 Architects

A kitchen and bathroom are tucked away at the back, while a black steel staircase leads up to the mezzanine.

Victorian post office converted into an apartment by 1508 Architects

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.

Victorian post office converted into an apartment by 1508 Architects

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.

Victorian post office converted into an apartment by 1508 Architects

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.

Victorian post office converted into an apartment by 1508 Architects

Each material has been carefully selected and crafted to provide depth, texture and richness.

Victorian post office converted into an apartment by 1508 Architects

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.

Victorian post office converted into an apartment by 1508 Architects

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.

Ground floor plan of Victorian post office converted into an apartment by 1508 Architects
Ground floor plan - click for larger image

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.

Mezzanine floor plan of Victorian post office converted into an apartment by 1508 Architects
Mezzanine floor plan - click for larger image

The result is a impactful yet warm interior within which the owner can entertain, relax and display large and impressive pieces of art harmoniously.

  • asolitarywave

    Well done! You’ve managed to take a dual aspect building with lots of windows and make all the rooms, bar one, devoid of natural light!

    • spadestick

      Don’t be jealous. It’s probably better than what you could pull off. Can’t imagine so many haters liking your sad comment. The design really makes good use of an odd space and manages to divide it up probably and beautifully. Not everyone likes exhibitionist-themed habitats.

      • asolitarywave

        Hi, who says I’m jealous? I just value natural light. In an apartment with massive amounts of windows, I’m just highlighting what seems to me (and presumably the others who ‘liked’ my post) what seems an odd decision.

        • Sam

          Fifteen people who didn’t look at the plans properly. If you were to look at the plans then you would see that the rooms can open up to the natural daylight in the main living space. I think saying this scheme is devoid of natural daylight is a little over the top. It’s hardly a deep space.

          • Romain_M

            The classic “box in a box” scheme has its drawbacks however. The main one being ventilation.

            If you want some fresh air you have to open windows in both the bedroom and the main living space (the holes in the concrete are covered in glass).

            This means poor compartmentalisation of heat loss and may prove uncomfortable during the cooler months.

            Finally, because a house is a space for living as well as socialising, consider the following scenario: you invite guests to showcase your art collection, you serve a hearty meal, and as a good host, you let them smoke a cigarette after diner. But you’ve forgotten to close your bedroom window! Now your linens smell of beef stew and cold tobacco.

    • Hector AZ

      Well spotted. It just goes to show that it’s important to look beyond the slick photos. The plans never lie.

  • RuipedrO

    This is so well resolved. Great choice of materials / functional areas. The hall is simply beautiful. Great work!

  • nathan

    The scale seems really odd in this.

  • Lora

    AMAZING!

  • betweensleeps

    The finishing in this project is amazing. Just wish I could see the bedrooms and kitchen. They look kind of pokey in the plan.

  • Nancy

    Converted victorian postal office
    in central London is just amazing! You were told that this place was created for an art collector, so that is why can you imagine some bright colours of the walls or some very challenging things in the place where different pictures will be? The designer created the raw, natural material palette further express the formal rationale and, by referencing the owner’s taste for Russian political art! The
    colours are neutral and you can easily hang there your favourite works of art. I like the idea and the design that looks brilliant for particular needs.

  • Sean parker

    I like the innovation and admire it when people try something different and this is one of those WOW moments for me. So to all concerned with this project, I extend a hearty round of applause and in fact consider this a standing ovation.