Simon Astridge creates "wine cave" beneath south London kitchen showroom

London architect Simon Astridge has renovated the disused basement of a kitchen showroom in Putney, adding textured materials and a spiral-shaped wine vault with a glass trapdoor (+ movie).

Wine tasting for Kitchen Architecture by Simon Astridge

Briefed with creating a wine-tasting experience for the London-based company's largely private clientele, Astridge took inspiration from the typical underground wine cellars in old French farmhouses to develop his "wine cave" concept.

Wine tasting for Kitchen Architecture by Simon Astridge

"The design inspiration for the wine cave was from our personal experiences in these places," Astridge told Dezeen. "Gordon's Wine Bar in Embankment, London and typical French farmhouse underground wine cellars were the main inspiration for light, texture and atmosphere."

Wine tasting for Kitchen Architecture by Simon Astridge

Starting from scratch, the team refurbished the entire basement level of Kitchen Architecture – adding new underpinning, insulation and waterproofing, before cladding the walls in textured black concrete.

Wine tasting for Kitchen Architecture by Simon Astridge

"The material on all the walls is a textured concrete panel," said Astridge.

"All walls are clad in these panels above and below the staircase too, and we worked tirelessly to not allow positions of light switches, alarm panel and power sockets, etc. to detract from their beauty."

Wine tasting for Kitchen Architecture by Simon Astridge

In keeping with the "Mary Shelley-inspired" colour palette, the kitchen worktops and doors are made from dark laminate graphite, while a bar area is constructed from black-finished oak.

Wine tasting for Kitchen Architecture by Simon Astridge

Mild steel – iron ore steel in its simplest form – was folded and welded to create a staircase that leads up to the showroom. Industrial labelling was deliberately positioned on the bottom step to showcase the rawness of the material.

Wine tasting for Kitchen Architecture by Simon Astridge

"We like to use palettes of authentic and honest materials which are endlessly detailed in clever ways," Astridge said. "The way the light jumps down the panels through the staircase void and trickles through the gaps in the mild steel staircase spindles is what excited us."

Wine tasting for Kitchen Architecture by Simon Astridge

Storage cages constructed from welded steel rods hang from the ceiling. These are powder-coated black, and pendant lights hang inside them to throw gridded shadows across the space.

Wine tasting for Kitchen Architecture by Simon Astridge

A glazed trapdoor in the floor offers a view down to the illuminated spiral wine cellar, which is capable of storing up to 2,800 bottles.

Wine tasting for Kitchen Architecture by Simon Astridge

Astridge is based in Tufnell Park, north London. The architect's previous projects include a leather-lined dressing room in a refurbished residence, and an extension to a Victorian house featuring a varied material palette.

Photography and movie are by Nick Worley.

Axonometric diagram – click for larger image
Axonometric diagram – click for larger image