Provocative industrial aesthetic displayed in renovated London loft

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Warner House is a renovated apartment offering an open, loft-like living space by Inside Out Architecture, located in the Clerkenwell section of central London. The renovation was carried out on behalf of a couple, which entailed removing interior walls of the 2,583 square foot apartment.

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From the architect: Following the success of a number of London refurbishment projects, Inside Out Architecture was appointed to redesign the interior layout of a unique apartment space in Clerkenwell, Central London, in early 2012.

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The existing building has an intriguingly tactile industrial structure, with exposed concrete beams and columns throughout its interior. These original structural elements proved far more captivating than the apartment’s existing interior, and IOA’s subsequent intervention sought to enhance their prominence.

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Work began by stripping the old apartment back to its basic shell and exposing the dramatic geometry of the concrete beams. A number of spaces – including a TV room, two bedrooms, separate family and guest bathrooms, a utility room and an adaptable guest bedroom – were then “inserted” into this hollow shell.

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These inserts came in the form of numerous bespoke joinery pieces, designed with a light touch and simple smooth finishes to contrast with, and hence emphasise, the strength of the textured concrete structure. By stopping these joinery inserts short of the overhead beams, the architects expressed them as something secondary to the structure. It was then possible to step these partitions back at high level to align with concrete beam junctions. This enabled the creation of a suitable layout in plan while ensuring that full acoustic separation was achieved in a way that respected the complex soffit geometry. Despite their simple expression, the joinery pieces house a wealth of concealed functions including fold out beds, integrated radiators, storage units, kitchen appliances, glazed screens, curtain recesses, sliding partitions and the entire family bathroom.

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In the living area a bespoke island kitchen was introduced to provide a focal point for activity within a large open plan space. A suspended aluminium profile provided functional downlighting while simultaneously uplighting the concrete soffit to create a comfortable warm atmosphere, giving the clients the flexibility they require.

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In combination, the project’s lighting, tones and textures collude to create a series of tranquil domestic spaces amidst the bustle of central London.

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Photos: Jim Stephenson

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