MW Architects completed a breath-taking, new build home in Hampstead, London for a family desiring theatrical interior spaces coupled with areas of calm.
With a generous 750sqm floor plan, this unique Hampstead property exceeds its duties in providing a private yet indulgent home for its large family – a finance manager and housewife with five children, and two dogs. The grand interior spaces have been meticulously detailed with luxurious monochrome fixtures and fittings, whilst allowing the homeowners to display their personalities throughout. Inspired by dark interiors and natural stone, the homeowners were passionate about injecting an Asian influence to the joinery where possible.
The four-storey build, which includes a basement, hosts generous living spaces and bathrooms, as well as a wine room, designated entertainment areas and a dramatic helical sweeping staircase. The garden has been designed to provide additional entertainment and relaxation space, and includes an outdoor yoga studio.
When the homeowners originally purchased the property, the plot was already flattened with planning permission for a new house to be constructed, and the basement concrete shell had already been built. Having worked with MW Architects on a previous Victorian villa project, the homeowners were quick to appoint the architectural practice again. Tweaks were made to the original scheme, minor material amendments to adjust the layout and look, to be more in keeping with the family’s style and fulfill their brief for bold and theatrical interior spaces coupled with moments of peace and areas of calm.
At ground floor, the sculptural staircase is a striking focal point stretching in two parts to the second floor, which gives a sense of great height and scale. The main family spaces are at ground floor level and are connected in and out of the hallway as well as having a direct route through at the rear and to the external terrace. The kitchen and living areas are mirrored by the outdoor kitchen and dining area, providing a transience between the indoors and out, which was a key requirement of the brief. Tying the interior scheme together is the use of dramatic slabs of marble throughout the house.
On the first floor, the Master Suite is the epitome of private luxury with a 90sqm bedroom, bathroom and dressing area across the entire south facing rear of the property, behind a large double door from the main hallway. Facing a central Juliette balcony, the bed sits against a bespoke back-lit bedhead wall with inbuilt side tables and reading lamps and lights floating above. This opens up onto a large dressing area with a set of corner cupboards and a central dressing unit.
Walking around to the bathroom there is a suggestion of what is to come as large slabs of contrasting marble ‘peek out’ into the passageway. The design is based on a series of slabs rising from floor to ceiling in contrasting and inverted marbles to create distinct spaces for the functions of the room as well as to define ‘his and hers’. The marbles were carefully selected to be as close to a perfect inversion of each other as possible, with the monochrome adding to the impressive contrast. The floor-to-ceiling slab partitions are set to be perpendicular to the rear wall and window allowing light to flow into the entire bathroom space. The striking pebble free-standing bath floats harmoniously in front of one of the windows. The effect is a dramatic yet functional bathroom space where the rich materiality is given space to perform.
The remainder of the first floor comprises of a grand ‘gallery’ style landing, two further ensuite bedrooms, and a study. The second floor is a designated space for the younger children, with bedrooms at the rear of the property overlooking the gardens, a family bathroom and a play area, as well as an abundance of eaves storage.
At basement level, spaces for indulgence and relaxation take precedence. A glass fronted wine room leads off to a large study area with a semi-circular roof light and bespoke, semi circular desk beneath. Along the full length of the floorplate at the rear is a luxurious party room, including a home cinema.
Of paramount importance to the homeowners is the outside space and gardens. A grand terrace has been designed to include an external kitchen, dining, sunken seating area with lily bowl and living room area with external fireplace, providing additional entertaining space which was required from the brief.
At the end of the garden is a contrasting area to retreat – the Yoga Dojo – a standalone garden pavilion under the canopy of towering lime trees. The building comprises three main spaces connected visually through its design and the continuation of materials. The structure and use of refined glazing provide the ultimate immersive connection between inside and out and allow the building to appear visually ‘light’ and subtle when viewed from the exterior and upper floors of the main house.