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Specifiers Journal 2016

Specifiers Journal 2016

Harcombe, Stoke

Harcombe, Stoke Newington Forrester Architects As a modern interpretation of the traditional London Roof the butterfly form provides a unique language for a desirable rear house extension. Avoiding the mundane typical rear extension the roof form is expressed internally as exposed timber joists. This provides a dynamic architectural feature and adds a natural warmth to the new space. The new roof construction known as a warm roof construction avoids the traditional cold roof construction to provide a highly efficient thermally insulated roof construction; a single ply polymeric roof membrane replaces the traditional slate tile and timber battens to provide a relatively lightweight and uniform roof construction. To the West a large hexagonal glass window frames views of the small urban garden. In these houses the living room is typically located to the front of the house. As part of the reconfiguration works the kitchen has been moved from the rear of the house between the new living room and dining room which has moved to the bay fronted room to the front of the house. A new large galley kitchen provides an open plan connection between the living room and dining room. The dining room is now perfectly orientated for breakfast in the early morning with the sun rising from the East and the new living room benefits from views of the garden and the setting sun in the evening. Other works to the house involved the conversion of the original roof space to provide a traditional loft conversion which added a new floor of accommodation for guests. A dedicated wet-room shower room has been cleverly located on the top floor landing to avoid losing bedroom space and allows the top floor a certain degree of self-sufficency. The house has also been reconfigured from three bedroom to five bedrooms. As part of the refurbishments the entire house has been rewired with new plumbing throughout. Each room has been provided with hardwired CAT 5 data connectivity which has reduced the reliance on a poor wi-fi signal quality through thick Victorian walls. 122 SPECIFIERS JOURNAL

Flatiron House, London Form Studio After their success with remodelling the Bermondsey Warehouse Loft, FORM Design Architecture again turned to HI- MACS® to execute a new remodelling project in the United Kingdom. This time it was for Flatiron House, an old, disused, and impractical office building that has been transformed into a house described as “a staircase with rooms”. The comprehensive refurbishment of the building represented a real challenge in converting the small building into a welcoming home. The result is a modern home built as a piedà-terre in the city centre, where the project’s architect and designer Mike Neale played a key role. Taking its name from its shape, the small triangular footprint of the two bedroom house predetermined its seemingly simple spatial arrangement, with one principle room on each of five floors, topped by a roof terrace. Kitchen, dining room, bedrooms, and a functional basement are the environments integrated within Flatiron House, where the central staircase is the backbone of the work. The area inside the house is characterized by the apparent spaciousness of the rooms, the feeling of modernity and brightness that come from the whiteness of its walls and the HI-MACS® acrylic stone. “The devil is in the details, and considerable thought has gone into the subtleties of the layout and design at each level to ensure that every space works to its optimum, and that the vertical spatial flow between them, provided by a signature staircase, executed in HI-MACS®, feels natural and fluid,” explains Mike Neale. The Central Element: the Staircase The banister, made from HI-MACS® acrylic stone in its Alpine White shade, reinforces the sinuousness and this flow of movement. It rises like a twisted and folded ribbon through the five stories of the house and framing a vertiginous 14-meter view from the glass roof to the basement. The piece’s threedimensional triangular spiral effect was possible thanks to the thermoformable properties of the material, which make it possible to create all kinds of seamless shapes, thus transforming the banister into a piece formed in a single block. This element is the most distinctive in the project and becomes the piece that gives the home its unique character. The architect himself affirms that the staircase was the key element for the entire layout. In the words of Mike Neale, “the triangular floor shape meant that the banister of the staircase had to twist and rise up at a very steep angle from its inner edge, followed by a sharp bend. HI-MACS® was one of the few materials that could take this shape, due to its ability to be bent at a very small radius. HI-MACS® allows the possibility to assemble the structure in very small sections and finish the assembly on site in order to create a continuous surface, since it wasn’t possible to work directly with a single piece given the dimensions of the space.” SPECIFIERS JOURNAL 123

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