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Steel appeal

aj interiors

This recently completed loft apartment is one of the last shells in Fulham's Piper Building to be fitted out. Brian Ma Siy formed a strong collaboration with the client, Nick Heath, and they worked together for over a year to refine the simple and minimal scheme.

Nick explains: 'The project had an experimental nature, which was the real joy of the it.' He oversaw all the building work himself, which he says allowed a far greater attention to detail than would normally be possible, with no time constraints.

The scheme's palate of materials is absolutely minimal - bathroom and kitchen interiors and fittings, interior doors, shelves and stairs are all made from powder-coated steel with identical profiles to give a completely uniform appearance.

The apartment's walls are painted white.

The floor is made of reclaimed timber floorboards chosen for their generous proportions and painted a light grey.

A steelworker who normally makes lorry frames was responsible for all the structural steelwork and the interior finishes. The kitchen was custom-made. Gas rings and grill fit straight into the steel worktop. A steel sink, formed into the worktop, is extra deep, 'to hide washing up', Nick jokes.

A cantilevered staircase leads up onto a 3 x 12m gallery. It houses a cantilevered bed, concealed storage along one entire wall, and an open bathroom with a cedar bath for Japanese-style bathing.

A shower and separate WC are hidden behind enormous industrial-type doors.

Although open plan, the gallery retains privacy using a solid balustrade, which is positioned to allow views from the gallery out of the windows but not views in from the ground floor.

A small area beneath the gallery is for a library, but can double as a children's sleeping space. A vast folding door can be pulled open to expose a tiny 'cabin'with bunk beds.

The entire door also rotates 45 degrees to close off the library from the main space and create a private den.

As the apartment faces east, it is flooded with sunlight in the morning, while in the afternoon and evening, the light becomes softer as it is reflected back into the space from the buildings opposite.

'One of the real pleasures of the space is that the light is continually changing to give a varying atmosphere throughout the day, ' says Nick.

CREDITS

AREA 110m 2

ARCHITECT Brian Ma Siy in collaboration with Nick Heath Design

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Trigram: Chris Meade

CONTRACTOR Rick Shurey

STEELWORK Richard Framont

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