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Form Studio completes reworking of ‘cookie cutter’ nineties flat

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A developer-built London apartment constructed in the 1990s has received an £237k overhaul by Form Studio


The scheme has been designed to make better use of the flat’s existing floor space by incorporating what was previously an L-shaped corridor to create an open plan layout. 

Within this 108mopen plan space a central floating block conceals the structure while housing a home office work station.

Architect’s view

Built in the 1990s, the original layout of this central London developer-built flat had conformed to the standard cookie-cutter solution. Defined almost entirely by compliance with regulations and conservative market convention, the front door had opened on to an unwelcoming windowless L-shaped corridor, with solid fire doors providing the necessary separation from the rooms, including a charmless and entirely separate internal kitchen - an arrangement with which we are all familiar. 

Our reimagining of this flat demonstrates how a fresh approach can make much better use of the available floor area in a typical developer flat of this type by incorporating the previously wasted space of the internal corridor, optimising area to create a more generous, flexible and naturally-lit open-plan arrangement. 

Within this open-plan space, a central ‘floating’ block, articulated with a concealed LED strip around its top edge, now conceals an existing structural column and houses a home office work station. It also, crucially, allows a spacious kitchen to be incorporated within the open plan living space, as well as providing an alternative escape route to the front door. Two full-height concealed fire doors on electro-magnetic holds complete the enclosure of a protected escape route from both bedrooms and living space in the case of a fire, and also provide flexibility for separation of the work area from the living area, or temporary increased separation of the open living/cooking area from the bedrooms as and when required. 

Bathrooms and storage, which are located logically in the deepest internal area of the plan, are finished in grey glass mosaic to enhance the ‘cave like’ sense of them having been carved out of the carefully detailed white finishes; white-oiled wide plank Douglas fir flooring unifies the other naturally-lit areas of the flat. 

Plan (before)

Artillery Mansions by Form Studio

Artillery Mansions by Form Studio

Plan (after)

Artillery Mansions by Form Studio

Artillery Mansions by Form Studio

3D plan

Artillery Mansions by Form Studio

Artillery Mansions by Form Studio

Project data 

Location London SW1, UK
Type of project residential apartment
Client private client
Architect FORMstudio
Quantity surveyor PT Projects
CDM principal designer PT Projects
Main contractor Imko London
Appointment repeat client
Contract duration 11 weeks
Gross internal floor area 108m2
Form of contract and/or procurement JCT Minor Works
Total cost £237,000

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Readers' comments (1)

  • This is a great example of how intelligent spatial planning and detailing can transform a standard flat into something that exudes delight.

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