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THE COURTYARD, LONDON SW6

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SMALL PROJECTS / PART 1

Architect: Simon Gill Architects

Cost: £105,000

A 1990s live/work unit has been reconfigured both horizontally and vertically. The interior is allowed to flow throughout the ground floor and up through a sculpted void to first-floor level. The more private spaces on the first floor are detached from the ground floor by a rupture at the top of the stairs. In places the wood floor continues up walls and on to ceilings to create more intimate areas for dining and lounging.

The project attempts to reverse the Modernist strategy of creating a reductive, functional diagram of domestic existence, with any decoration neutralised to conform to the overall aesthetic. The design springs from the personal effects of the inhabitants and the particular details of their lives. For example, a regularly used bottle has a special place and the atlas, much consulted, has its own shelf. A stuffed Bulgarian pine marten guards the drawer where the house keys are kept.

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