1930s Apartment


Location: London

Architect: Knox Bhavan Architects

Structural engineer: Price & Myres

Main contractor: Belgravia Construction Group

Joinery: Wooden Horse

Wood supplier: Union Veneers

Species: European cherry (France), European oak (Croatia)


This tiny one-bedroom flat within a 1930s block was bought by the client in the 1980s and not touched since. It was tired and uncomfortable, with no storage and an impossibly small kitchen and bathroom. It is now a practical, beautiful Pied-a-Terre that is is in keeping with the building’s history and pays homage to the client’s shipping and ocean liner past. The flat was stripped, the plan flipped, and services were rearranged to facilitate a good-sized bathroom with laundry. Through judicial use of a fire curtain the corridor, kitchen and bathroom space have been combined and transformed into a comfortable kitchen/dining area for four. Every inch has been used, with ingenious storage and furniture seamlessly incorporated. Warm cherry veneer has been used for the living room and bedroom, and sprayed white joinery for the kitchen, bathroom and sinuous curving connecting walls. Hidden within these walls are service risers, sliding pocket doors, storage, and utilities. Everything has a place, with an upholstered niche to sit and put your shoes on. A clear glass fire-rated screen allows light and long views through the flat, maximising the sensation of space. Ceilings respond to the spaces below, with higher coffers between the down-stand concrete beams. The bulkheads to the beams are lined with mirror, continuing the illusion of space and luxury. The bespoke brass ironmongery compliments the joinery influenced by RMS Queen Mary (the same vintage as the building).