Scholars Place is a converted Victorian school containing apartments with double height spaces more commonly found in modernist developments such as Le Corbusier’s Unite d’Habitation than in the architecture of residential Stoke Newington. The project brief was to create a more open living space with better connectivity within the 1980’s flat conversion. The brief also requested the addition of a home office.
Due to budget limitations the brief was met by editing the project down to the minimum number of changes that produced the maximum effect. This was achieved by limiting the building works to four key elements which were; the removal of a section of wall at ground floor level, converting an internal door into a fixed window of coloured glass, the addition of a second mezzanine to create the home office, and the installation of glass balustrades. The glass balustrades on the two mezzanines enabled unbroken views across the flat via the double height space and to the two-storey windows that looked onto a mature courtyard garden. The openness, the light, and the views produce a deceptive sense of space and one that feels larger than the dimensions within the flat
The works were future proofed to allow a second phase of work to be carried out when funds allow. This will be the addition of sliding Japanese Shoji style screens to the font of the mezzanines. The use of translucent paper screens will provide privacy while maintaining the passage of light and their light-weight construction mean support structure will be minimal in both size and cost. The lightness of the phase 2 works will be in full sympathy with the lightness of touch seen in phase 1.
The completed first phase of works creates a fully connected open and light space. The interior is highlighted with brightly coloured paintings and posters which compliment the clients collection of mid-century modern furniture.
In the COVID-19 environment of lock-downs, self-isolation and home working, this renovated Hackney flat provides a secluded private world where both live and work co-inhabit calmly and sympathetically providing a sanctuary from the current stresses of the city.