During the post war period of urban flight, Aberdeen Park in Islington’s now desirable Highbury New Park was not viewed as a grand street with impressive buildings but just another part of the inner city in a state of increasing decay.
For decades the project building was used as low rent accommodation by the municipal authorities who sub-divided rooms and installed plastic encased electric cables and exposed heating pipes across wood-chipped walls painted lurid greens and bright oranges.
The concept behind the renovation project was to do as little as possible to the building’s structure to reveal and enhance what lay beneath. The original size and proportions of the larger rooms, the window ratios and the unusual detailing of the doors were of exceptional quality and required little change to revive them.
The smaller rooms, particularly the entrance hall, were untidy with too much visual clutter. These rooms needed thoughtful redesigning and reconfiguring. The small hallway needed a grander appearance that was in keeping with the spaces that led off it. This was achieved by using a combination of windows to create long views, mirrors to increase the appearance of space, a coffered ceiling to create the illusion of a greater ceiling height, and concealed doors to simplify the aesthetic.
With the layout changes complete, the interior fit-out was based on a sumptuous Victorian aesthetic and one benefiting from contemporary additions; wall panels that opened as storage, library shelves and ladders highlighted with concealed LED lighting, and chandeliers operated with dimmer switches.
The colour concepts and furnishings were produced and selected by the interior designer client Chris Lian. The darkness of the small hallway was lifted using light colours and the larger rooms were made intimate and warm with bold colour, rich textures, and strategic lighting. Art and decorative pieces work in conjunction with lighting to create a logical flow to the spaces.
The resulting scheme returns this part of Aberdeen Park to the Victorian splendour of it’s conception but with the added improvements of central heating, Soss hinges and wi-fi.