Apartment at Bow Quarter / Studio Verve Architects

© Luke White

Architect: Studio Verve Architects
Location: Bow Quarter, Fairfield Road, London,
Structural Engineer: Engenuiti
Builder: Caldera Construction
Completion: 2012
Floor Area: 72 sqm
Project Team: Vivian Chan, Fernando Molines, Ula Witkowska
Photographs: Luke White

© Luke White

Bow Quarters is a beautiful seven-acre Grade-II listed residential development set within a historic site of the converted Bryant and May matchbox factory. The site is separated from the Olympic Park by the Black wall Tunnel. Studio Verve was shortlisted and invited to provide design proposals for the conversion of one of the mezzanine apartments into a two-bedroom flat.

The proposal required ingenious almost ‘Rubik-cube like’ solutions to meet the ambitious programmatic brief of the client whilst responding to the challenging structural constraints. Two vastly different design approaches were worked through and presented; each providing dramatic spatial experience within the walls and high industrial windows of the original factory.

© Luke White

Studio Verve was selected to work through one of the schemes and have just completed the project on site. The entire interiors including the existing mezzanine structure was completely gutted; and reinserted with a new mezzanine structure to take advantage of the high volume industrial space.

© Luke White

A feature Ipe timber fin wall bisects the volume; with an Oak stairs leading one up to the mezzanine bedroom with a frameless glass balustrade overlooking the dramatic double-height lounge and dining space below. Concealed door is created within the fin wall- that leads into the ground floor bedroom, bathroom and media/storage utility. A full-height bookshelf separates the cloak cabinet space and kitchen from the main lounge looking onto the original high industrial window.

ground floor plan

The linearity of the timber fins contrast well against the exposed brick walls of the original factory and the new oak flooring. Feature micro-mosaic tiling is consistently used as both the backs plash to a lava black kitchen and bespoke wash hand basin counter and bath. All the joinery was bespoke-designed to accommodate as much storage within the overall volume whilst providing a calm well-detailed scheme.

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Cite: "Apartment at Bow Quarter / Studio Verve Architects" 18 Apr 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 22 Dec 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=227287>
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  • PatrickLBC

    Gorgeous! I only wish the ceiling was a bit higher, for a cleaner detail at the window. Otherwise a great project.

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  • the_Dude

    Nice detailing, maybe the f.c. at the windows could have been curved into the room (to reflect the type of opening).
    Is it me or is the kitchen & cloak rm. huge for this size apt?

  • Vivian Chan

    Thanks for your comments. Well-spotted. As it was originally a matchbox factory- the ceiling was dropped to ensure a smooth underside with the cross beams- hence leaving only a pelmet detail (for electric blinds) for the window. The kitchen and cloakroom were essential items in the client’s design brief- hence their corresponding sizes- especially important for entertaining.

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