Consisting of less than 700 sq ft, with only a single window at either end, Mackay + Partners’ design of Apartment H needed to overcome issues of space and light faced today by many architects designing within the City. The apartment palette is thus simple and the surfaces hard and smooth. Colour and textures, when they appear, act as vibrant accents.
As the property owners were a couple without children, the division of space was simple: a sleeping area at one end and an entertaining area at the other. However, standing within the hall between the two rooms, it is impossible not to accept the place as a whole. Uniting the space, a mass of floor to ceiling mirrors span the entire length of the apartment. The continuous reflection neatly expands the interior volume and reflects light within. The perfect illusion, the mirrors conceal an expanse of cupboards which pose as wardrobe in the bedroom, study desking in the hall, and entertainment centre in the lounge.
The storage wall narrows the apartment yet is the ideal solution for space management. Remarkably this thinning has awarded the apartment a greater sense of length. The lines of the floorboards add to this effect and have eliminated the clutter of floor coverings. Waxed and polished, the old wooden planks provide a patterned finish of their own. Once more pursuing order, the bed fills the sleeping area as the only piece of furniture in the room.
Appearing to be cut out of the hallway wall, the kitchen units top and bottom fill an existing cavity and square the room. The ability to seamlessly conceal both sink and stove results in a single solid worktop it by recessed lighting and backed by yet another mirror.
Concealed behind the mirrored wall, the bathroom is the ultimate achievement of light and space. Covered from floor to ceiling in pearly white tiles, it contains a suite of white Corian marble. The small 10mm square tiles give additional texture to the room which is broken by a daring floor to ceiling flower mosaic spanning the spectrum of rainbow colours from red to green to black.
Pursuant of the main apartment body, the bathroom is marked by mirrored reflections. These rise to the ceiling above the vanity and are flanked by lighting recessed behind stainless steal plates. The vanity fixtures like those of the kitchen are stainless steal. Turned at right angles to the wall, they allow for an unobstructed view of the mirror and nicely bound the vanity end. Reinforcing this sense of closure, a curtain of stainless steel beads backdrops the taps, reflecting light around the room. A shimmering screen, the curtain adds a feeling of privacy to toilet.
With all the mirrors guiding light in to the apartment, in the evening these same mirrors reflect the interior light out into the dark. Visible only from within the Barbican, the light from the apartment sparkles in the night. Never boring, the apartment has become a multifaceted gem hidden within the solidity of the Barbican City