Light. Light and design. Or how we use light to achieve a better human space and interaction.
The traditional houses have been designed with different mind set. The house in the 19-20th century were tasked to house the mass influx of newcomers into the towns and the cities. Particularly in the UK and London the most important item was privacy. This achieved en-masse houses which offered a very segregated layout with dark and enclosed envelope.
In the UK there are three types of houses: a row house, a semidetached and a detached house.
All three have been designed in different times and ultimately for varying end user: the row house typically offers a very narrow and deep layout which completely ignores the exterior. The semi detached house is typically wider than the row housing, however, is deeper and equally offers a poor layout. The detached is typically found either in the suburban or in the home countries and further. The last one usually does benefit from a large rear garden however the orientation of the house ignored it completely.
Fast forward in the 21st century we have fallen in love with the feature of these houses, however, they rarely fit our requirements and ever growing dynamic lifestyles. Coupled with the costs and hassle of purchasing a property more and more turn to refurbishments to answer their ever changing needs.
The effect of light on the human psyche has been well researched. Analysis shows lack of light affects the human interaction, causes poorer sleep, poor interaction, memory loss, mood fluctuations, depression and more.
On the other spectrum good light enthuses, energises, contributes to the general well-being and improves the positive outlook.
Below we will show you how we dealt with each type and how we introduced light into the building.
A detached house
In this project in North London, the house was orientated towards a pokey small rooms, with the rear of the house closed off to the beautiful garden.
We streamlined the layout to suit the family’s lifestyle allowing area for play and gathering, a study for the parents and a formal dining.
Complicated and convoluted layout
In our project in St John's Wood the clients had a house which was not serving them. Pokey, wasteful hallways, dark, lack of entertainment spaces, inability to relax after a long day at work.
The design introduced two external patios with new light material. This patio allows light to illuminate the master bedroom and opens to the new kitchen-living room.Above the island unit in the kitchen we introduced a large skylight 4×3 m which allows light to enter into the core of house at all times.
The clients particularly liked the different vistas catching a glimpse of the outside world - patio connects the master bedroom, window above the main entrance door, a glimpse from the bed into the patio.
The children's bedrooms benefited each from opening up the ceiling and exposing the roof rafters with multiple lights to be suspended from the ceiling and achieve a creative ambient effect.
The heart of the house is the kitchen where family members congregate and share the day. The original house did not allow such space and was incredibly dark and segregated by hallways. In order to address this we introduced a large format skylight the parents can communicate directly with the children on the first floor. The house caters now for multiple spaces prviously not functioning properly. The master bedroom unit positioned on the ground floor was now a study a skylight above, a master dressing and a master ensuite. The unit allows now the parents to withdraw. The master ensuite benefits from the look directly above the bathtub.
The effect of these at times minor interventions was huge. The families in both cases benefited from entertaining spaces, areas for the children to be play and areas for hosting and family entertainment.