Pied a terre.

Three seemingly simple moves transform this dowdy coach house into an elegant pied à terre:- a new entrance porch, a kitchen island and, the centrepiece of the project, a beautifully crafted staircase. With its Barbara Hepworth-inspired polished interior and shell-like exterior, it provides crucial organisation for the ground floor, originally cluttered up with partitions. The client, a passionate cook with a very discerning eye, required a stylish, highly functional kitchen without the intrusion of units and wall cabinets. The staircase, like a Chinese puzzle, conceals all the ‘messy bits’ so that the kitchen, clearly defined but not separate, becomes a stage ready for entertaining. The equally well crafted entrance porch and island complement the staircase. Conceptually, they sit like dream objects in a surrealist painting on the backdrop of the floor landscape. At the end of the island, in the black panelled recess, the fridge and aga act as spectators to ‘the drama’.

Date: 2007
Floor area: 95m sq
Structural Engineer: Bolton Priestley
Photographs: Jefferson Smith