FORMstudio has dramatically reconfigured this 240 m2 Bermondsey Wall Duplex Penthouse, creating a spectacular open-plan living space on the upper floor. The practice’s radical design approach cleverly rationalises the available space and celebrates the apartment’s spectacular views out over the Thames.
From the entrance, a view of the river draws the visitor forward into a double height space, from which an elegantly detailed stairway leads upward, revealing the impressively spacious open-plan dining and living area above.
The penthouse is arranged over the top two floors of a prominent high-rise residential development, originally designed by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands – a Design and Build project with an internal layout that divided both the entry and upper levels into a labyrinth of cellular spaces.
The former arrangement ignored the spatial potential offered by the distinctive, soaring wing roof and the spectacular wrap-around views over the river and to the City beyond.
FORMstudio’s fundamental reconfiguration was made possible by specifying a fire- engineered solution to Means of Escape, making use of full-height doors held open on electro-magnetic holds and concealed in wall linings.
On the lower level, a spectacular river-facing master bedroom suite, includes a floor-to ceiling glazed oriel window cantilevered out over the water and equipped with a rotating Citterio-designed circular sofa, to exploit the Canaletto-like panoramic view. Two further bedroom suites accessed off the linear entrance route complete the rational spatial arrangement of the lower floor.
The generous upper floor space features subtle changes in floor level, creating an interior landscape that defines areas for sitting, dining/cooking and working without the need for dividing walls. The raised level of the principle living area has dramatically improved sight-lines to the river view from a sitting position and created on-level access to the terrace doors.
An integrated 5.3m-long under-lit sofa and 5m-long white acrylic kitchen island with suspended steel hood further articulate and define the interior landscape, emphasising the dramatic scale and visual coherence of the space.
From mobile phones, to cars, to hotels, the level of sophistication expected by the consumer has soared at an exponential rate over the last twenty years. This has prompted a fundamental rethinking of the required specification for high-end apartments.
This one-off project, for a developer more usually involved in building 10+ unit new-build apartment schemes, clearly demonstrates that sophistication commands an enhanced price tag, adding considerable value for the developer client in the process.
FORMstudio has successfully identified the significant development value in the differential between a flat with a 1990s ‘high end’ specification and a bespoke architecturally designed apartment – this impressive penthouse responds perfectly to the exacting standards expected at the top end of today’s market.
FORMstudio aims to create places that can be inhabited and experienced by people in a natural and instinctive way. Enjoyable places with a tranquil sense of simplicity, which create a supportive and uplifting backdrop for life.
Individual solutions are developed for our clients which are an intelligent, inventive and sustainable response to the complex matrix of issues that shapes each project. Solutions with a lucidity and apparent simplicity which belie their underlying complexity.
Listening, analysis, discussion and clarification are at the heart of an inclusive approach that recognises the fact that some of the best ideas are generated in the space between people rather than by individuals.
Studying together, and later teaching, at The Bartlett (UCL), directors Malcolm Crayton & Jeremy Lingard first recognised the strengths of combining their shared enthusiasms and complementary skill sets in a collaborative design approach driven and tested by discussion. An approach that has been honed over the years and is at the heart of the practice’s working method today.
Supported by talented staff including three Associates, who have added further core technical, energy use and design expertise to the practice, the directors maintain a direct involvement in the development and evolution of every project. Investing in people and celebrating diversity, FORMstudio aims to engage with and draw out the particular individual strengths of its staff, developing experience and knowledge base through practice and ideas sharing