APALONDON在歌剧导演Dalia Ibelhauptaite和电影戏剧导演Dexter Fletcher配合下，为他们位于伦敦克勒肯维尔地区圣约翰大街上的公寓设计了一个精彩而充满张力的室内空间。
APA London have collaborated with Dalia Ibelhauptaite (a director of opera and theatre) and Dexter Fletcher (a director of film and theatre) on the design for a new and theatrical apartment space in Clerkenwell, London located on St John Street.
▼ 从客厅到卧室，View to the Bedroom
The building, built in the 1930s, had a former life as a shoe factory. The clients were drawn to it for its expansive windows, though the old arrangement of rooms meant that these were always partially hidden from view. The brief was to transform the warehouse space, taking close consideration of the scale, grain and detailing of the existing architecture, and to create something very personal to the clients, representing something of their histories.
▼ 工作区及客厅，Working Area and the Living Room
▼工作区及餐厅， Working Area and the Dinning Room
The old factory has a roughness, an authenticity, which appealed to Dexter, whose film background supports a love of architecture seen through a lens, in movement. The existing window frames which work together on metal rods ‘in unison’ for ventilation are a complex but beautiful mechanical pivoting system which creates a raw and industrial aesthetic that retains a certain dynamic of movement, even when static. These themes permeated the design.
▼厨房视角，View from Kitchen
A Directorial, choreographic & artistic fluidity prevailed. Dalia’s operatic set design skills became the design core around which the space was manipulated. A black box like a huge fly tower sits centrally in the space. This houses a bathroom, film and book archive and laundry facilities. The black box sets about a pattern of architectural movement so that the spaces wrap around it. Each side of the cube is characterised by a different function : reading & sleeping / working, preparing food & dining / socialising & relaxing. The whole space is however a continuous wrap.
▼ 黑盒子，The Black Box
The cube surfaces open and close, incorporating raw steel walls, blackened mesh screens, metal shelves, recesses, decorative niches and sliding doors. It is Baroque in complexity but simple in function. Each element serves a purpose in movement to reveal a use of space that is compact and deliberate or occasionally obtuse and irreverent. Springing from the clients love for theatre, dance, music and artistic clarity, a monochrome palette became highlighted by gentle warm tones of light, delicate introductions of industrial steel blues, rich dark olive green and unexpected textures.
▼ 使用中的黑盒子，The Black Box in Use
Hard materials appear as soft as butter, soft fabrics are placed as monolithic stone like structures. Lighting is varied, from muted & reflected tones to occasional directed, theatrical atmospheres. The choice of materials, furniture and moveable wall screens is deeply personal, inspired by family history as well as evoking memories of journeys in Japan, Belgium, and Argentina, each captured by fragments (solid oak shelves, black ash shoji, thick black marble splinters, mountain climate blankets & throws) that combine to create a dark mystical dream at night or a textural landscape in daylight. Urban in complexity yet strangely archaic /prehistoric in its base simplicity, the apartment dominated by a black steel cube reflects the inhabitants passions and their love for material quality of an elemental nature.
▼ 客厅，Living Room
▼ 餐厅与厨房 ，Dinning Area and Kitchen
业主采访 Words from and about the clients, Dalia Ibelhauptaite & Dexter Fletcher:
WOOD: Before WWII, Dalia’s grandfather had a wood factory which made matches and wood planks in a small Lithuanian town. When the Russians occupied Lithuania and it was incorporated into USSR, that factory was the main reason to send Dalia’s grandfather and his 9 children to Gulag in Siberia for 8 years of hard labour camps. Although she was born long after that, she does remember from childhood the words of her grandfather: “if wardrobe has thick oak shelves – the person is doing well. They used to have REAL oak then…” For many years Dalia knew that one day, when she can, she definitely will have thick real oak shelves in her house… in the memory of her family and for granddad to think – “the girl has done well”. This was the main reason why we found this tiny workshop in a small town in Lithuania which to this day is still working with the real oak and asked them to find the best oak for our walk-in wardrobe, Dexter’s desk and bathroom units. All wood in our apartment is real oak. Ironically, it had to be brought from Russia and the longest piece (4m20cm) for Dexter’s desk – from Siberia. A whole 2.2 tonnes of it.
▼ 工作区，Working Area
In the renovation of the apartment it was important to be telling the story of a person’s life – who they are, where they have been, where they are now, where they hope to be. In the end one could say – architecture is like scripting. The only details which were left from the industrial past of the building are the metal fire doors from 1938 (the building used to be a shoe factory – Scholl manufacturing) and big industrial windows on both sides of the apartment, some of them still opening in the old way with the metal handle. The large amount of windows was the main reason why the apartment was purchased, but before the renovation, one could not see all windows at once.
Those metal doors were the inspiration for the black metal cube as the ‘black box of the stage’ in the middle of the apartment, which on the one hand is a built world, but had to combine the ephemerality of the performance – to have the possibility for constant change and motion.
It had to be a very personal apartment – telling the story of the two people who live there – film actor and now director, and theatre and opera director. Both of them started their journeys into the art world while they were children and for them the black theatre box, the magic cube, was always part of life – the space which contained it all – emotions, stories, dreams. At the same time it gave emotional peace and reassurance because the stage was something they knew really well from inside out.
The metal box represents the core of our creative work – the director always takes the empty black box and with his imagination creates images, stories, sets and architectural pieces within it – an entire material world which in turn is filled with emotional journeys of the characters.
That is why the metal box inside the apartment looks quite closed from the outside, but has the ability to constantly change and evolve, never be the same – it is like a living piece and when you start opening it, you find that it holds a massive amount of films, books, the whole big archive of materials and photos from Dexter’s films, Dalia’s theatre shows, mementoes. Dexter’s career as an actor spans more than 40 years, working with most of the stage and screen legends in the world so the metal shelves forming the outside layer of the cube contain a treasure trove of cinema history. Inside the cube is the most important place in the house – the bathroom. For us it is the place where one can seek absolute peace of mind and cannot be reached by the outside world.
▼ 金属盒子，The Metal Box
So many things in Japanese culture and design bring peace of mind and calmness to your soul and it is not accident that Dexter and Dalia love Japanese architecture, art, lifestyle and clothes. The main wall in the bathroom is made from tiles which were brought from Japan. Uplighting emphasises texture of the tile which evokes memories of Japanese stone wall features with running down waterfalls.
There are more elements of Japan in the apartment, including the shoji screens dividing the bedroom area, which were custom designed to echo identically the pattern of the windows. At night, with the light behind the shoji doors, and the light coming in from the atrium of the building, the apartment becomes a cosy place – like the inside of a Japanese lantern. The contrast between the paper wall and the metal of the cube is very theatrical. At night the metal cube lights up like a Japanese lantern and has the ability to change lights like a stage show.
▼ 客厅，Living Room
▼ 卧室光线，Light form the Bedroom
The materials and colours throughout were dictated by the existing metal fire doors and the Poliform kitchen in graphite colour was custom built to accommodate those doors.
▼ 金属门，Metal Doors