A Barbican Flat Goes Glamorous by

Issue 60 · Film Fest · February 21, 2013

A Barbican Flat Goes Glamorous

Issue 60 · Film Fest · February 21, 2013

Combining striking views of London with 1970s Brutalist architecture (lacking in warmth and personality for some) can pose an interesting design challenge. This English and Italian couple wanted their easily distracted guests to cease thinking of their apartment as a viewing platform; after all, this 29th floor flat in London's Barbican Center was their home.

Enter London’s most high-profile reclamation experts and designers, Retrouvius. Not only did they bring in their own mix of reworked materials and furniture, they also worked with the couple to highlight their personal artifacts; enabling them to ultimately reclaim their home.

Unless otherwise noted, photography by Tom Fallon for Retrouvius.

Retrouvius, Lauderdale Tower, Barbican, London, parquet partition, books arranged by color, striped upholstery, mid century Italian furniture, Remodelista

Above: Retrouvius used the colored spines of the couple's antique books as a starting point in determining the palette of the soft furnishings. The custom upholstery of the sofa echoes the spines of the books.

Retrouvius, Lauderdale Tower, Barbican, London, Italian mid century upholstered chair, Remodelista

Above: Retrouvius used the graceful lines of the couple's existing standing Italian lamp to inform their choices of midcentury Italian furniture. Photograph by Debi Treloar for Ryland Peters & Small from Reclaiming Style by Retrouvius partners Maria Speake and Adam Hills.

Retrouvius, Lauderdale Tower, Barbican, London, living room with view of London, Remodelista

Above: At the beginning of the project, Retrouvius brought in a selection of midcentury pieces and arranged them in different configurations to understand the various ways in which the space could be used. Photograph by Debi Treloar for Ryland Peters & Small from Reclaiming Style by Retrouvius partners Maria Speake and Adam Hills.

Retrouvius, Lauderdale Tower, Barbican, London, 1950's Boomerang table with large and small mosaics, parquet partition, Remodelista

Above L: The colors of the large and small mosaic tiles in this 1950s boomerang-shaped coffee table inspired the tones of the upholstery in the living area of the flat. Above R: A more neutral palette sits in front of the sliding partition, made from reclaimed parquet flooring from the floor of a primary school.

Retrouvius, Lauderdale Tower, Barbican, London, sliding parquet partition, 1954 JL Moller Model 75 chairs, Moroccan rug, Remodelista

Above: The parquet partition breaks down the scale of the main space by dividing it into three interlinked sections while adding warmth and color through its reconditioned rich shades of aged tropical hardwood. Retrouvius created the partition with hardwood parquet pieces that were hand sanded and applied them to an existing sliding five meter partition panel. The partition houses heating as well as reflecting warm lighting tones into the room becoming a radiator both physically and visually.

Retrouvius, Lauderdale Tower, Barbican, London, dining room, Remodelista

Above: The dining table was made with salvaged hardwoods that complement the tones of the parquet partition.

Retrouvius, Lauderdale Tower, Barbican, London, galley kitchen, Remodelista

Above: The deep red hue in a strip along the bottom of the wall cabinets in the kitchen is also used on the sliding doors of the dining room and inspired by the colors in the rug under the dining room table. To keep things from appearing too coordinated, Retrouvius upholstered the 1954 JL Moller Model 75 chairs with different materials; red leather salvaged from Dunhill and neutral linen. Photograph by Debi Treloar for Ryland Peters & Small from Reclaiming Style by Retrouvius partners Maria Speake and Adam Hills.

Retrouvius, Lauderdale Tower, Barbican, London, parquet partition, Remodelista

Above: "Designing with salvaged materials requires vision," Retrouvius say. "What were once old scuffed floors have become a sculptural feature at the heart of a sophisticated apartment." Photograph by Debi Treloar for Ryland Peters & Small taken from Reclaiming Style by Retrouvius partners Maria Speake and Adam Hills.

Retrouvius, Lauderdale Tower, Barbican, London, red and gold colored Turkish flat weave rug turned into headboard cover, Remodelista

Above: Retrouvius reclaimed a Turkish flat weave rug by turning it into the headboard cover.

Retrouvius, Lauderdale Tower, Barbican, London, Italian mid century side board and mirror, Remodelista

Above: Retrouvius sourced an elegant 1950s sideboard and mirror for the clients.

Retrouvius, Lauderdale Tower, Barbican, London, bright yellow walls, bright yellow and green vintage Indian bedspread, books arranged by color, Remodelista

Above: The vintage Indian bedspread sets the tone and color palette of the guest bedroom.

Retrouvius, Lauderdale Tower, Barbican, London, iroko hardwood bathtub, fossil limestone tiles, view of London

Above L: The bathroom has been lined in reclaimed iroko hardwood and fossil limestone. Above R: The view of London that may not be so distracting anymore.

The owners of this flat are great book lovers whose collection of books were very influential in the design of this flat. See 382 images of how Books can influence the design of your home in our Gallery of rooms and spaces.



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