Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

East London Hideout: Inventive Small-Space Quarters for Two Designers

Search

East London Hideout: Inventive Small-Space Quarters for Two Designers

November 19, 2018

“It wasn’t a house and it had no details you’d feel bad about getting rid of, so we could sort of do what we wanted.” Textile designer Eleanor Pritchard—our Material Girl—is talking about the converted flour storage building with its own tiny courtyard in East London that she and her husband, Peter Pritchard, purchased 12 years ago. The plan: after years of living in a 1930s apartment with detailing that they found “quite prescriptive,” the two creatives—Peter is a lighting designer—wanted to start from the ground up. The couple enlisted just-launched architecture firm Al-Jawad Pike to take their 1880s structure back to its original footprint and build a two-story house on the compact site.

While preserving the original brick front walls, architects Jessam Al-Jawad and Dean Pike (both formerly of David Chipperfield) devised an inventive contemporary cube-like solution that makes the most of the space and washes the interior in natural light. It was completed in 2015, and the couple, now ready for a new creative project maybe outside of the city, have put their place on the market with The Modern House. We ourselves are ready to move in. Come see.

Photography courtesy of The Modern House.

the house, tucked behind the blue door, was originally the storeroom for the ba 9
Above: The house, tucked behind the blue door, was originally the storeroom for the bakery next door, now converted into two apartments. It’s on Ezra Street, just off Columbia Road, home to a lively Sunday flower market and lots of cafes. (Shoreditch is also just steps away.) All of the structures on the historic block are composed of the classic yellowish brick known as London stock.
eleanor in her garden: &#8\2\20;what’s nice is that when we want to join  10
Above: Eleanor in her garden: “What’s nice is that when we want to join in, everything is right at our doorstep,” she says. “And when we’re done, we can retire to this insulated little haven.” Growing in her pots are several trees—quince, olive, and bay—plus “lots of ferns and a few succulents.”
eleanor painted a collection of vintage army ammunition cases gray and put them 11
Above: Eleanor painted a collection of vintage army ammunition cases gray and put them to use as planters. The paving is gray engineering bricks.
 steel framed glass doors lead into the front hall and the dining room. 12
Above: Steel-framed glass doors lead into the front hall and the dining room.

“Nestled within a very confined space between buildings, the existing interior spaces lacked sunlight,” explain the architects. “Our idea was to create a new linear box spanning along the back of the house that accommodates the kitchen and dining area. The outer walls to this volume are lined in oak and framed by a new large glass roof that brings daylight into the heart of the home.”

eleanor and peter met as students at the university of birmingham: he was study 13
Above: Eleanor and Peter met as students at the University of Birmingham: he was studying English literature and Russian and she was studying history. They both changed paths and re-trained: Eleanor has a degree in textile design from the Chelsea College of Arts and Peter focused on lighting design at The University College London Bartlett School.

Their flour storage structure was initially converted into a dwelling in the 1980s, a low-budget job that they lived in for a while but always planned to redo.

oak slatted walls introduce pattern and nuance to the space; they&#8\2\17;r 14
Above: Oak slatted walls introduce pattern and nuance to the space; they’re lit by a glass roof. Vintage Ercol All-Purpose Chairs surround an Angle Table by Unto This Last, located on nearby Brick Lane.

The downstairs floor is polished asphalt: “It’s a material that Dean had seen used in the Turner Contemporary project while he was at Chipperfield, ” explains Eleanor. “It has the feel of a black terrazzo, and its advantage over concrete is that it can be poured in a relatively thin, impermeable layer. (The asphalt is mixed with your choice of color and size of stone—we went for quite small gray granite—poured at a hot temperature and then polished and sealed.) It runs throughout the ground floor, which creates a sense of openness.”

a slot shelf serves as an art display. drain pipes for the glazed roof are acce 15
Above: A slot shelf serves as an art display. Drain pipes for the glazed roof are accessible from the door behind the table. “What was great about Jessam and Dean,” says Eleanor, “was the way they could see what could be done spatially. There are so many details they thought up that make the house a real pleasure to live in.”
the continuous skylight runs from the dining room to the adjacent kitchen. the  16
Above: The continuous skylight runs from the dining room to the adjacent kitchen. The window above the sink overlooks the entry and living area. The interior is 658 square feet.
the kitchen has 4 millimeter thick stainless steel counters and an inset sink a 17
Above: The kitchen has 4-millimeter-thick stainless-steel counters and an inset sink-and-a-half with incorporated drying area—all sourced from an industrial kitchen supplier.

Overhead, Ikea Grundtal storage rails have been put to good use. (For more inspiration, see Ultimate Budget Storage: 10 Kitchens with Ikea’s Grundtal Rail System. N.B.: Ikea recently replaced the Grundtal with a similar stainless-steel rail called Kungsfors.)

the kitchen cabinets are faced with the same oak used for the slatting. the mat 18
Above: The kitchen cabinets are faced with the same oak used for the slatting. The matte-glazed tiles, sourced from Domus, are set off by dark gray grout. Fridge and freezer are concealed under the counter; the stove and cooktop are by Smeg, and there’s no dishwasher: “we’re old-school washer uppers,” says Eleanor.
the glass roof extends to the end of the kitchen. alongside open pantry shelves 19
Above: The glass roof extends to the end of the kitchen. Alongside open pantry shelves, an inset wall cabinet holds glassware.
the white tiles and oak detailing reappear in the bathroom located between the  20
Above: The white tiles and oak detailing reappear in the bathroom located between the kitchen and reception room. That’s a towel rail/radiator on the wall.
built in shelving runs along the sink and shower (the room also has a storage c 21
Above: Built-in shelving runs along the sink and shower (the room also has a storage cupboard large enough to incorporate the washing machine).

The lighting throughout the house is by Peter, who is co-owner of Pritchard Themis, a lighting design company specializing in large architectural projects of all sorts: “In our house we have a mix of slim, inset dimmable LED systems that give a lovely warm wash to the oak paneling at night; small, inset dimmable spots for the paintings; and the linear LEDs in the bathroom above and below the mirror and in the shower (they have the feel of mid-century architect’s lamps).”

the front hall opens to a small living room with a bookshelf built under the st 22
Above: The front hall opens to a small living room with a bookshelf built under the stair, which is one of the few preserved details from the 1980s remodel. That’s a wine rack and Brompton folding bike in front of the shelves.
windows in the front overlook an alley and have, in addition to interior shutte 23
Above: Windows in the front overlook an alley and have, in addition to interior shutters, reeded glass for privacy. The sofa cushions are in Eleanor Pritchard’s Petrol Green Ground wool. The long vertical window connects the space to the courtyard.
in the reception room, a \1950s heal&#8\2\17;s daybed (passed down to elean 24
Above: In the reception room, a 1950s Heal’s daybed (passed down to Eleanor from her grandmother) is upholstered in Eleanor Pritchard’s Bilsdale pattern, part of a fabric collection called Aerial. The hanging lights are Volume 2 Pendants with shades made of iron pipes from Rubn of Sweden.
the walls throughout are painted french grey from little greene, and the existi 25
Above: The walls throughout are painted French Grey from Little Greene, and the existing stairs were stripped and refinished with a dark gray floor paint.
eleanor and peter pritchard home east london via the modern house 20
Above: The doors and door surrounds are oak. The upstairs has two bedrooms.
the second bedroom is used as an office. that&#8\2\17;s the lampe gras \2\1 27
Above: The second bedroom is used as an office. That’s the Lampe Gras 215L Floor Lamp, a French modern classic. Read more in The Modern House’s interview with Eleanor and Peter.
rooms flow into one another on the ground floor. the compact upstairs has two b 28
Above: Rooms flow into one another on the ground floor. The compact upstairs has two bedrooms and an overhead storage space.

Three more creative London house remodels:

Artful Victorian: Architectural Provocateur Alex Chinneck’s Family Home

Start from Scratch: A Food Writer’s First Renovation in South London

Under the Eaves: A Brick House Reinvention by Simon Astridge

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

v5.0