Indoors and outdoors in London today
Matteo Bianchi Studio
Furlong Road is in a part of Islington characterised by elegant, two-storey Georgian homes with white façades and bare brick cornices. The refurbishment described here, planned by the studio of architect Matteo Bianchi, was completed in one of these stylish and typical houses. The aim was to restructure a basement that was under-utilised, badly lit and relegated to storage. The owner’s brief was to turn this space into a versatile, liveable area where children could play and adults spend valuable leisure time.
Openings were made in the wall overlooking the private garden and in the back wall, providing natural light and ventilation for the whole floor. With this problem out of the way, the floor plan of the basement was completely redesigned, and a kitchen with bistro-style snack bar for moments of leisure added as a central feature. A dining area was created alongside and furnished with attractive, vintage Tulip table and chairs by Eero Saarinen. This entire area looks out over the garden through windows and a glass panel door that opens to provide direct access. Behind the peninsula bar for breakfasts and snack lunches lies a living area illuminated by two large windows.
The spatial continuity between the various zones of the kitchen and between the lounge and garden is emphasised by the use of the same large format, cement effect tiles throughout. (The chosen tiles are 60×60 cm Oxyde Light tiles from Refin’s Design Industry collection.) Iconic furniture, including classics from Skandium, Knoll International, Louis Poulsen and Fritz Hansen complete the living area. Colours are light but not banal and, combined with an abundance of curtains and drapes, help create a harmonious ambience. Recessed lighting in the false ceiling, backlit niches in a Venetian stucco column, suspension lamps over the kitchen peninsula and downward facing lights under the worktop that seem to raise it off the floor create a bright but relaxing atmosphere in the new basement.
The Bianchi architects’ studio has certainly succeeded in turning an unusable bottom floor into commodious living space with a direct connection between lounge and garden.
Refin, Design Industry
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,2%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): compliant
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 35 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R9
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant