WELL, SOME INTERVIEWS ARE PROBABLY BEST LEFT TO SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES…BALLS OF STEEL FROM RIBA, MYSTERIES IN LEADENHALL INSPIRED BY DREAMS, A BEACH HUT THAT SOMEHOW MANAGES TO COMBINE CHIC AND ARTY WITH ‘KISS ME QUICK’, COFFEE TABLES INSPIRED BY CAKE, AND POP-UP SKATING RINKS IN LONDON’S KINGS CROSS. LONDON-BASED TAREK MERLIN AND JULIA FEIX HAVE SPECTACULAR IMAGINATIONS, SO READ ON TO TAKE A WANDER THROUGH THEIR CREATIVE WONDERLAND…
The footprint of 650 sqft is smaller than one might expect of a "loft”, but the height of the space, the raw concrete soffit and the size and quantity of windows are exceptional, and so the design focuses on overlapping some functions and minimising enclosed space so as to preserve the sensibilities of this industrial property. This resolves itself as a three-dimensional interlock between the bathroom, kitchen, sleeping mezzanine and stair, leaving the living space, 2nd bedroom and the shower to breathe in the full volume.
The interlock and overlap creates a “4 point” bathroom with a walk-in 4metre high shower; an internal sash window wall between the bathroom and the reception acts as a lantern at night, allows natural light into the bathroom during the day and opens to allow “open plan” bathing. Storage is designed into every niche. The mezzanine structure is sheet steel with no construction voids. All details are driven by the ambition to not enclose space that could be enjoyed.
The material palette of polished brass, Carrara marble and white oak is reverent to the original concrete soffit and structure, the exposed brick and the original Crittal windows. As well as designing the mezzanine and stair structure, the Studio designed the soft furnishings, lighting design, sconces, the bespoke kitchen, the sofa and dining table. The colour palette for the end wall, bench and planter are referenced from the “Polychronomie Architecturale” colour cards that Le Corbusier created for Salubria in 1924; the same period as the factory was built.
Gail Taylor
Images:

Img 1: Double height preserved except in kitchen and some of bathroom
Img 2: Bespoke candle sconces
Img 3: Bespoke sofa now in manufacture with UTC
Img 4 & 5: Bespoke dining table
Img 6: Corian and Brass Surfaces
Img 7: Colouir Palette
Img 8: 4m high curtains | photo credit Paul Raeside