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Japanese minimalism meets Victorian bones in London apartment revamp

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Clay walls and smoked-oak panelling were the focal point of the project

Photos by Nicholas Worley

When architect London-based architect Simon Astridge was tasked with renovating this one-bedroom apartment in the English capital, he turned to the Japanese heritage of the clients for inspiration. Located on the top floor of a historic Victorian property, Astridge modernized the interior with a warm palette of materials and colors.

The project was dubbed Clay House after Astridge decided to apply rough layers of clay to the walls, mimicking a raw texture, known as arakabe, found in Japanese homes.

"The clay also adds a beautiful depth to the wall that cannot be achieved through decoration," Astridge told Dezeen.

The attic became one of the most striking rooms of the apartment after Astridge transformed it into a lounge, kitchen, and dining room, leaving two brick walls exposed. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the London skyline. The top leaf of the sash windows can be opened up to let a breeze in.

This space isn’t overwhelmed by furniture—a simple, stainless-steel cooking island was installed underneath the eaves of the building. The lower level of the apartment holds an area designed specifically for Japanese ritual bathing. The room, which is meant for relaxation, is divided into two spaces by a tempered glass screen. The first space—which is heated—is lined with smoked-oak panels and outfitted with a steel washbasin intended to patina over time.

The second space, behind the glass doors, is for showering and bathing. Grey stone tiles and wood-lined eaves make the room feel spa-like. The plants in this room live off the steam produced from the shower.

The lower level also contains the carpeted bedroom, which has walls and a door framed with reddened plywood. Minimalism has carried through here, as well: a fireplace was filled in with white boards and transformed into a simple, stark plant holder.

Via: Dezeen