A remodelled Victorian house designed by acclaimed (st)architect David Adjaye has just come onto the market
Adjaye (OBE) was was born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 1966 and studied at London’s Royal College of Art.
He worked for a short time with David Chipperfield before setting up Adjaye & Russell in 1994 and went on to became the go-to architect for many leading contemporary artists, actors and designers – among them Alexander McQueen, Jake Chapman, Ewan McGregor, and Chris Ofili.
Swarovski House – designed for one of the Swarovski family – was an early residential project that transformed a Victorian terrace in Islington through the use of double-height spaces, half levels connected by a beautiful timber staircase, and a glazed extension giving on to the garden at the rear.
It has been described by architectural writer Paul Clark as a “hidden dream-like wooden tower house, encased within the brick walls, before emerging at the roof level into a landscape of chimney pots”.
Adjaye has gone on to more high-profile projects since this house – he won the commission for the £14.5m Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo, designed the performing arts centre in Boston and New York’s Museum of Contemporary Art and was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize in 2006 for this Idea Store library in Whitechapel.
But this is still a fine example of how to breathe new life into Britain’s Victorian housing stock – the lines are clean, the glazing floods the place with light but the use of timber and conrete gives it a warm, scuffed feel and stop it from looking like the glittering, souless high-end projects produced by may developers.