Pip Horne Studio

Haydens Place

A new build house in a backland site off the Portobello Road in west London. Its south facing frontage overlooks a private walled courtyard garden.

The artist Anish Kapoor wanted two principal spaces with abundant light for living/eating and drawing/contemplation. These are separated and served by a central core of bathrooms/kitchen, circulation and services. The house divides into a series of spatial and experiential opposites that interact to give narrative and richness.

Both principal spaces have distinct qualities of sculpted space and light. Curved ceilings and walls define the living area with high level light from the front and rear and contrast with the studio where light is directed down through a large skylight over a central atrium. A continuous slot of high level glazing runs along the north elevation allowing diffused light to permeate down to ground level. The building grabs sunlight and makes for a less tectonic and more agile form.

There are two implied axes through the house with the main stair from north/south and a central corridor from east/west at first floor level linking the two spaces. These vistas reveal the full width and depth of the building.

Details are simple and material choice spare. Floors are polished concrete or oak strip with roman stone to bathrooms. Walls and ceilings in white painted plaster predominate with exposed concrete ceilings to the central core. Windows with anodised aluminium frames and stainless steel cills punctuate white rendered external façades.

completed 1996
photos: James Morris