London studio Archmongers has renovated a duplex flat in one of the city’s most influential housing estates, using shades of red, yellow and blue to complement the modernist materials palette.
The three-bedroom home is located within Hatfield House on the Golden Lane Estate, a complex designed and built in the 1950s by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, the same architects responsible for the Barbican.
Archmongers‘ refurbishment is designed to celebrate the flat’s key features – the bright and open living spaces, the efficient organisation of spaces, and material details like the terrazzo stairs and tiled surfaces.
Referencing historic photos of original Golden Lane flats, architects Margaret Bursa and Johan Hybschmann sought to reinstate details that had been removed or covered over in an earlier remodelling, which they described as “mundanely neutral”.
The architects added chunky wooden frames to recreate separation between the kitchen and lounge space, without losing the visual connection.
Bespoke steel storage cabinets were installed, while original hardwood window frames and parquet flooring were uncovered.
“The biggest change was, in many ways, bringing it back to what it once was,” Hybschmann told Dezeen. “Not because we had to, but because it made a lot of sense.”
“The original palette of materials felt very modern and we wanted any new element or surface to be as relevant for many years to come.”
Bursa and Hybschmann chose to apply primary colours to various details in the renovated flat, referencing some of the historic exterior details on the Golden Lane Estate.
Shades of red and yellow highlight the front door and entrance area. The same hues feature in the first floor bedrooms and bathroom, along with blue tones – the idea was to give every room its own colour, in a high-gloss finish.
“We’ve tried as best as possible to colour match the red, yellow, blue and dark blue exterior panels of each of the blocks making up the estate,” explained Hybschmann.
“They work very well together and it’s a nice reference to bring into the interiors of the building.”
Other material details also help to tie spaces together. The granite surfaces in the kitchen echo the terrazzo of the staircase, while the new black quarry tiles in the kitchen match up with those in the external hallways.
The bathroom was given an upgrade too, to make it more suitable for modern living. It now includes a Japanese-style bath and a walk-in shower, with a new internal window that allows more daylight in.
The home is brought to life by the addition of the clients’ midcentury furniture and large book collection.
Archmongers has previously worked on other modernist refurbishments, in the Barbican and The Ryde in Hertfordshire, along with various council houses in London. The architects’ ongoing aim is to show the inherent potential in these midcentury buildings.
“Being able to work on another of London’s iconic modernist estates was a privilege,” added Bursa.
“Our experience helped us to deliver spaces sympathetic to the original vision while also creating a home that will intrigue, invite exploration, and provide opportunities for people to discover, enjoy, and deepen their engagement with modernist architecture.”
Photography is by French + Tye.