Studio Ben Allen makes Room for One More inside Barbican flat - architecture and design

Studio Ben Allen makes Room for One More inside Barbican flat



Studio Ben Allen has updated a flat on London's brutalist Barbican estate to feature a colourful central volume that includes a bed, fold-out desk and extra storage space.
Previously host to just one bedroom, the apartment has been reconfigured by Studio Ben Allen to accommodate a child's bedroom ? a feature that lends the project its name of Room For One More.
"The client was keen that the intervention would relate to the architecture of the Barbican and provide a high degree of flexibility to allow the growing family to continue living in their much loved but modest-sized flat," explained the studio.

Instead of tampering with the apartment's structural layout, the studio decided to erect a full-height, multifunctional volume in the middle of the floor plan. The grey-painted volume ? which is crafted from birch plywood ? has been punctuated to feature two teal-blue niches, their arched form intended to mimic the window shape of some of the Barbican estate's apartments.

One niche features a cherry-red desk that the inhabitants can fold down on days they want to work from home, while the other has been fitted with a couple of shelves where ornaments and books can be displayed.
Below there are a series of storage cupboards. Each one is finished with recessed circular handles that are meant to resemble the round, stepped wells that appear across the estate's pond.

A disc-shaped mirror with a semi-circular shelf running through its centre has also been fitted nearb...
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