Black Stone Building, N4

3 apartments with architecture influenced by the stacking of everyday objects, with a stucco facade of lime, sand and ash. Internally, the 4 floors are bound together by concrete columns that define the primary living spaces from which other rooms unfold.

Black Stone Building, N4

Scheme details

Architect: 6A Architects
Client: Jess Blackstone
Contractor: John Perkins Projects

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About the project

3 apartments nestle tightly into an irregular corner plot in North London, formerly a brickyard, a butcher's store, a mechanics and clock shop. The client - an artist and restaurateur - briefed the architects with a series of her own photographs depicting the stacking of everyday objects. These in turn prompted an approach based on repetition and adjustment within the odd geometry of the site. Seen from the street, a stucco facade masks the complex unfolding of spaces within. The lime, sand and ash render is hand worked to reveal a slate aggregate, its black flecks giving texture to the abstract fa├žade.

4 floors are bound together by two concrete columns that rise through the building and help to define the primary rectangular living spaces from which other rooms unfold to fit the site. Each apartment is approximately 100m2, yet each has its own distinct spatial world. The semi-basement apartment draws daylight into a central living room via a top-lit double-height kitchen and walled courtyards, while the first floor flat provides lateral views through the width of the apartment. The top two floors form a single apartment where the courtyards of the lower floors are replaced with a brass-lined loggia. A double-height living space connects with bedrooms in the roof where a secret courtyard hides behind the parapet.

Although spatially individual, the three apartments share common themes, variations of which play out over all four floors. Loggias and terraces form external rooms and large sliding windows allow a diverse array of views - of sky and garden, as well as wider vistas of North London and street scenes below. 

Thick deeply insulated walls and self-learning controls reduce energy loss, with photovoltaics generating power for shared areas. The concrete frame and slabs are the raw canvas on which lime-slurried walls, Douglas-fir plywood and ceramics add informal texture and warmth.

Page updated: 16/11/2018 14:57:46