Categories ArchitecturePosted on

The Perfection of Perf: Bringing Light to London

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SEEN often wonders what visitors from much sunnier climes than ours make of the way we use light in our homes. So it was with great interest that we learned of the Perf House by AMA, the design of which was driven by clients whose brief was to bring some of the light quality and openness of their native Sardinia to central London. The scope involved the complete removal off all existing internal elements of this petite 5-storey Georgian terrace house in Pimlico, leaving a 6-sided internal volume. AMA then re-imagined the spaces within to deliver a new home environment with transparency and connection, materiality and texture, light and shadow, excitement and tranquility.

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A restrained palette of industrial materials – raw concrete and raw steel, combine with refined glass, timber and carefully detailed plasterwork to create a relaxed but crisp interior. To solve the issue of a dark and unwelcoming basement level so common in this type of building, AMA introduced a ground floor made up entirely of pavement lights, common, but unappreciated on every London commercial street – repurposed here to allow natural light and activity to connect the first two levels of the building.

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From the basement level a handmade steel staircase connects to the ground floor and then works its way up to the first floor, at which point the solid steel plates transform into a perforated metal spine which cuts right through the building to the top floor. This use of the perforations throughout the house helps to intensify the light through various aperture dimensions.

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Established in 2000 and based in London, AMA is a new generation architectural practice. The studio incorporates architects, interior designers, furniture, lighting, and product designers. Andy Martin, who has worked with some illustrious names in design and creative fields, has created some of the most memorable spaces in London and around the globe, including homes for Noel Gallagher and Olga Polizzi. His commercial projects include a long list of restaurants in London and around the world including his work with Kurt Zdesar on Fucina; Barrafina, Mash, and Isola Restaurants in London; Chan Restaurant in Thessaloniki, Greece; and Villa Zevaco in Casablanca. AMA is presently working in New York City on a new flagship store for Richard James, Savile Row.

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“Our mission at AMA is to carry out ambitious building projects at multiple scales and programmes, with a commitment to innovation, design and sustainability. We build within the city as if it is our own, and we are proud of the result and conscious of the effect that our buildings have on both the city around and the inhabitants within.’’

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SEEN is refreshed by this attitude. Too often, architects seem to design buildings that eschew human habitation. In a city that is reinventing itself constantly and the pressure on living space forces ever more innovative solutions, it is to be hoped that AMA will inspire other architectural practices to follow suit.

Seen this week

Categories FashionPosted on

MO-GA: Perfectly Imperfect

As the Sun shines on Earth, so MO-GA’s gender-fluid designs grace the bodies of everyone, rejoicing in ambiguity. Multiple sleeves and feathers recall the animal kingdom in all its glorious diversity; it’s a new aesthetic.

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Cocktails at the General Store

SEEN is tireless in her cocktail research, and very much enjoyed travelling to Highbury last week to try The General Store’s new summer cocktail menu and to check out the new interior. She was delighted to sample a Honey Mimosa, very sweet and fruity and just the ticket after a hot journey. It was, as its name suggests, a Mimosa with just a touch of honey.

Categories ArtPosted on

Canaletto: A Drawing Workshop with Alexandra Blum

SEEN has long been an admirer of Alexandra Blum’s liminal and apocalyptic renderings of London’s urban spaces, in which the capital seems ever-changing. It is the artist’s job to capture not only space but the passage of time itself.

Categories MusicPosted on

Rock the Strand is Back Thursday 27th July

One of SEEN’s favourite live music events, Rock the Strand, returns to Strand Palace Hotel on Thursday 27th July for a summer showcase featuring a stellar line-up of talented artists. Curated by industry mogul Tony Moore, Rock the Strand is a free music night that showcases an eclectic range of genres from indie alt-folk to country from emerging new talent and established acts, highlighting the UK’s varied and diverse musical landscape.

Categories GuidePosted on

Love Hunt at the British Museum

SEEN had the pleasure (pun intended) of being invited to a ‘Love Hunt’ at the British Museum. The museum, founded in 1753, is committed to preserving art, culture and history, and has collected around 8 million objects. These artefacts come from every corner of the world, revealing a fragment of many significant moments in time, from Mesopotamia to the Vikings; from the Inuits to the Indians. So, when one embarks on a visit to the world famous British Museum, where does one start?