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Contemporary basement-level kitchen basks in natural light thanks to a feature ceiling of glass pavement lights

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A restrained palette of industrial materials – raw concrete and steel – combines with refined glass, wood and plasterwork to achieve a relaxed but crisp interior

Contemporary basement-level kitchen basks in natural light thanks to a feature ceiling of glass pavement lights Discover this article's resources

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This basement-level kitchen forms part of a dramatic whole-house transformation by Andy Martin Architecture. Martin says the comprehensive renovation was driven by the owner's brief to create a sense of lightness and openness through the home.

"First, we stripped out all the existing elements of the five-storey home – leaving a six-level internal volume," he says. "From here, we re-imagined the spaces to create a new interior that maximises transparency, connection, texture and light and shadow.

"To resolve the problem of a dark and unwelcoming basement level so common in terrace houses, we embedded glass pavement lights into the ground floor – the ceiling of the basement. This allowed light and glimpses of activity to connect the first two levels of the home."

To achieve a relaxed but crisp interior, a restrained palette of industrial materials – raw concrete and steel – is combined with refined glass, wood and plasterwork.

"The owner wanted a clean and simple kitchen that would sit within the greater space much like furniture," says Martin. "To this end, we finished the cabinetry in brushed and limed oak veneer. This works well with both the concrete and plaster wall surfaces, and the timber floor.

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"Negative detail drawer pulls recede to the eye, adding to the impression of the cabinetry as furniture elements. And the hood is fully integrated into the cabinetry.

The owner is a restauranteur who often entertains at home, so the kitchen needed ample workspace and storage. Everything is to hand within the compact kitchen, with a back-up fridge and freezer located in the nearby laundry room. Plus, the kitchen is only a short step away from the wood and metal dining table.

The glass ceiling combined with a run of concealed LED strip lighting along the kitchen side of the basement room ensure there is ample light play on work surfaces.

"The strip lighting also accentuates the size of the greater room," says the architect. "To optimise this effect, we introduced a shadow gap between the upper cabinetry and soffit to allow the lighting to run the full length of the room."

Credit List

Architect, interior designer, kitchen designer Andy Martin, Andy Martin Architecture
Kitchen manufacturer Simar Arredamenti
Window/door hardware Doors from Olivari, windows from SDS London
Cabinetry doors Brushed and limed oak veneer
Benchtops, splashback, sink Corian
Taps CEA Italy
Oven, cooktop Mareno
Ventilation Laser Services
Refrigeration Liebherr
Dishwasher NEFF
Flooring Trade Flooring Company
Tile flooring Conproj – D range from Bernard J Arnull
Wall tiles Nimrod porcelain tile from Strata
Lighting The Louvre Light from Established & Son, Flos lights from Lucent Lighting, Light Graphix, Delta Light, AC/DC

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