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

A restrained palette of industrial materials raw concrete and steel combines with refined glass, wood and plasterwork to achieve a relaxed but crisp interior
Story by: Charles Moxham Photography by: Nick Rochowski
On this project by Andy Martin Architecture, an ceiling, countertop, interior design, kitchen, product design, wall, gray
On this project by Andy Martin Architecture, an integrated rangehood and recessed drawer pulls add to the sense of the kitchen as a piece of furniture within the greater space.

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."


This renovation by Andy Martin Architecture has transformed ceiling, daylighting, floor, interior design, living room, loft, real estate, gray
This renovation by Andy Martin Architecture has transformed the ambience of the entire six-level terrace home. On the basement level, home to the kitchen, living and dining spaces, the quest for light and connectivity with the floor above led the architects to the dramatic design move of introducing a ceiling made from pavement lights.

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.

"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.

An introduced glass pavement ceiling throws light patterns architecture, ceiling, daylighting, interior design, product design, wall, gray
An introduced glass pavement ceiling throws light patterns across this basement interior and optimises light play on the kitchen surfaces.

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."

Nov 01, 2017

Credit list

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





Similar stories

Using natural stone to brighten up your kitchen

Calacatta Blanco from Smartstone acts almost like another light source in this Southern Queensland home Read more

Be water wise – simple water saving tips

Water wastage isn’t just bad for the environment, it’s expensive too, with every little bit of waste adding up to a bigger monthly water bill.  Read more

Unfitted kitchen combines organic design with a handmade feel

Layout, size and scale, selection of materials and references to the past all contribute to a kitchen design that’s far from predictable Read more

Latest books

Home Trends 3402

Placing the kitchen at the heart of a home is not just about creating a convenient zone for easy food preparation and eating meals.Just as important is the way it's seen as an attractive place where family can spend time togeth... Read more

Home Trends 3307

While we might all have ideas for the home design that we want, consulting a good architect or designer will also open us up to other design possibilities that we haven't thought of.To help get you started on creating the home ... Read more

Home Trends 3306

Renovating a tired and dated kitchen will not only add to your enjoyment of cooking – it can also totally transform the way you use all of your living spaces, indoors and out. But where do you start and what's actually possible... Read more

Related profiles


Home kitchen bathroom commercial design Read more


The new leader of home design and fashion in New Zealand, representing some of the best flooring and plumbing manufacturers in the world, and with the most exclusive range of flooring and wall tiles the market can offer. Read more

Poggenpohl Auckland NZ

Innovative Design, Custom Made Solutions, Unsurpassed Quality. Read more