Wood Awards 2013: Small Project, Winner

Roominaroom, London

Almost impossible to understand from photographs, this residential jewel was designed for a growing family with fixed walls. Since they couldn’t expand upwards or outwards, Atmos Studio looked inwards and created an additional space which entirely redefines the idea of a mezzanine. 
Tucked into a corner to take up minimum area, inside it offers a sense of spaciousness. 

It was constructed from glued and screwed CNC-carved plywood sheets, each cut edge carefully profiled to soften the form of a warm, intimate, cosy domestic space where the performance of the structure and the pattern of the grain are fully expressed. 

A truck delivered the flat-packed project, which rapidly unfolded into a set of plywood ribs that were connected and erected within a day. The ribs enabled maximum structural performance,  made denser where they needed to cantilever while supporting a 250kg plane of acoustic glass.

Spiralling stairs growing from the corner of the room provide access, their lower levels continuing as alcove shelves beneath

Spiralling stairs growing from the corner of the room provide access, and flow between the pillars of the entry portal, their lower levels continuing as alcove shelves beneath. 

A slender CNC-carved oak line that serves as the front lip to the treads converges into a vertical web of lines which form a handrail. This turns to trace across a cupboard before splitting and looping along the shelf above the bed, around its window and back along both sides of the bed and desk, finally merging and diving into the floor to return to the graphic handrail line. Carefully machine-carved inlays enable steel reinforcement. 
Nestled in a shaded timber alcove at the end of the room is the double bed, hovering just high enough to allow passage beneath it in the room below, while cantilevering over the floor to offer sufficient legroom for its future transformation into a generous desk. A plastered side wall flows seamlessly into the ceiling of the room beyond, while its other timber storage side is pulled aside like a curtain to create an integrated ergonomic alcove. The bedhead is veneered with cross-grain book-matched walnut.

The judges called this ‘an intriguing example of contemporary living’, praising the beautiful curves and delicate stairs.

Credits

Building client/owner 
Private

Architect
Atmos Studio

Structural engineer  
Blue Engineering

Wood supplier 
James Latham

Other services
Object Design (CNC), Creffields (Timber & Boards) 

Wood species used
Latvian birch plywood, European oak, American black walnut 

 

Suppliers