Bankside Lofts, opposite the iconic Tate Modern building, was one of the first projects developed by the Manhattan Loft Corporation. They pioneered an unusual model, selling flats as ‘shells’ for owners to fit out themselves. YARD Architects were asked to reconfigure and update one of the apartments in the Victorian section of the building, for a couple who wanted more privacy and better entertaining space. The existing apartment had lots of character and architectural features, including three huge arched windows with steel frames overlooking Tate Modern, exposed brick, timber beams and concrete columns. Their design reinforces the architectural qualities of the space and uses robust materials that are in keeping with the industrial aesthetic of the building. They wanted to create a project which felt like it fitted with the building and would last for many years, without looking out of date.
The new structure for the mezzanine is completely free-standing with the perimeter walls of the apartment, made from large sections of timber. These mirror the existing ceiling beams, so the new elements feels like a part of the existing building, blending in to create a sense of a unity.The yellow staircase up to the mezzanine adds a pop of colour to the otherwise monochrome palette, and the steps double up as drawers for shoes.They used a simple palette of materials to complement those already found in the apartment. Steel crittall sliding doors and windows enclose the bedroom but allow the space to feel open and be filled with natural light. A hidden curtain can be drawn for privacy. The bathroom is seamlessly finished in Moroccan Tadelakt plaster, reminiscent of the concrete columns which were left exposed. Reeded glass on the mezzanine level offers a sense of privacy to the upper level whilst allowing light to flood the space.
Photography : Emanuelis Stasaitis