Victorian minimalist: inside Gable House’s pared-back Scandi interior
When faced with the redesign of a Victorian townhouse, most architects would be tempted to go for a typical open-plan floorplate; not Edmonds + Lee Architects. The San Francisco-based firm decided to buck the trend, and maintain the division between different rooms in Gable House, one of their recent residential projects in their home city. The architects decided instead to focus on the internal flow and the strategic sequence of spaces.
Working the client who is also a designer, the architects masterminded the 3,000 sq ft renovation and extension by embracing the original house’s character, and bringing it into the 21st century with carefully placed details and an overall Scandinavian aesthetic.
The floor is lined with extra long, Dinesen Douglas Fir planks, creating a seamless interior. The client’s favourite objects are the highlights of each room, explain the architects. So there are pieces by Arne Jacobsen and from Carl Hansen and B&B Italia, all housed beneath the existing, but refurbished pitched roof – a key architectural element the architects decided to retain and celebrate.
Gable House’s main living level is the raised ground floor, with a basement below hosting the garage and auxiliary spaces. The living room and the kitchen and dining area (with cabinetry designed by Sozo Studio) sit separately, lit brightly by large openings towards the landscaped garden by Garden Route Company. The three bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms occupy the top two floors.
The carefully choreographed rooms were designed to ‘draw visitors through the house, with each room offering a different experience’, say the architects. The sequence reaches its culmination at the very top.
‘At the top of this procession is a celebration of the original architecture of the building’, say the architects. ‘A moment of jubilance that sets the home apart from the flat ceiling typical of modern renovations. The attic of Gable House instead reflects and honours its pitched roof, featuring skylights and a playful approach to cove lighting. The end result is a house that is airy with effortless, timeless and tactile minimalism.’