Restoration and refurbishment of a two bedroom duplex apartment in a brightly coloured slab block of this much-acclaimed Grade II listed modernist housing estate.
The Golden Lane Estate was built in the 1950s by the newly formed practice Chamberlin, Powell & Bon. These young architects were influenced by the modern movement of the early 20th century and in particular by the work of Le Corbusier. They incorporated open plan floors, double height stair spaces and large windows, using a bold geometric form both in the individual buildings and in the layout of the apartments. Most notably they applied an joyously striking primary colour palette which serves to create an architectural vibrancy that is somewhat absent from its neighbour the Barbican Estate, designed by the same architects a few years later.
Many of this apartment's original features had fortunately been retained underneath several poorly executed previous refurbishments. The project set out to restore as much of the apartment as possible, and any new design elements were to follow the intention of the original design. The original cantilevered concrete stair was stripped back to bare concrete, a new concrete floor was laid, walls replastered and panels replaced. A new kitchen and bathroom were installed according to the original layout.
The living room and main bedroom have large windows that face the towers of the Barbican Estate next door and provide views towards Great Arthur House and the rest of the Estate. The unique and innovative counter-weight vertical sliding door to the balcony was found to be still in perfect working order and simply needed its metal frame cleaning and floor jamb repaired.
The kitchen and second bedroom face onto the shared gardens and main concourse of the Estate. The original dividing screen between the living space and the kitchen had been badly mistreated over the years and all the original glass panels removed or covered up. A sensitive and careful renovation restored this beautiful central feature back to its former use allowing abundant natural daylight to flood all the way through the apartment from the front and rear of the block throughout the day, as the architects intended.