This house had been converted from a telephone exchange and had a secluded kitchen away from any of the family areas. The remit was to open up the space and create a kitchen with an island that allowed it to become the hub of the home. This proved to be more of a challenge than we first realised. The shaker style kitchen had been designed and agreed with the client. A structural engineer was brought in to establish how we would bridge the gap we were creating to ensure the stability of the building and meet building regulations. There was a very large ceiling cavity in one particular area that appeared to not be needed and allow for a much higher ceiling and a sense of more space.
Once the builder started to knock down the wall we very quickly discovered a structural problem. There had been a chimney in the centre of the property and the lower part had been removed at some point. However, there was still a brick hearth, fireplace and chimney on the first floor hidden in the walls that weren’t supported by anything! An urgent order of scaffolding and a prompt return visit by the structural engineer meant a few more steels were required to maintain the integrity of the building.
Whilst this impacted the project’s timeline and didn’t affect the final outcome. We managed to heighten the ceilings and bring light into this area that had always been very dark. It is the finishing touches that really enhance this kitchen. The clients were keen to have a design that reflected its industrial heritage, which was interpreted with the style of accessories including the bar stools, handles and chandelier, however the outstanding element is the fake brick wall. This provides, colour, texture and interest and looks as if it has always been there. The clients were delighted. So much so that we are now designing their next new home.