If there is a common thread in my work it is the belief that the spaces we live in, and the objects we interact with, should be beautiful and this beauty we find in the human form. So I look to humanise my work and anything that I can’t make beautiful I hide out of view.
Adriana Natcheva, an award-winning architect and partner at practice Groves Natcheva, bought her stunning flat in 2008 after falling in love with the beautiful exterior of the former stable block, a stone’s throw from Kensington Gardens. “I liked the external environment and the views from the windows,” she says. “I liked the volume of the space and I knew that I could work with it to create something good – all the fundamentals were there.”
Adriana gutted the whole space, tearing down all of the partition walls, leaving only a shell. She then added huge new windows at the back of the flat to bring in light from the south and a mezzanine level for the bedroom above the dining area, leaving double height ceilings and an open plan living room and kitchen. “I wanted the space to have one single volume, which boat-like contains all the elements of a house such as the kitchen, dressing room, living room, library and bedroom,” she says.
The kitchen, a bar, her dressing room and the hallway leading to the bathroom are all cleverly hidden behind sleek black lacquered sliding doors so that the open plan room can be instantly transformed into a large kitchen, luxurious dressing room or intimate space simply by rearranging the doors. Her bedroom appears to float above the kitchen and dining space, hidden behind the mezzanine wall, while a library is tucked away above the sliding doors that open to reveal her closet. “If there is a common thread in my work it is the belief that the spaces we live in, and the objects we interact with, should be beautiful and this beauty we find in the human form,” she explains. “So I look to humanise my work and anything that I can’t make beautiful I hide out of view.”
Adriana’s philosophy is that her client’s personality that should be embedded in the building. “Since this is my space, it reflects who I am and what is beautiful to me,” she says. “I live in one room which has many guises, just like a person has many moods,” she says. “I love every one of them.”