Shopfront Apartment at 280 Gray's Inn Road

Daykin Marshall Studio, London, 2011


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Approaching the shopfront 

Daykin Marshall Studio (website)     Download Original

  • Approaching the shopfront    
  • Shopfront from across the street    
  • Shopfront hallway    
  • Detail | Rotating oak shutters    
  • From the shopfront to the dining booth    
  • Kitchen shelving through the dining booth    
  • Detail | Kitchen shelving    
  • Dining booth and shopfront from the kitchen    
  • Detail | Dining booth joinery    
  • Detail | Dining booth joinery    
  • Detail | Shopfront     
  • Detail | Dining booth joinery    
  • Descending the staircase    
  • Lower hallway towards the master bedroom    
  • Master bedroom    
  • Dressing space with terrace above    
  • Rear terrace with bench seat (encloses natural ventilation inlet to basement)    
  • Master bedroom with paired doors to the shower room and lower hallway     
  • Shower room basin set into a carved niche    
  • Detail | Patina and texture of Tadelakt: a traditional Moroccan waterproof plaster sealed using olive oil soap    
  • Entering the Bath Room     
  • Radiused plasterwork softens wall plane, creating carved space for the bath and inset niches    
  • Shopfront at night    
  • Ground floor plan    
  • Basement plan    
  • Long section A-A    
  • Long section B-B    
  • Short sections    
  • Short sections    
  • Before conversion | The shopfront    
  • Before conversion | The shopfront interior    
  • Before conversion | Ground floor looking to the rear    
  • Before conversion | Staircase    
  • Before conversion | Basement area    
  • Before conversion | Below the terrace    
  • Before conversion | Terrace    
  • Sketch drawing of the proposed shopfront    
  • Sketches of the carved bathrooms    
  • Working Detail | Shopfront plan & section    
  • Working Detail | Shopfront internal elevations    
  • Working Detail | Rotating shutter & glazing details    

A new apartment within a converted shop in Central London

What would it be like to live in a shop?

Balancing the excitement of display with a desire for privacy was the key in this project to convert two commercial spaces into a modern apartment. The design uses the accoutrements of traditional shops; the shop-window, display shelving, counters, booths and back-of-house, to create an interesting set of living spaces.

Most shop conversions blank-out the shop-window limiting the available light and ‘turning a blind eye’ to the street. Here the transparency of the shopfront is retained as a display case for jewellery design by one of the owners. A second layer of shelving inside forms an entrance hallway and living room storage. The shelving and the objects displayed combine with rotating shutters to enliven interaction with the busy street while forming ‘visual noise’ that maintains light and privacy within the apartment.

A skylight brightens the basement level master bedroom situated in the quietest space furthest from the street. A pair of adjacent bathrooms enjoy their seclusion in the middle of the plan. Lined completely in dark Moroccan waterproof plaster they offer a calm place of retreat.


  • Begun: Jun 2011
  • Completed: Nov 2011
  • Floor area: 90m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £110,000
  • Tender date: Feb 2011
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works
  • Address: 280 Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8EB, United Kingdom

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