Heath Flat

Hayatsu Architects , London, 2020


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All photographs Max Creasy     Download Original

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The project is about transforming an Edwardian four-bedroom flat into a light-filled open-plan flexible space for a young family.

Heath Flat faces south, overlooking Hampstead Heath, receiving sunlight from morning to evening through its projecting bay windows. With its inherent deep-plan arrangement, bringing the abundance of sunligh
nto the heart of the space was the paramount concern.

The existing rooms are opened up by removing heavy masonry walls replaced with new steel portal frames. New timber framed glazed screens are inserted in the steel frames. The original proportions of the rooms are maintained, with the retention of as-found cornices and fireplaces. Thes
ooms are divided with sliding screens, giving a flexibility to open and close, creating enfilade of spaces.

The interior of the flat references the Japanese Mingei movement in the 1930s, with many handmade surfaces with rich textures and colours
he floor is made from reclaimed 150-year-old oak boards, arranged in a traditional Korean floor style. The dark timber floor floods the entire flat, giving an order of grid and modularity. Like a tatami mat, the prefabricated floor panels allowed the fast installation with minimum on-site alterations. The surface is highly polished to reflect natural light deep into the space. The undulating surface of the old wood is soft to touch under one’s feet.

The bespoke doorknob design was derived from wooden logs found in the heath. By picking the right size wood and cutting a few cuts into it, a piece of wood becomes a thing to grip with the hand. The form, colour and texture of the wooden object is translated into a cast ceramic, made from recycled clay from Stoke-on-Trent, smoked in the barbeque grill for 2
ours to imprint a deep charred colour unique to each handle.

Annual CO2 data was not provided


  • Begun: Nov 2019
  • Completed: Apr 2020
  • Floor area: 135m2
  • Sector: Residential
  • Total cost: £295,540
  • Funding: Private
  • Tender date: Aug 2019
  • Procurement: JCT minor works
  • Address: Hampstead, London, NW5, United Kingdom

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