The project, in essence, was to extend this 17th century building into the rear garden. Interestingly, there was an old well in that part of the garden which our new building footprint would extend over. The clients did not want to get rid of the well by filling it in, they wanted it to become a feature within.
We had to come up with some idea’s to incorporate the well into the fabric of the building, to make it stand out without being an inconvenience. One idea was to extend the well up above ground level, using the same materials , making it look as authentic as possible, and then capping the top to form a dining table or breakfast bar. Another idea was to cover the opening of the well in a sheet of glass at ground level and allow it to become part of the floor. By installing some lights inside the well itself, this would light up the interior making it a focal point.
Either of the ideas would have created a talking point whenever they had guests over, but the client decided to go with the idea of covering it over with a glass sheet and illuminating it with lights connected the the inner side of the well. We assisted with this transformation, including choosing what we thought to be the best lights for the purpose.
The only unfortunate thing is that photographs of things like this never really look as good when presented on a web page as they do in real life. But on a good note, the client is delighted with the outcome, and I suppose that this is the thing which matters most in the long run.
Written by Jade Turney – Building Tectonics Ltd.
When you walk into a room there should be something that catches your eye, whether it’s a picture on the wall, an interesting piece of furniture or possibly the colour theme of the room. Focal points can be created in many ways. It really depends on what mood or ambiance you want to set for the room, or how you wish the room to be perceived spacially. In the case of a kitchen it could even come from an innovative gadget you’ve recently had installed. A really nice cooker could become a focal point in your kitchen and so you can have form and function combined.
Creating a focal point is easier than you might first think. It could be something as simple as a bold pattern on the wall or an interesting layout of some artwork, the way the lighting is laid out or even the simple notion of having a flat screen TV on the wall. The choice is yours, but whatever you choose remember that it may set the mood for the rest of the room. This is often a problem for style purists because a large flat screen TV in your Anne Hathaway lookalike cottage amid the antique furniture can be very incongruous and there is no real answer to it.
Even though we’re not interior designers, Building Tectonics were asked to help with the interior design of the Blue Orchid restaurant in Amersham. The location of the bar had been determined and would be very obvious when you entered the restaurant. Because we did not want the interior of the restaurant to look commercial, we designed the bar to look more like a domestic sideboard, and even though it was in keeping with the theme that was being developed. it also helped consolidate the theme and ambiance of the interior.
Tony, our chief designer, came up with an innovative design for the bar which essentially was a bar, but with panels attached onto the front and feet which appeared to lift the piece off the floor. The client liked this design, so he had the bar built, and this set the interior design process into motion. So when the client travelled to Thailand to get the rest of the furniture he chose items which would create a relaxed domestic feel. Even though there is a fair amount of decor in the establishment, this remains a strong focal point, as it is just so different. It is a necessary functional item, but with a little thought it was transformed into something special.