Jul 17, 2017 / Interiors
Caroline Place by Groupwork + Amin Taha

Caroline Place is a minimalist interior design located in London, United Kingdom, designed by Groupwork + Amin Taha. Surrounded on three sides by eight and nine story mansion blocks shielding it from the heavy traffic on Bayswater Road and tourism on Queensway, Caroline Place is a quiet enclave of late 1950’s terraces north of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Built with a Modern Northern European sensibility of sharp brick lines and crisp mortar joints layered with softer timber detailing, their interior layouts remained firmly rooted in an earlier English Edwardian tradition. Retaining a desirous separation of served and servant areas of maids’ rooms, sculleries, coal houses and a working yard, altogether occupying the ground level while the owners were set out above, across larger light filled rooms.

Bayswater had however already begun to lose its luster to that class so that within a decade of being built its new younger inhabitants found these social conventions to be out of step with their aspirations. Undertaking iconoclastic remodeling of the interior and where possible the exterior and replacing these with what was felt appropriate at the time. Four decades on, the new occupiers, a family of five, retain the aspiration for open plan living with a desire for tactile material finishes and inevitably to different tastes. As the street façade had only been slightly remodeled with later windows and doors to no further purpose than expediency a decision was made to repair and restore the exterior finishes where their details were easily at hand from intact neighboring properties.

Some of the internal new brass detailing was brought forward in the form of door furniture to present some indication of the newer intervention. Early internal open up works revealed remains of original travertine flooring, densely plastered walls behind the 19760’s pine boarding and one room lined with dark cherry timber paneling. As travertine has a wide spectrum of textural and visual possibilities its reintroduction allowed for a hard wearing surface across each floor including the open courtyard and into garage. Varying from quarry tooled to polished these finishes emphasized and differentiated the journey from interior to exterior, from basement to ground and above.