St. John’s Orchard residences by John Smart Architects

John Smart Architects re-imagined a distinctive local landmark in South London, as they gently refurbished and transformed the building into four elegant houses. The Old St John’s Convent and Orchard at 17 Grove Park has been given a fresh lease of life through combining the rich history of the original Victorian building through a series of interventions that ultimately created a contemporary a set of modern, sophisticated and efficient residences.

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

©Tim Crocker

Each house is set over 5 floors and spans over 4000 square meters, presenting a multi-level dwelling experience that is made out of a series of unique and well-appointed spaces.  The Great Room Floor is undeniably the focal point in all four residences; a wide open area with ample light that is conceived as a single space, whilst providing three distinct territories within the original ground floor of the convent, maintaining an open dialogue across the floor.

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

© Ed Sumner

The Great Room’s openness is disrupted by a bold oak library unit, which forms a central ‘furniture wall’ in the space; concealed full height doors allow free flow around it and the generation of  a fluid space.

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

©Simon Ellis

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

© Ed Sumner

Moreover, the fumed oak joinery relates to the fumed oak stair; a massive, solid, impressive staircase that dominates the residence intending to bridge the verticality of the central core into the spatial dynamic.

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

© Ed Sumner

This five-storey stair is a tribute to the beauty of craftsmanship and unique detailing; created  in a workshop and assembled on site, this unique, well-crafted, curved piece of work is transformed into a seamless flight that rises through the core of the house, allowing smooth access and flow to all different levels of the residence.

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

© Ed Sumner

John Smart Architects have designed an open plan cooking and dining space; a long and narrow area that is situated under a dramatic six-meter ‘double-height’ void.

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

©Tim Crocker

The room features a full height oak window with a sliding door, which frames impressive view of the gardens and the terrace, whilst it gives access to the outside spaces.  The boundaries of the interior extend to the outside, creating an illusion of as well as a garden backdrop to cooking, eating and entertaining in one light-filled room.

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

© Ed Sumner

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

©Simon Ellis

On the whole, John Smart Architects design  bridges the gap between the old and the new, merges the boundaries of the exterior and interior territory, successfully creating a set of residences  that are  efficient along with proposing an elegant and refined aesthetic. The houses demonstrate a set of careful interventions; a celebration of material purity while at the same time they fulfills their  own purpose; to offer a welcoming, comfortable and serene dwelling experience to their  residents.

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

© Ed Sumner

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

© Ed Sumner

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

©John Smart Architects

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

©John Smart Architects

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

©John Smart Architects

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

©John Smart Architects

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

©John Smart Architects

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

©John Smart Architects

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

©John Smart Architects

St. John’s Orchard by John Smart Architects

©John Smart Architects

 

Words: Ivi Vassilopoulou

 


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