Tag Archives: architects in west london

Designing out sound in the garden

The garden in our Norfolk project is set back from the road but still there comes a whoosh every five minutes from the cars driving past in the nearby road. We wanted to create a calmer environment with pockets of tranquillity. So, what is the best way to eradicate unwanted sounds in the garden? We investigated some ways to help relieve the ears from traffic noise and help us enjoy the garden.

  1. Adding water features

The sound of moving water can be a relaxing addition to any garden and create a welcoming distraction. Sound can be created by creating a waterfall or using a fountain (differing scales will give varying results) from light splashing, gurgling or trickling to cascading and crashing into rocks. Not only a delight to look at water can disguise unwanted sounds.

designing out sound in the garden

Gurgling water fountain

2. Noisy plants

Plants themselves can make noise especially in particularly breezy sites. Our Norfolk site is surrounded by grass which creates waves of sound, giving a powerful but pleasing rustling.  There are also a number of swaying shrubs like the Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii), Love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena); that have dazzling bright blue flowers which form puffy seed-heads that rattle when shaken, Japanese Silver grass (Micanthus oligostachyus) and Bamboo

designing out sound in the garden

Love in a mist

designing out sound in gardens

Japanese Silver Grass

3. Plants that bring wildlife into your garden

Picking plants that attract both birds and insects will aid the concealment of sound. Nectar rich plants will attract pollinating insects and then birds will follow, so there will be a lot of acoustic activity from the birds chirping and the bees buzzing. Popular plants for insects are Honeysuckle (Lonicera), lavender (Lavandula), Japanese Anemone (Anemone hupehensis), Foxglove (Digitalis) and Paradise Joyce (Hosta hybrid cultivar paradise Joyce).

Japanese Anemone

designing out sound in the garden


4. Underfoot noise

During the autumn months the leaves of deciduous plants will create a crunching sound underfoot , as will loose gravel/ shingles material laid in pathways. Stems of plants that edge and lie on pathways will rustle or snap when you brush past. All these elements should be considered as they form part of the layering of sounds within the garden.

5. Physical barrier

Using hedgerows or dense evergreens may be your first thought to ward off noise but even at a depth of 25-30ft evergreen will only reduce sound by 25%. A solid man-made barrier is much more effective. A brick wall or solid timber fence will reduce traffic noise significantly if it is at least 2 metres tall giving a 50% reduction in sound creating some relaxing pockets of tranquility in the garden.


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Gardenista Winner August 2017




Weekend at the cottage

There was so much activity this weekend at our Norfolk project, with cabinets being fitted, walls being plastered, new timber staircase being clad and the hanging of the hand blown glass light bowls in the roof space!

The new pendants highlight not just the height of the room but the unused roof space and midnight black trusses giving a twinkling yet warming effect. Each light positioned was to to serve a different function, the patatas (potato-shaped) to give a focused light and the sigeretta (cigarette-shaped) lights to cast a general light, all by Album lighting.

A solid plywood stair graces the floors with a sharp modern geometric twist. The stair is not directly fixed to the wall to give the illusion of it floating, this helps the solidity to be broken and an excuse to introduce lights from the underside to add drama!

Metallic Zellige black tiles form a mottled splashback to the upper kitchen area, creating memories of the water pools we saw in the grass areas of the marshland. Daily ever-changing reflections are formed on the tile’s surface with greens from the main garden and blues from the sky.

Downstairs the use of green Richlite doors (an eco friendly paper-based fibre composite) and golden oak carcusses of the storage cabinets are to remind the guest of the surrounding green marshes and golden grass lands. Thanks to Jack Trench for the doors and Joinex for the joinery pieces.

Finally the oiled hand carved oak wood floor gives character and interest to both ground and first floors. The feeling underfoot is rather like that of the dried salt marshes, which can be experienced in the numerous walks along the nearby coastal path.

Sensitively designed, all the finishes contribute to a property that not only relates to its function and appearance, but most heavily on its location.

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Work in progress and a story of Zulu baskets in Norfolk

Gardenista Best UK Landscape Finalists

Gardenista best uk landscape finalistsGardenista Best UK Landscape Finalists logo

We are lucky enough to have been made Gardenista Best UK Landscape Finalists for one of our garden designs belonging to a beautiful property we refurbished in Holland Park.

The Story…

We convinced the clients to demolish an ugly 80’s conservatory at the rear of their townhouse to reclaim space for a small sheltered garden. The private garden is linked to a large communal garden set in the centre of the Holland Park area. Inspired by the clients’ childhood spent in Kenya and South Africa, we designed a bold planting scheme and sculptural landscape.

The design

A collection of gigantic ferns, slate and galvanised steel, terracotta painted walls and a bronze mirror formed an unusual and highly evocative palette. The luscious greenery is organised in a border with free standing planters, a green wall and a trellis -, the African inspired furniture and the small shed all set out a small but beautiful garden.To expand the planted area, one of the party wall has been kitted out with a green wall system. The planting scheme included heucheras, aromatics and trailing strawberries.

Solid sculptural slate steps appear to float above the main paved terrace, provide additional seating space and integrate with the powder coated bespoke planters. The steps then transform into a galvanised perforated steel sheet to contrast with the bright green of the ferns foliage and darkness of the slate.

Three full height sliding doors lead into the garden from the basement level.The black slim door frames, slate floor, black plastic chairs and black bespoke metal and timber table all create a graphic element and recede against the luscious surroundings to create a relaxing, protected environment.

If you live in the US and you like our garden then please vote for us by clicking the link below and clicking on vote!

Gardenista Best UK Landscape Finalists – Studio 29 Architects

House in Holland Park


Urban Jungle publication – House and Garden magazine

House & Garden article Holland Park house September 2016

Rare marble

We were lucky enough to be invited to Bari in Italy by Romagno Marmi to finalise some rare marbles for flooring and for the kitchen for the refurbishment of a large house located in Surrey.

Romagno Marmi are a traditional Italian marble company with seventy years of experience and passion. They source high quality stone to use for both construction and interior design. Romagno Marmi showed us around their warehouse, workshop and showroom. The selection of marble was beautiful with every colour imaginable. For the Surrey house refurbishment we are using a unique blue stone sourced from South America for the master bathroom suite in a line pattern, a warm grey white-veined and red-flecked marble for the kitchen island for the worktop and splashback. On the ground floor of the house in the main living areas we are using a rough brushed grey marble cut into diamond tiles with border to create a coherency between all the living areas.

Marble Quarry Greece

After the trip we were also sent some photos of the quarries from which some of the stone is located. If you scale the stone steps against the trucks you suddenly realise the enormity of the landscape. It truly is incredible to remember where the marble originates from.

Thanks again to Vito and Antonio of Romagno Marmi and their incredible hospitality during our time with them!


Images of a barn

Images of a barn

The design process of our barn project is well underway but where does one start? A glimpse into our thought pattern!

With the palette….

Armed with a selection of existing construction materials of course, such as bricks in terracotta, sandstone and chalk. We then started to create a palette, we love the unstable look of the metre thick flint walls wouldn’t the flint stones look great with sharp rendered borders to give a crisp edge to for the new openings?

Terracotta colour bricks can then be patterned in a way to achieve a beautiful almost woven-like texture in the floor which when combined with an underfloor heating system gives a cosy surface perfect in the chillier months.

brick texture floor

And then the envelope…

The existing barn is pierced with vast swathes of glass originating from the 70s. Single glazed safety glass with spindly metal frames. We carried out a lot of research looking at a number of companies who produce glass for building conservation. The aim is to get an elegant slim frame with deep profile to provide a striking but strong outline and rhythm to the property. The look of the refined framing against the undulating flint and pan tiles gives a good contrast and a luxurious touch to a once working barn building with openings to the elements.

After a visit to Architect@work this year we happened upon Capoferri . An Italian window manufacturer who produces large glazed units with thin bronzed frames who have worked with the likes of Renzo Piano is some of the more remote areas of the US. Perfect for a coastal retreat.

Capoferri windows

The structure….

The ceiling of the main space of the first floor is to be opened up. New timber trusses are to be introduced to give back the characteristic barn interior look. The repetitive pattern of the trusses will add structure for the large span roof and add interest to the space which has the most amazing view over the marshes. Investigating the design of the trusses, brings up a lot of questions – larch or green oak? , standard or scissor truss? modern or classic?. Looking at Japanese methods we might decide to incorporate complex jointing between the wood to give a elegant beauty (whilst avoiding any unnecessary steel) to the ceiling.

Old vs new, how to blend the two?Neues Museum Berlin

Bulging brick walls and perfectly linear concrete stair balustrades as shown in the Neues Museum in Berlin by David Chipperfield. The image shows well how a delicate intervention can work well, keeping the historic fabric intact, whilst adapting the building to accommodate new roles. We have to understand how to relate every old piece of building to the new. How to align new walls with bellying flint, how new framed doors and windows will sit in the deep stone walls pre-empting everything that a builder will encounter.

It’s an enjoyable ongoing process and we travel back to the East Coast tomorrow. We will report more when we start detailing the internal elements and materials, to create atmospheric relaxed spaces!

Kitchen Extension March 2017

Yahoo Finance Kitchen extension published March 2017 , see article below or click on following link for original publication


Kitchen extension Yahoo Finance March 2017Word from Studio 29 Architects on the kitchen extension:

The owners of this property in Queen’s Park asked us to add a house extension to enlarge the existing open space kitchen.

The brief called for a big dining area off the kitchen for family weekend meals and parties. They also asked us for lots of natural lights and openings to look on to their beautiful garden they personally design and care for, but they specified they absolutely did not want a glass box. The materials of the new house extension mimics the ones of the original house, with reclaimed brick walls and timber French doors, while the design is a very simple pitched gable, in perfect axis with the very graceful and symmetric rear elevation of the house. Brick details frame the pitched roof wall and a round window adds a touch of quirk and an eye to the sky. Inside the walls are painted a light terracotta shade to reflect the clients’ love of colour. Glass hand made pendants by Album hung at random lengths and add interest, creating an intimate light over the big dining table that fulfils the client’s brief no unflattering down-lighters above my head when I am entertaining!.

This article was published by Homify for the Yahoo Finance pages, our Homify profile is https://www.homify.co.uk/professionals/472514/studio-29-architects-ltd

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Planning consultation

Refurbishment and interior design of a Chelsea Apartment

Refurbishment and interior design of a Chelsea Apartment

We have now completed our project in Chelsea which was a full renovation of a penthouse apartment with fine vistas over London. Alterations to the property included opening up the main living areas and altering the existing layout to allow more natural light to enter into the space, to enjoy the spectacular view and create a larger area for cocktail and dinner parties. Much needed additional storage was designed into the layout.

Materials were carefully selected to add ambience and warmth to the space. In the kitchen, the central island was clad in brass to give an iridescent warm shimmer in the living areas as well as forming a dynamic centrepiece to the room.The kitchen splashback was a highly reflective marble composite which created a dramatic veining but also reflected the view. Espresso kitchens cleverly designed the kitchen to conceal appliances and increase storage with minimal fuss, giving a neat modern effect.

The floor by Tuttoparquet which runs throughout all the main spaces is a oak parquet basket weave which helped the irregular shaped rooms to appear rational.

In the living room striking furniture pieces were picked to highlight the bay window and height, a sofa by Flexform, arched floor light and mirror from Chaplins to reflect light for the darker lobby space. The windows were also softened in this room using beautiful delicate dark grey blinds which shimmer in the sunlight by Pat Giddens. The existing fireplace was too small for the living area and so a new fire was added at a higher, more intimate, level and bounded with an amber veined marble surround to catch the sunlight.

In the bedroom area a new dressing room and ensuite were added, as well as ample storage behind the bed. All the built-in storage was painted to resemble the walls to maximise the space. The platform bed was clad in tan leather and low in height to make the room feel larger.

In the bathroom a small basin and storage unit and shower were introduced making a compact but practical space. A dressing room was also added to keep the main bedroom free of clothing and clutter.

The colour palette comprised of warm greys, tan browns and ambers to give a relaxed but interesting ambience. The brass and amber tinged marble pick out the more formal side of the flat to give an elegance well suited to its function.

Thanks to James Tarry for the photographs, especially in the ever-changing weather patterns!

For more information regarding this project please see the following blog:

Final touches: a top floor mansion-block flat in Chelsea

Onsite: progress of a full refurbishment to a Kensington town house, black flowers included

Progress of a full refurbishment to a Kensington town house

Great progress on our full refurbishment in Kensington, which we will hand over at the end of May.

The bones, veins and nervous system of the house are in place. These are the walls, ceilings, plumbing and electrics, if you mind my “anatomical” view of the building.

We are now working on … the skin (and the rest!).

The walls are receiving a first coat of colour and  – as the beautiful Ebony&Co floor has been all carefully protected –  we walk around site with a couple of leftover planks, just to check that the all colours work well together on site (as opposed as on our colour swatches).

The stone tops for the vanity units have been finalised. Statuario marble won over a number of other contestants. It is the king of marble, after all, a rare variety of very white Carrara, with subtle grey veins, favourite by Michelangelo and Canova.

The new staircase is in place and we have finalised the choice of banister and runner.

The first is composed by simple raw steel spindles and a white oak handrail. It will be stained to match the floor. The latter is a great little number by Crucial Trading, in their new Sisool range. A clever mix of wool and sisal, the runner is full of “rugged charm and softness” as the manufacturer perfectly says on their website.  It and will add a layer of texture to our mainly monochrome colour scheme.

Sylvie – our favourite garden designer, founder of Ginger Landscape – is working on the garden. It is a small space, but on two levels and with good proportions. We had a look at the planting scheme and are in love with the mix of dark foliage and lime contrasts,  and the blue and greys Sylvie is proposing (and the black flowers: Agapanthus and Irises!).

How to: make sense of decorating a whole house

Final touches: a basement re-design in Brook Green

So many times we live in spaces that do not suit us and we do not know how to start the change.

Our clients had been living in this house for a few years and never manage to like their basement. The kitchen was large but plain, the garden view was interrupted by the frames of the concertina doors, the dining table seemed to float in the space without anchoring and a seldom used full size ping-pong table filled one third of the plan.

After our first meeting we assessed the clients’ priorities: they love entertaining and always start their gatherings with drinks to then have full seated dinner.

We started the design with the kitchen. An oversized island doubles as bar for the guests to have drinks while the host finishes cooking. The kitchen wow factor is provided by a copper worktop, lit by a couple of Tom Dixon’s glass pendants (for atmosphere) and a technical spotlight (for the cook).

After drinks the guests move to the dinner table. This area is very cosy, with lowered ceilings (to hide a couple of ugly down-stands) walls modern panelling hiding storage and the staircase and a chandelier formed by translucent porcelain disks provides warm indirect light to the table top.

After dinner the conversation continues on the coral sofa by Habitat in front of the fireplace which has a cantilevered concrete hearth doubling as extra seat and shelf.

Fineline sliding doors frame the garden and are opened in the summer to connect the inside and the patio, both tiled in Jumble tiles by Domus.

Now the basement is our clients’ and their friends favourite floor of the house.