an im­pres­sive art col­lec­tion dic­tates this London home’s con­sid­ered over­haul

A London home un­der­goes a cal­cu­lated over­haul to show­case an im­pres­sive art col­lec­tion

Condé Nast House & Garden - - CONTENTS - TEXT NONIE NIESEWAND PHO­TO­GRAPHS MICHAEL SIN­CLAIR

AVic­to­rian house built in the Ital­ianate style in a smart con­ser­va­tion area of London is an un­likely set­ting for provoca­tive con­tem­po­rary art. Yet ar­chi­tect and in­te­rior de­signer shalini Misra has cre­ated a dra­matic space ev­ery bit as bold as the own­ers’ col­lec­tion of art. Just inside the front door, vis­i­tors are greeted by a sculp­ture called Almech

(2011), by the Pol­ish artist Pawel al­thamer. Its bone-white face is re­vealed as ban­dages mum­mi­fy­ing the fe­male form are peeled away. This could be seen as a metaphor for the house it­self – its Vic­to­rian past stripped to face the fu­ture. step fur­ther inside and it be­comes ob­vi­ous that this is not a house for a timid de­signer.

That is surely why shalini was com­mis­sioned. her projects, which in­clude the in­te­ri­ors of re­gent’s Park pent­houses and an apart­ment in new York, are bold, ex­cit­ing spa­ces that bear the hall­marks of a de­signer with ex­per­tise in fin­ish and de­tail.

hav­ing been fa­mil­iar with shalini’s work, the own­ers knew not to ex­pect plain white cubed spa­ces. an es­sen­tial part of their brief was to make the house, which they share with their three chil­dren, big­ger, in or­der to dis­play their art col­lec­tion. Work­ing in fi­nance and also own­ers of a gallery in Is­tan­bul, the cou­ple have a col­lec­tion that in­cludes pieces by some of the best-known artists of the twenty-first cen­tury: ger­hard richter, anselm Kiefer, david hock­ney, antony gorm­ley and Tracey emin, to name a few.

The base­ment was dug deep to cre­ate an extra 418 square me­tres for a swim­ming pool, gym and spare rooms, mak­ing the house nearly 900 square me­tres across five floors. Weigh­ing up the art­works, shalini de­ter­mined where to place them and, in some in­stances, had to cre­ate new spa­ces. In the base­ment hall, a Pe­dro reyes Los Mu­tantes mixed-me­dia se­ries of pho­to­graphs and paint­ings is hung ver­ti­cally, column by column, cre­at­ing a nar­ra­tive. To recre­ate the in­stal­la­tion as the artist in­tended, shalini de­signed a curv­ing wall, painted a deep mush­room colour.

The re­lo­cated stair­case now moves clock­wise be­tween all floors, a choice in­spired by Vastu shas­tra prin­ci­ples – a tra­di­tional hindu sys­tem of architecture meant to bring har­mony into the home. shalini, who read architecture at new delhi’s school of Plan­ning and architecture, fol­lowed by an Msc in vir­tual re­al­ity at univer­sity col­lege London, ad­heres to the sys­tem’s ba­sic prin­ci­ples, and it ap­pears to work. There is also a con­cealed lift hid­den be­hind bronze doors with hand-em­broi­dered pan­els. It is just one ex­am­ple of the dec­o­ra­tive de­tail­ing that shalini likes.

an open-plan kitchen-din­ing area on the lower ground floor is ar­rest­ing in its use of ex­ag­ger­ated scale, with an out­size chan­de­lier hang­ing above an is­land unit al­most as long as the room. a huge pho­to­graph by Ma­rina abramovic, en­ti­tled The Kitchen I: Lev­i­ta­tion of Saint Theresa (2009), shows the saint in flight above stacked pots and pans; it too hangs on a wall that shalini cre­ated specif­i­cally for its size and di­men­sions.

In the open-plan liv­ing space one floor higher, the floors and walls were spe­cially re­in­forced for more large-scale paint­ings and life-size fig­u­ra­tive sculp­tures. antony gorm­ley’s robotic fig­ure, Build (2010), stands guard on black and white mar­ble floors, fac­ing a paint­ing by anselm Kiefer. door­ways widened for glimpses of art­works be­yond open into

‘The art­work is a con­nect­ing fea­ture that tells a story through­out’

a re­cep­tion area where the fam­ily en­ter­tains. over­scaled cor­nices wrap around the french win­dows to dou­ble as pel­mets for vel­vet cur­tains. a black chevron tim­ber floor leads to an or­nate in­laid mar­ble floor, which de­fines a more for­mal din­ing space around a cur­va­ceous ta­ble by Mas­si­m­il­iano Lo­catelli from nil­u­far gallery. Be­spoke fur­ni­ture is mixed with mod­ern de­sign clas­sics, in con­trast­ing tex­tures of leather and linen, vel­vet and wool, and a smoky pal­ette of deep blue, grey and char­coal. There are golden ac­cents in the cur­tains and bronze-topped ta­bles.

as­cend­ing to the first floor, to the main bed­room and bath­room, the pal­ette – and ma­te­ri­als – soften.

The floor­ing com­bines tan leather tiles laid in a her­ring­bone pat­tern with tim­ber boards. clad with wooden slats, the ceil­ing holds the warm tones of the faux suede and leather wardrobe doors. david hock­ney’s paint­ing,

Study for the Em­peror’s Palace (1981), from his opera set for Igor stravin­sky’s

The Nightin­gale, is dis­played above the leather head­board. ‘head­boards should never face north,’ is an­other

Vastu shas­tra prin­ci­ple. on the top floor are two fur­ther bed­rooms.

‘The scale of this home could be in­tim­i­dat­ing,’ says shalini. ‘But we have achieved an in­te­rior that is warmly wel­com­ing, with com­mu­nal ar­eas where the fam­ily loves to spend time, along with great spa­ces for en­ter­tain­ing. The art­work is a con­nect­ing fea­ture that tells a story through­out the house.’

two mir­rors by wil­liam em­mer­son from ralph pucci hang above the dou­ble sinks in the main bath­room

GUBI ‘ADNET CURCULAIRRE’ MIR­ROR, POR, créma; KARAKUL RUG, R3 500 PER SQUARE ME­TRE, coral & hive

GIO­VANNI BAR­BIERI FOR NEW RAVENNA ‘BIANCO AN­TICO’ TILE IN TIMEWORN FIN­ISH, POR, new ravenna

BRASS BASIN, POR, rossco

BEOLA WHITE MAR­BLE SLAB, POR, womag

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.