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  • I love a lot of things about modern architecture and the lifestyle that you can create with a modern house.

  • But equally, I think you can get obsessive about your space and sometimes that can lead to a controlled environment.

  • And it's important in a family house that there's a looseness and a comfort.

  • I think that tension for me is quite interesting and sometimes quite a challenge.

  • I'm Katie Woollacott, I'm an architect.

  • And we're in Hampstead in a house that my husband and I built.

  • We lived in the original house on the site and it was a good experience for the family.

  • It was very sweet.

  • It was very intense, but it was also very tight.

  • And as the children got bigger, it got increasingly difficult to live in.

  • Designing this house was like solving a Rubik's cube.

  • First of all there's the shape of the site, which is really unusual.

  • The fact that it's in a conservation area, there's a general distaste for anything modern.

  • So it was how to make a house that was modern but on second glance.

  • We had to design this form within these constraints.

  • There are all these things that as an architect we're taught.

  • We need more light and we need to take down the walls.

  • But I think as time has gone on, we've begun to realise that if you take down all the walls, there's no place to hang the pictures.

  • And if you put in too many windows, I mean, I describe it as like an overexposed photograph.

  • Tuning the light, so that there's not too much and there's not too little.

  • Also light balance within the room is so critical.

  • It's not just getting the light, but what does it fall on?

  • What I think is great about contemporary houses is that you can design them in a way that suits, how we live today.

  • Houses today are at a different temperature than they were in Victorian times.

  • And the relationship between the kitchen and the living spaces is different because it's not servant and served.

  • It's just such a luxury, such a privilege to be able to design a house and inhabit it, and see how it affects your way of life.

I love a lot of things about modern architecture and the lifestyle that you can create with a modern house.

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A2 UK modern rubik cube rubik design architect cube

‘Rubik’s Cube House’: architects Katy Woollacott and Patrick Gilmartin's family home in Hampstead

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    zoe posted on 2021/01/31
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