This ground floor apartment housed in a former Edwardian Hotel on the River Thames in Henley, posed numerous design challenges. The apartment was dark, badly arranged along one long gloomy corridor and suffered noise problems from neighbours. The space did, however, have great potential with high ceilings, generous square footage and views across the Thames.

Rather than carving up the space using full height partitions, our concept was to create a series of ‘boxes (or pods) within a larger box’. The idea being to provide our clients with the accommodation they needed, whilst retaining a sense of openness and space. The main living-kitchen-dining area is the focal point, created to maximise the river views and incorporate the two bay windows. Bedrooms, bathrooms, utility and storage spaces are formed of a series of interconnecting boxes that vary in size and float within the main volume.

A disused lightwell near the main entrance door was commandeered into the apartment, forming a courtyard garden at the entrance, improving views from the front door and substantially increasing natural light within the entrance hall area. The practical arrangement of the pods has created a dynamic design with visual interest at every turn, drawing the visitor inside via mysterious pathways and unfolding double aspects.