VATRAA provides pink plaster partitions to renovation of townhouse in south London


The architecture studio VATRAA has a Don’t Move, Improve! Awarded this renovation of the London meetinghouse with pink plastered walls and an oversized window.

The project, called the Council House Renovation, involved a complete renovation and remodeling of the two bedroom house in Bermondsey, south London.

VATRAA’s design was a joint winner in the Compact Design of the Year 2021 category for Don’t Move, Improve!

An oversized window creates front-to-back transparency during the renovation of the Council House

VATRAA customers wanted a warm, contemporary interior that would offer them more space, but without an extension that would disrupt the appearance of the community property built in the 1980s.

Instead, the architects wanted to create space in the small, 76-square-meter apartment with only minimal intervention.

Council house renovation with pink plaster wallsThe architects created a warm and contemporary look

In view of the possibilities that arise from the small footprint of seven by seven meters for improved transparency from front to back, the architects exchanged a decorative bay window for a larger, clean, square window.

It creates a new aesthetic feature and frames the view of the evergreen front yard.

Living room with pink plaster wallsCeiling beams are exposed in the living room

Another important feature is the textured, dark pink walls.

This effect is achieved with what VATRAA calls “mundane” plaster, British Gypsum Multifinish, thereby avoiding the cost and resources of wall paints altogether.

A garden studio in green terrazzo

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VATRAA carefully applied the plaster to achieve a textured and slightly reflective finish that responds well to daylight and creates different moods and effects at different times of the day.

Together with white ceilings and whitewashed oak floors, it creates an aesthetic backdrop for the customers’ collection of art and design objects.

Oak dining table with light through a large windowThere are whitewashed floors and white ceilings

For the floor plan, VATRAA was led from the existing stairs and heating sources, a feed water tank that is part of a communal system.

To take advantage of the heat, they placed the washroom around it to allow clothes to air dry faster and the bathroom directly above so that the floor tiles could be heated without additional heating.

White pantry and kitchen cabinetsAn angled pantry optimizes the space under the stairs

Each of the other rooms has its own atmosphere depending on its function.

The architects enlarged the entrance hall by opening the ceiling to the pitched roof and building the old outer loggia into the interior.

Kitchen sink during the renovation of the meeting houseThe kitchen has bespoke furniture and cabinets

In the living room, they revealed the previously hidden structural beams in the ceiling, which made the 2.4 meter high room feel taller.

In the dining room, they created an angled pantry that makes optimal use of the uncomfortable space under the stairs, and added bespoke solid oak dining furniture.

Staircase with skylightDifferent light qualities create different moods in the house

The two bedrooms on the upper floor are all white to create a contrast to the stimulating warmth of the living areas on the ground floor.

“The morning transition between the night and day zone becomes an event that gives the homeowner a sense of energy as soon as she enters the stairwell and descends to the ground floor,” said VATRAA.

“With thoughtful decisions based entirely on the context in which we operated, we have managed to transform a nondescript ex-council house into a house with a distinctive character that is now proud of its history through space, light and Materials to tell. “

White bedroom with roof lightingThe upstairs bedrooms are a contrast in clean white

VATRAA was founded in 2018 by Anamaria Pircu and Bogdan Rusu, who are based across London and Bucharest. They completed the renovation of the council house in 2020.

It was called Don’t Move, Improve! Compact design of the year next to a two and a half story house by B-VDS Architecture, another project in a community building.

The photography is by Jim Stephenson