I met Francisco Draisci at May Design Week, the head of Islington-based Draisci Studio. The multi-disciplinary practice of 4 architects work on a variety of projects including residential builds and art installations.
This umbrella installation entitled Spring Forest was created in collaboration with Fulton Umbrellas for Clerkenwell Design Week 2012. The 100 umbrellas held up by red-clad scaffolding are supposed to look like giant poppies. The installation, designed to be a temporary talking point during Design Week, needed to have maximum impact on a limited budget. And, the umbrellas could be recycled!!
I talked to Francisco about three recent residential projects because I know that’s what most relevant to my readers. We talked about three very different types of homes – a pied-a-terre, a warehouse flat and a family home.
Here’s the luxury pied-a-terre Francisco designed in a listed building in Holland Park. A very small 44 s.m. (474 s.f.) each design element had to be carefully planned for its overall impact. The end result is beautiful, practical and surprisingly spacious.
The kitchen with the built-in breakfast bar can sit up to 4 people. The backsplash is created from the same material as the countertop for a cohesive visual look between the two surfaces. The all-white colour scheme while visually opening up the space is given warmth through the use of wood flooring. The kitchen leads through to the living area.
The bathroom likewise feels spacious through the use of a limited colour scheme. Nothing in this tiny flat feels or looks cramped or undersized.
This trendy East London flat echoes the warehouse vibe of its environs. The colours of the kitchen cabinets are reminiscent of the colours of food, such as tomatoes, red wine and lemons. You can imagine all these products being hauled through the East End as they came in from the Docklands in years past.
The kitchen is open plan to the rest of the flat which is likewise eclectic in style. The mid-century modern furniture, exposed brick fireplaces and Ikea lampshades all sit comfortably with each other and the space.
The third residential space that Francisco and I discussed is a family house in Highgate. The kitchen island is set on wheels so that it may be moved either out of the way or nearer to the garden to be used as a cocktail bar.
The steps to the garden are created from the same wood as the kitchen flooring in order to create visual continuity. The Draisci Studio created a special treatment in order to use the wood outside without warping.
The rest of the kitchen is likewise streamlined with pops of colour to avoid too uniform a look.
Note the way the cabinets reach the ceiling which maximises storage as well as lengthens the height of the room.
The horizontal and vertical lines in this kitchen create visual interest in this kitchen. As Francisco describes his work, he likes “to merge the practical with the poetic.”
I would say he’s definitely succeeded with these projects, don’t you?