We knew that the property, which is a traditional London townhouse, had historically had a shop on the ground floor as the sign was still intact, but very little else was known about the property. Digging in the local archives, we researched the history of the house, including all the previous residents.
We discovered a family of Drapers or Cloth Makers who lived in the House from the late 19th century for over forty years.
This initial discovery resonated immediately with our clients, who had a strong passion for textiles, embroidery and history. We built the first of many models that proposed a total reconfiguration of the whole volume of the house and a proposal for a new tapestry that would flow through the house, charting the historic journey of the Roberts family of Drapers, as it wrapped through the house.
The following collection of photographs chart the journey of five fabrics that flow from a two storey oak and larch box at the top of the house, down through the bedroom & living spaces, weaving into the staircase handrail as they fall. The fabrics were designed in collaboration with textile artists Anna Glover, Jennifer Hollidge, Deepa Panchamia and Philip Sanderson from the West Dean Tapestry Studio.
The textiles describe the lives of William Thomas, Clara, William, Grace & Lilly Roberts who lived in the building at the turn of the century. As the fabrics lace their way through the house they create moments of delight while echoing the rich history of the house.
The winter room was created to contrast with the bright & open plan spaces of the rest of the house and provided a snug to retreat to on cold winter evenings. The fireplace & walls are clad in reclaimed snooker table slate from Retrouvius. The room is carefully lit and features a single gold leaf panel to reflect the light of the fire around the room and on to the Tapestry that hangs along side it.