When Louise McDonnell and her husband stumbled across a crumbling Victorian violin factory in Waterloo, they fell in love with the rundown structure and decided to convert it into their dream home. Louise’s architectural practice, MCD Architects, spent roughly two and a half years marrying the original elements of the building with minimalist architecture and fitting it out to the highest specifications.

The industrial charm of the Violin Factory has been preserved in full, with new industrial fittings continuing the old industrial story — reddish brick walls are combined with wood panelling, steel reinforcements meet timber beams. The transformed interior derives its unique character from the large glass facades and skylights, which flood the space with natural light all day long.

The decor blends acrylic with glass and combines leather with fabrics. Modern design classics are juxtaposed with industrial lamps while a fireplace competes for attention against state-of-the-art consumer electronics. Highlights on the ground floor include a spacious hotel-style kitchen equipped with a high-tech Grohe faucet with touch-technology that spouts water simply by touching the spout with the back of the hand or lower arm. The Grohe water dispenser is another high-tech system that offers sparkling, medium sparkling and still water. Besides the kitchen, the ground floor has a winter garden, dining room, and private cinema. It has been made available for private dinners, events, and concerts.

The first floor has two guest suites with windows overlooking the reception and the dining area. A spectacular glass walkway leads to the private library from where a secret door provides access to a spiral staircase. Hand-crafted wooden stairs lead up to the top floor with a gym under an opening glass roof, master bedroom, luxury bathroom and sauna.

A sure sense of style and warm colour tones give the property a homely feel. The redesign was featured on the TV show Grand Designs on BBC’s Channel 4.

Courtesy: Grohe Group