The Understated Luxury of William Smalley Architectural Projects – William Smalley has gained a reputation as an architect of rare sensibility. He shares a deep understanding of old buildings and their contexts with an excitement for new spaces. William Smalley RIBA is known for his use of simple, quality materials and his understanding of craft combined with understated luxury. Its work includes private residential projects in the UK, New York, and the French Alps.
William Smalley established his office in 2010. An architect of rare sensibility, he shares a deep understanding for old buildings and their contexts with an excitement for new spaces. His work seeks to create memorable spaces of strong materiality. Monocle
It often seems that architecture misses a fundamental point: that of creating buildings and places that are pleasant places to be. The places and spaces here all have this quality.
William Smalley Architectural Projects
A three-story-high, 2,500 sq ft entertainment room lined in French larch has been formed in the reconstructed attic of this seventeenth-century chateau in the French Alps. The brief included a projection screen, the ability to host large dinners, an art show or chamber concert – and that a game of badminton could be played between the beams.
The rehabilitation of an old stone farmstead around a sheltered courtyard. A new approach across a wild-flower meadow on the site of the old farmyard leads to a new building that replaced a long-demolished barn, re-enclosing the courtyard and forming a gatehouse to the farmstead.
Following the Disco Flat, the Disco House in Notting Hill, with six floors of evocative spaces in which materials convey character, from the grasscloth screening room and hand-tooled stone spa in the newly created basement, through the three-shaded marble kitchen, past the Villa Necchi-inspired winter garden (indulging a whim of the client) and the dark rosewood library and pale silk drawing room, to the leather-lined master bedroom with double cedar-lined walk-through wardrobes to a stone and amber glass bathroom.
This house exudes a kind of articulacy, philosophical intelligence and beautiful coherence of color, space, pattern and form that is quite unlike anything I have ever experienced.
Ruth Gilding, World of Interiors December 2017
A country house for a new generation: six centuries of Grade II*-listed history have been given new life, from guiding masterplan down to the design of kitchen cabinets, with an architectural approach taken to the re-ordered interiors.
A new house built in a listed eighteenth-century park. The new house mimics the layout of the old house it neighbors across the park, centered around a south-facing courtyard and with northerly views over the park.
A simple and economical house of brick and timber with an open carport, resources were spent on providing large window openings to give long views through the house and beyond. An efficient plan dispenses with corridors: a covered walkway along the side of the courtyard leads to the guest rooms.
The complete reordering of a large Edwardian detached house in southwest London, including replanting its half-acre gardens and the selection of furniture and art with the client.
The ground floor was opened up to provide a series of generous connected spaces for reading, sitting, and eating. Through the house, oak joinery provides places to sit – generous window seats in the living rooms, benches in the kitchen and cloakroom, and an upstairs reading area. The main fireplace hearth was extended the length of the room in flamed Purbeck stone.
A series of rotating grey oak fins recall the original stable frontage when closed, but open to provide careful control of light and privacy to the ground floor study of this London mews house.
The oak boarding is taken inside to line the study, with brass hooks hanging coats, pictures and bespoke lights. Steps of the stairs extend to form a desk and bookshelves, and the timber continues to the first floor to provide a backdrop to the clients’ collection of pictures. Here the staircase was opened up with a water-cut polished brass handrail, and the kitchen reorganized in oiled oak and green-veined marble.
An Arts and Crafts rectory in Lewes did not sit well on its site, with a typically long low roof sweeping down at the rear, only to be met by the garden of the sloping site sweeping back up.
In response, the roof was removed and the lawn taken over the rear service rooms to bring the garden right up to the back of the house at first-floor level. The rooms under were converted to a top-lit studio for the potter-client. The tile-clad rear extension that was revealed became a bridge over the fully glazed ends of the new kitchen. Floored in concrete, it is enlivened by brass detailing to the cupboards and the soft variation of handmade Delft tiles in the cooking recess.
Jermyn Street Apartment
A new vaulted hall runs the length of this listed central London apartment for Japanese clients. A sliding panel slides across to form an anteroom to the bedroom beyond.
Floors are in untreated English oak boards. The hall, bathrooms and all doors are finished in polished plaster, and the living room fire in English Purbeck marble polished to the surround and flamed to the extended hearth.
The result is a masterclass in the transformative power of materials.
Charlotte Abrahams, design anthology April 2019
Veneered panels interrupted by a backlit channel that forms the door pulls line the bedroom corridor of this central London apartment, under a smoked mirror ceiling with recessed light lined in gold leaf. The client describes it as taking a catwalk to bed.