This remarkable home was once an ambulance station in Rye, England, completely redone by interior designer Marta Nowicka. A massive design undertaking, but aren’t we glad that they did it! The result is a stylish family abode with a clear link and appreciation toward the original architecture of the place.
After removing endless partitioning and flattening a 1970s extension, Nowicka finally redesigned this interesting space as a unique and spacious family home. In the middle of the room, a central fireplace is a gathering point for all who may enter this abode. The double sided wood burning stove and adjacent log pile are housed on a huge concrete plinth. It is a focal point, whether the fire is lit or not.Another central point within this space, is the huge family dining room table. The open plan living area is ideal for entertaining. And we love the use of the original ambulance station doors as a decor feature on the wall. They mirror the new functional doors that have been made in the same style. There are other nods to the building’s recent history with medical and industrial inspired pieces, such as the nurse’s trolley in the upstairs bathroom and a sleek brushed stainless steel island unit in the kitchen. On the ground floor the whole area is unified by the limited palette of materials. The wide limed oak floorboards continue, in narrower form, to clad the central walls, fusing floor with wall, as if the staircase is rising up through the middle of the house, like a monolith. Exposed brickwork, concrete plinths and the steel beam in the living area contrast with the highly finished, sleek timber cladding and floorboards, and the clean, sharp lines of the slightly industrial furnishings. It is this well-judged juxtaposition that makes everything in the building come together so seamlessly. The master bedroom features an amazing triangular window that spans between the twin gables of the roof from which there are wonderful views of the tiled roofs of the surrounding buildings and the countryside beyond. A bathroom has been cleverly tucked behind the bed. It’s a very creative use of space – more of an en-bed, than en suite facility. And the wonderful ‘Citadel’ window at the other end of the building can be seen directly from this bedroom. It takes determination, creative vision and a huge amount of steely pragmatism to achieve such a breathtaking transformation in a building. Contact: Plascon Via