Quiet black and white by Richard Bell

Quiet black and white could be a short description for this space in central London.

In this recent project by Richard Bell Architecture, the light is celebrated and the darkness indulged. The studio designed a spa and wellness space for a private house, which has been portrayed by the architectural photographer Hélène Binet.

Richard-Bell-RBA-London-Spa-Helene-Binet-london-more-with-less-revista-magazine-arquitectura-black-and -white-1 Richard-Bell-RBA-London-Spa-Helene-Binet-london-more-with-less-revista-magazine-arquitectura-black-and -white-2This spa and wellness area is an extension to a house in central London. The site offered little above ground space as the openness of the gardens was important to maintain.

It is for this reason that a large subterranean volume was created, using the underground space of the house and keeping the garden untouched.

Richard-Bell-RBA-London-Spa-Helene-Binet-london-more-with-less-revista-magazine-arquitectura-black-and -white-3 Richard-Bell-RBA-London-Spa-Helene-Binet-london-more-with-less-revista-magazine-arquitectura-black-and -white-4The volume incorporates pools, a sauna, a steam room, a gym, showers and changing rooms.

The grey of the bricks is complemented by the visual warmth of a cherry wood ceiling that accommodates a multitude of services and becomes the essential structure that holds up the gardens above.

Richard-Bell-RBA-London-Spa-Helene-Binet-london-more-with-less-revista-magazine-arquitectura-black-and -white-7 Richard-Bell-RBA-London-Spa-Helene-Binet-london-more-with-less-revista-magazine-arquitectura-black-and -white-9The central big volume is illuminated from one end and enclosed by ten thousand handmade bricks.

These roughly textured bricks make a huge contrast against the glass-like blackness of the pools. The expansive stillness of the water’s surface reflects the space and creates more depth.

This quiet black and white space could be seen as a playground for architecture and lights.

Richard-Bell-RBA-London-Spa-Helene-Binet-london-more-with-less-revista-magazine-arquitectura-black-and -white-10 Richard-Bell-RBA-London-Spa-Helene-Binet-london-more-with-less-revista-magazine-arquitectura-black-and -white-5 Richard-Bell-RBA-London-Spa-Helene-Binet-london-more-with-less-revista-magazine-arquitectura-black-and -white-6A fountain is fed from a four meters spout that hangs from the ceiling. At the same time, elongated towel hooks punctuate the brickwork, which makes them look like small dots made evident by their long shadows.

The light, shadowy spaces, reflections, and materiality, combine in this quiet black and white space to create a spa with intensity and drama.

Richard-Bell-RBA-London-Spa-Helene-Binet-london-more-with-less-revista-magazine-arquitectura-black-and -white-8Photographies by Hélène Binet

SPONSORS