Adam Sykes grew up in an 18th century weaver’s hut in Yorkshire. Unlike the original inhabitants of the house, his family did not weave with the light provided by that row and the row of windows, but good quality cloth played a role in their lives for a long time, Adam’s house. But I keep doing that. His grandfather, a Jewish Emigre from Vienna, was a huge success as a textile maker in Huddersfield, creating knit jerseys for use by Parisian haute couture houses Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy, Balmain and Patou. Adam’s father was the director of a factory that supplies fabrics to the tailoring industry. Since 1997, Adam owns one of Britain’s most famous fabric houses, Claremont, and works with small manufacturers to create his own designs and Warner archive designs.
When Adam was twelve, his mother took him to meet his teacher about adding math tuition. It was a life-changing experience, not because he mastered the mystery of fractional equations. “She lived in this wonderful 50’s house,” recalls Adam. “I couldn’t believe it. It was like looking at something from another planet. Suddenly I realized there was another way of life.”
He saw much more evidence about 12 years later when he earned a degree in ceramics and lived in Los Angeles for a year. He worked in a fabric showroom, immersing himself in the world of interior design and enjoying the modern architecture of the mid-century on the west coast of the United States. It was in 2014 that Adam finally secured some of it in the lush South London suburbs, largely unknown for modernist architecture.
Until then, Adam lived in a wonderful 30’s penthouse in South Kensington (introduced at House & Garden in March 2002). He decided it was time for change and he couldn’t imagine himself living in the countryside, but he wanted a detached house with a garden. “I remember clearly. I should have worked on June 4th, but instead I was looking at my house online. That day, I came to see this house at 3pm and before I started driving. I thought so. Whatever it was, I want the house. “
Designed in 1963 by architects Peter Foggo and David Thomas, the one-story dwelling follows Mies van der Rohe’s “skin and bone” architectural idea. In this architecture, mainly glass shells hang around a steel or concrete framework. Designed by Foggo and Thomas, the private homes were one of only a handful of British homes that belonged to the same league as the experimental case study houses built by Eames, Neutra, Elwood and others in California in the 1940s and 1960s. It is said to be one. .. This comparison is important and will not be lost in Adam.
“It may sound ridiculous, but all I did was build a house that might have been in California,” he says. “Mid-century homes in Palm Springs and Los Angeles were calmer than homes built in Europe. White walls, downlights and flooring were common in Europe.” Adam wrote the American version of the movement. I liked it:’There were carpets and curtains everywhere. I wanted a more relaxed look. “
Subsequent work was extensive. The “dark, ugly, badly built” extension that housed the single garage, main bedroom and dressing room was quickly demolished, leaving the original rectangular house. It was completely destroyed in itself, but with the addition of new extensions with a large kitchen and entertainment area, a spare bedroom and a utility room, an L-shaped footprint was created. Its shape and proportions, and the use of glass are all in harmony with the rest of the house, but the extensions are not built to blend seamlessly with the original. Instead, it is covered with Siberian larix and is clearly marked as a new addition.
“I wanted the feeling that you could walk in the house right away,” explains Adam. A huge glass plate slides open, allowing you to enter the backyard from the courtyard through the living room. There are pocket doors throughout and rarely close, so the whole house is basically an open plan. The layout has been completely changed and the five small bedrooms have been replaced with only three.
If the inner walls are not glass, they are mostly covered with birch plywood. “The architect wanted to use expensive veneer panels. In the end, he decided to use cheap builder plywood, oil it and finish it properly,” he explained with satisfaction. increase. This material is also used in the manufacture of kitchen cabinets and abundant shelf units. Filling most of these is Adam’s Pot Collection, which includes works by Lucie Rie and Hans Coper, as well as some of his own.
Adam sighed at a suggestion that Claremont’s customers might be surprised that the chairman’s own home is very modern. “I sometimes think of Claremont as an old galleon with full sails. That’s great, but it’s often perceived as very traditional,” he says. “I wanted to show Clairemont in a different way.” All the fabrics used in the house are Claremont. The velvety textile that covers the kitchen sofa is the company’s popular “Cunard” weave, but the curtains here are the fabric of the Warner Archive. The living room and master bedroom are made from the just-released matte linen (Clairemont’s first). “This is my plug of Claremont,” he says with a smile.
In fact, this house is more than just a showcase of company fabrics. Its evolution is a very personal and ambitious project, with its roots in Huddersfield in the 70’s. There are some things that are really worth the wait. “I always knew this was what I wanted,” he says. “I didn’t expect to find it here.”
Claremont Owner Adam Sykes London Home Interior
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