Abstract Barnes is a small extension and renovation project for a Victorian house in Barnes, a district in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames in the UK.

Name: Abstract Barnes
Architects: Matteo Cainer Architecture
Location: Barnes, United Kingdom
Client: Private
Program: House extension
Size: 82 m2
Photographs: Alessio Costantino, Guifre De Peray / Veeve
Tags: MCA_Abstractbarnes

Abstract Barnes by Matteo Cainer Architecture - Sheet3
©Alessio Costantino, Guifre De Peray / Veeve

The site itself is close to Barnes Common, a part of the local nature reserve. This proximity nurtured a project that was in direct dialogue with the surrounding environment and the adjacent gardens. The key idea was to transform and open up the addition to nature by creating glazed openings both to the sky and to the wonderful back garden. The resulting living spaces are invaded by an array of colours and an profusion of natural light.

Abstract Barnes by Matteo Cainer Architecture - Sheet4
©Alessio Costantino, Guifre De Peray / Veeve

The main design concept was to create a contemporary living space capable of knitting together the different through a cohesive dialogue between the adjacent space.  A studied play of shadows, transparencies and reflections, balances a composition of relational opposites, asymmetry and light. Furthermore, the framed views created by skylights, openings and an large oriel window, trigger an interesting play of geometries capable of creating a poised harmony of contrasts that suggest both balance and the tension of dynamic forces: an abstract composition that reminds us of Piet Mondrian’s Neo-Plasticism.

Abstract Barnes by Matteo Cainer Architecture - Sheet2
©Alessio Costantino, Guifre De Peray / Veeve

This concept is also enhanced  in the details of the house, from the specifically designed ‘White2‘ hanging lamp to the ‘Libro Bookshelf’ that both underline the architectural design language, blurring even more the boundaries between the actual functional spaces and their architectural form. It is also these specific design details that help us underlining the true importance of nature and our experience with it.


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