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BOOK REVIEW: Michaelis Boyd Thinking + Living Like an Architect

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“Many of our projects are defined by their staircases.”
Michaelis Boyd

John Hurle writes… I really enjoyed reading this book which covers the practice’s work up to 2016 when it was published. I’ve been lucky enough to work with them on a couple of their home designs in Kensington and it was interesting to read about the full breadth of projects they’ve undertaken.

The book starts with the design of Alex Michaelis’s previous house on Oxford Gardens in Kensington and Chelsea. The planner’s required the building to be invisible from the street. Not an easy feat when constructing a 5-bedroom property, so it’s interesting reading about how they successfully tackled that challenge!

As it suggests in the opening quote they show a lot of creativity with their staircases and this one featured a slide next to the lower ground staircase. A fun detail that was used again on Alex Michaelis’s latest home The Round House. Another one in particular which stands out is on Elvaston (see below).

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Credit: Michaelis Boyd

As well as staircases, for me their projects are also distinguished by their statement windows. I noticed some nice clerestory windows on Oxford Gardens and a circular window over the stairs. There were also some vertical slot windows that stand out on a house in Penzance. My all time favourites though are the glazed door thresholds they employed at Soho House.

The writing style is very engaging and they have good pictures to give a rounded picture including in some cases from different stages of construction. The book is divided into three sections of city homes, country homes and places people go to. The latter includes probably their best known projects such as Soho House, Byron Burger, Brewdog, Groucho Club, Pizza East and Tom Aikens. Also their larger projects such as Battersea Power Station and the Williamsburg hotel in New York.

Architect Notting Hill Royal Borough Kensington Chelsea Michaelis Boyd Architect Notting Hill Royal Borough Kensington Chelsea Michaelis Boyd Architect Notting Hill Royal Borough Kensington Chelsea Michaelis Boyd Architect Notting Hill Royal Borough Kensington Chelsea Michaelis Boyd Architect Notting Hill Royal Borough Kensington Chelsea Michaelis Boyd Architect Notting Hill Royal Borough Kensington Chelsea Michaelis Boyd Architect Notting Hill Kensington Chelsea Michaelis Boyd 

 

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