In remodeling an apartment, the choice of material for a kitchen backsplash is usually a late-stage design decision. But in a compact London home for a young family, by Daniele Petteno Architecture Workshop, it was the key that unlocked the whole project. A large piece of fire-resistant glass set behind the sink and cooktop doubles as an internal window into the adjacent master bedroom, flooding the countertop with borrowed daylight and creating long views between rooms to enhance their apparent size.
The 760-square-foot apartment occupies the entrance level of a townhouse built in the 1880s and subdivided in the 1960s, when windowless kitchens were inserted in the middle of each floor. Petteno’s reconfiguration is a contemporary interpretation of a typical 19th-century plan: two large high-ceilinged rooms face front and back, with a small second bedroom and two bathrooms tucked behind.