Built on the site of a former garage in Islington, an artist and designer’s new home cleverly captures light and greenery.

Dubbed Aperture House for its distinctive facade, the two-bedroom, two-bath home was designed by the London–based firm Paul Archer Design for Zoe Papadopoulou, an artist and interior designer. The architects retained the brick boundary wall at the front of the property, then positioned the new 968-square-foot residence behind it. 

“Funton Old Chelsea Yellow brick with a Flemish-like bond is used to directly pick up on the existing predominant brick style of the older neighboring houses,” say the architects. A modest entry courtyard with a tiled floor is tucked just behind the front gate.

Kilian O’Sullivan

The lot, which used to host a garage, came with restrictions that kept the building’s overall height to one story above the boundary wall, and limited window placement on the home’s rear facade. In response to this, the perforated brickwork with set-back glazing transmits natural light while also acting as a privacy screen.

The living area boasts nearly 10-foot-high ceilings that impart a feeling of airiness and spaciousness. Discreet, built-in storage in the floor at the top of the steps prevents clutter from accumulating.

The living area boasts nearly 10-foot-high ceilings that impart a feeling of airiness and spaciousness. Discreet, built-in storage in the floor at the top of the steps prevents clutter from accumulating. 

Kilian O’Sullivan

A tour of the ground floor reveals an open-concept kitchen, dining, and living space, which wraps around a private rear courtyard that’s also bounded by the brick wall. Two expansive glass doors, one in the kitchen/diner and one in the living room, open into the courtyard.

The kitchen and dining room connect to the courtyard for a breezy, indoor/outdoor environment.

The kitchen and dining room connect to the courtyard for a breezy, indoor/outdoor environment. 

Kilian O’Sullivan

The living room is delineated by a subtle floor-level change, built-in sofas, and streamlined storage. A combined bathroom/utility room further saves space on the ground floor, while the expansive glass doors, skylights, and an open staircase let natural light deep into the interior. 



A planter is integrated under the open staircase leading to the upper floor, and a skylight in the roof illuminates the stairwell.

A planter is integrated under the open staircase leading to the upper floor, and a skylight in the roof illuminates the stairwell. 

Kilian O’Sullivan

Open shelves and sleek cupboards line one wall of the living room. The floor-to-ceiling glass door leads to the exterior courtyard, which is bounded by the perforated brick wall.

Open shelves and sleek cupboards line one wall of the living room. The floor-to-ceiling glass door leads to the exterior courtyard, which is bounded by the perforated brick wall.

Kilian O’Sullivan

In the combined kitchen and dining room, a skylight lets in lots of sunlight, and the table overlooks the courtyard.

In the combined kitchen and dining room, a skylight lets in lots of sunlight, and the table overlooks the courtyard.

Kilian O’Sullivan

A view into the exterior courtyard. Its tile floor mimics the tile treatment at the entry for cohesion and the perforated brickwork creates a lovely pattern when backlit at night.

The exterior courtyard’s tile floor mimics the tile treatment at the entry for cohesion, and the perforated brickwork creates a lovely pattern when backlit at night.

Kilian O’Sullivan

Project Credits:

Architect: Paul Archer Design 

Contractor: B & A Woodworking

Structural Engineers: Hardman Structural Engineers 

Interior design:Zoe Works Indoors   

Photography: Kilian O’Sullivan

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