Hidden vaults and floating floors nestled within an opaque glass façade – it’s a description that should have more in common with a fairytale than an office space fashioned for a west London estate agency.
When Richard Found first visualised the site for Domus Nova, he wanted to create a custom-designed space to visually express quality building and interior design. Positioned on the chic corner of Kensington Park Road and Elgin Crescent, Domus Nova has been crafted as an innovative and contemporary, yet unassuming, space. An extension of our unique and personalised approach to property, the engineered simplicity and minimalism emphasises Domus Nova’s key ethos to put clients comfortably at ease and then impress them with spectacular properties and service.
From the start it was evident that Richard and his team would stop at nothing to deliver the Domus Nova vision. For Found Associates, understanding and answering the client’s brief is paramount. With a reputation for considered work, the company has continuously delivered projects that integrate the client’s personal taste with its strong aesthetic.
Established by Richard Found in 1997 after more than a decade of experience within leading design consultancies, Richard has since taken his award-winning design company from strength to strength with a client list that includes Anya Hindmarch, M&C Saatchi and Harvey Nichols, as well as Domus Nova. He recently undertook the design of Alice Temperley's flagship store on Bruton Street - a site which has been celebrated worldwide. His residential portfolio includes the home of a South African art collector that had an impressive footprint of 578sqm that combines, says Richard, “spectacular views of the Indian Ocean, a rugged landscape and the owner’s impressive art collection”. Work finished about a year ago on Found's own 875sqm country house in the Cotswolds. The intention was to effectively develop the property into an energy efficient home, integrating it with the surrounding landscape. He has other completions in Chiswick, Chelsea, Notting Hill, Kings Cross, and of course Domus Nova's very own Dreamtime Gallery.
For Domus Nova, the original character and features of the shop front still preside. Once Stationers Launderette, traces of the past are intertwined within the new contemporary design. Domus Nova occupies the ground floor and basement of the building. Upon entrance, visitors are led to a freestanding black timber ground floor that floats over the basement. Surrounded by voided breaks and bordered glass fronts topped with black timber handrails, it allows views from the street directly into the office space below.
The retaining walls to the rear extend from the ground floor ceiling to the basement. The trademark Domus Nova brand is clear, from the black-painted exterior to the interior white-tiled wall complete with subtle yet effective orange grouting running along the contrasting black staircase to the basement level. Within it lies Domus Nova’s epicentre: a brightly-lit unadorned space with simple white desks and white walls.
It was integral to Found that the visual connection between the two floors exemplified the absolute experience of the Domus Nova space – an inviting entrance resting above a working hub. At night, its unique beauty remains; the light transition between the two floors and views into the lower ground level draws interest to the floating floor and activity inside.
Continuously at the forefront of contemporary design, the Found team is currently engaged on a number of residential and commercial projects, all of which encompass Richard’s intention to react to, and further develop, a building’s inherent qualities to create a refreshing end result.
Richard’s creative insight comes from many sources, ranging from architecture to contemporary art. (The design dream team also offers an art advisory service for clients on top of their established architectural and interior service). A keen traveller, foreign travel and events – such as La Biennale in Venice – are a constant source of inspiration. “Projects abroad give the team the chance to travel and generally be inspired by other cultures and building types,” he explains.
The secret to Richard’s enviable success? A drive to “always create an environment that compliments a building’s inherent qualities”. Found’s style remains ‘restrained’, yet wholly flexible to accommodate his clients’ needs. The result? Satisfaction guaranteed.
Watch a collection of Found Associate's videos on YouTube here.
View Found Associates on the Domus Nova Architect Guide
Found Associates, 14-16 Great Pulteney Street, London W1F; foundassociates.com