The Rainbow House

Client: Private client

Location: London

Completed: 2009


Brief: To transform a four-story house on a busy West London market street into a magical and liberating space that defies the norms of a domestic interior and allows the occupants to leave the outside world far behind.

Inspired by the Client and her creative ways, our concept for the Rainbow House was to design a space where a series of living artworks are unified by a central spiral staircase that moves through the entire colour spectrum, tread by tread. We maximised all available light by removing any unnecessary partitioning, punched a series of skylights into the roof and finished every wall with an ultra-white polished stucco – creating a blank canvas against which a collection colourful design interventions could shine.

The rainbow staircase from which the house took its name is a complex bespoke structure in fiberglass and steel, filling the house with colour as it rises upwards. Like a brightly coloured mechanical toy, the house is filled with movement, a warm yellow sofa piazza in the living space has a central section that rises and falls to provide an additional bed or lounging platform, while on the floor above the master bed rotates through 360 degrees, giving a choice of views, and a steel slide hidden within a hatch in the floor offers a fluid connection between the two spaces.

We wanted to create a landscape of joy and surprise, a feeling like anything could be around the next corner. In the master bedroom an uninterrupted mirror wall conceals a steam shower, a bathroom and a dressing room and throughout the house the floors are painted with fantastical illustrations by artist Richard Wood, like something from the pages of a storybook.