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Langham House Close

A Saarinen Dining Table recalls the night sky in this 1950s development home

This celebrated 1950s development home, located directly adjacent to the Ham Commons in London, was recently cited as “a benchmark against which others can be measured” by the Twentieth Century Society. An artful contrast of modern materials—brick, glass and concrete—the architectural envelope showcases the influence of several different movements, including Brutalism and the International Style. Stripped of its baseboards and crown molding, the modern, all-white interior contrasts beautifully with the age-old character of the brick and concrete seen throughout the residence. Originally designed by Stirling and Gowan, the apartment was refurbished by a practicing architect and current resident, Paulo Costa of UNIT Architects. 

Ham Richmond upon Thames by Stirling & Gowan | Saarinen Tulip Table | Knoll Inspiration

Saarinen Dining Table at Langham House Close by Stirling and Gowan. Photograph courtesy of The Modern House.

In furnishing the interior, Costa looked to the original decade of the building's construction for inspiration. In the kitchen stands an antique Saarinen Dining Table, which Costa says “anchors the space.” “The table was bought years ago when we first moved into our apartment,” Costa recalls, “we fell in love with its simple, timeless shape. The dark [Nero Marquina] marble top with its white markings and blemishes might be mistaken for the reflection of the night sky or the Milky Way.” In the company of pieces by Alvar Aalto, Dieter Rams and Poul Kjærholm, Saarinen’s tulip-inspired table is counted among the most “treasured pieces” in the collection.

Langham House Close in Richmond-upon-Thames, London by Stirling & Gowan | Saarinen Tulip Table | Knoll Inspiration

“The dark marble top with its white markings and blemishes might be mistaken for the reflection of the night sky or the Milky Way.”

—Paulo Costa

Saarinen Dining Table at Langham House Close by Stirling and Gowan. Photograph courtesy of The Modern House.

Project Credits:

Design: Paulo Costa
Photography: The Modern House

Saarinen Dining Table - 47" Round