Curvy Contemporary Design Hits Wimbledon

by Kate Burt in Interior designed homes

When you love the house you designed so much that you move in (instead of selling it, as you’d planned), you know you’re onto a good thing.

Which is exactly what happened to Jalal Al-Yawer, founder of the Wimbledon-based design and construction agency, Kubik, who fell for one of his own projects, and now calls it home.

Al-Yawer bought a plot of land on St Mary’s Road, heading towards Wimbledon Village, which had one house on it. Kubik knocked this down and, working with the architect, Mark Hillier at H2 Design, built two detached four-bedroom and three-storey homes in its place.

The quirky, curved shape of the buildings was partly determined by their position, which wasn’t ideal. Al-Yawer explains: “There were two intrinsic problems with the land. It is on a slope and on a curve, which was quite challenging. For the latter issue, we wanted something that would follow that line; a curved façade to mirror the trajectory of the road down to the village.”

“What I wanted to do from the inception was to have multiple wow factors throughout both houses.”

There was also the challenge of building two brand new houses that would complement the period houses in the area, but still tick the trademark Kubik boxes of, as Al-Yawer puts it, “modern but not too outrageous and minimal but not cold”. So what were the solutions? “It’s about striking a balance,” he says. “One thing we decided to do was to use brick, which is all over Wimbledon and in keeping with the local architecture. However, the windows are bigger than would be traditional and that accentuates the modern aesthetic.” But it is at the backs of the houses that the contemporary design really comes to the fore. “There is much more exposed glass,” says Al-Yawer. “The rear is more linear, minimalist and modern.”

The quirky design continues inside. The unusual shelves, for example, were not only constructed to follow the curve of the walls but also “to be 3-D,” says Al-Yawer. “I wanted every aspect of the design to have an element of fun.”

The exposed stairs flanked by glass are also striking. “What I wanted to do from the inception was to have multiple wow factors throughout both houses. The stairs were one of those.”

Though “sister” houses, with very similar styles, the interior of each is unique. “The tiling and the colours, the wood and the sanitary work are all the same – but we have played with the configurations in the different spaces.”

The kitchens, as an example, are both by Poliform but where one has a breakfast bar, the other has a large breakfast table.

And of course now that Al-Yawer is living in one of them, it has become even more bespoke. Which bits of his own interior design and styling does he particularly like?

There is some colourful artwork by his favourite artist, Louis Sidoli, which can be bought in the Wimbledon Village art gallery, Canvas.

He also loves the vintage rocking horse that lives by the stairs, from Andrew Martin “It is a salvaged old fairground one.”

But pressed for his favourite corner – the bookshelves win. “They are filled with art and architecture books and ornaments that I have collected over many years on various travels. It is the most nostalgic part of the house.”

And let’s not leave out the brilliantly luxurious array of outside spaces – there is a secluded light-well, a patio and a garden to choose from. “Depending on where the sun at any particular time of day,” says Al-Yawer, “you can follow it between the spaces to decide where to have your coffee or cocktail… if we ever get any nice weather, that is.”

If you have a project you’d like to discuss with Jalal, you can contact him via the Kubik website

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