Chelsea | London

This Grade II listed terraced house was in a pretty grim state when we were first approached. The building had suffered bomb damage in the war and the back addition had been badly rebuilt. More recently, the lower ground front floor room had been converted into a garage and from this there was an impossibly steep ramp up to the road.

The brief was to create a family home with a contemporary feel and there were two particular challenges we needed to address: the house didn't link well with the garden and the basement was very dark.

With listed building approval granted, the proposed redesign was implemented: the back addition was rebuilt with an additional two floors and at the junction of the new extension and the old house, a 300mm glass slit was introduced into the external wall, roof and floors. This brought light into a potentially dark part of the house and was also an expression of the old as separate from the new. More light was introduced through the middle of the house by the installation of rooflights on the top floor.

The basement was opened up and, as part of the family dining area, we created a conservatory opening on to the garden at the rear of the property. By locating the kitchen/family room and dining area in the basement and adding the new ‘conservatory’ extension, we were able to link this area to the garden, creating easy and direct access between the two.

The integration of full height sliding panels meant the two areas could be separated if needs be. To keep the lines as clean as possible, the roof of the conservatory was a single double-glazed 2.4m wide by 4m long unit.

It was important to have a well-proportioned transition from the basement level to garden level, so the garden was redesigned as part of the overall project.

"The cohesiveness of the scheme has been achieved by establishing firm design principles from the outset in order to achieve clean surface: light fittings are recessed, ironmongery minimised, storage integrated. Services are routed through fattened walls on either side of deep window reveals at the front of the house, and in the wall between the front and rear rooms; heating is underfloor, apart from two unprofiled slab wall radiators in the kitchen. 'You’ve got the bare bones of traditional architecture in view and very little soft furnishing, and that helps blend the two,' says McLean."
Deborah Singmaster, Architectural Journal

Structural Engineer | Frank Van Loock Associates
QS | Complete Construction Management
Photographer | Peter Cook