The originally house was arranged on split levels with small and constrained spaces. The addition of a basement provided the opportunity to redesign the entire house and to remove the split levels to allow more interconnected spaces.
This was also facilitated by providing a fire escape from the basement, which allowed the living spaces, on upper and lower ground floors to be open planned connected by a double height space above the kitchen. Particular attention was paid to the staircase within this space, which was designed to be as visually light as possible. This required some structural gymnastics by the engineers so that the visible structure could be reduced to a folded steel plate of only 8mm thickness which was overclad with timber. This was set behind a floor to ceiling piece of glass so that the full width of the house could be appreciated.
Within the new basement there are two bedrooms a utility room, and shower room and on upper floors a further three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Carefully designed bespoke joinery was designed by Ramses Frederickx with whom we collaborated on the project. Air conditioning was carefully integrated into the furniture and the fabric of the building to be as visually unobtrusive as possible, which required detailed co-ordination.
As with many central London projects, the design and construction process presented logistical and technical challenges for architect, engineer and contractor, particularly with regard to permissions and temporary works during excavations, which had to be carefully managed on a constrained site in close proximity to neighbouring properties.