Our client found himself with a growing family and the eternal issue of not enough space.
Instead of moving, he was lucky enough to be able to buy the garden flat below in a period mansion block in S.W. London. He came to us for help with the complex problem to join the two flats together and extend, if possible, to create a coherent four-bedroom home which would include enhancing the living conditions, improve the light quality downstairs and an outside area for the children to play in and where the parents could entertain. We needed to work around strict preservation guidelines, as alterations could potentially compromise the historical integrity of the building. We started by acknowledging the character of the existing flats, overlaid with the prerequisites of the emerging brief, and learning how the family wanted to interact with the space. The architectural language chosen for the extension respects the character of the main building and the proposed fenestration adheres to the existing pattern. An innovative space-saving staircase cleverly connects the two floors next to a new courtyard and we managed to include an extension at the rear elevation. A fantastic kitchen on the raised ground floor level has access to a new terrace and the garden. We strategically placed all three new bedrooms downstairs either looking onto the courtyard or the rear garden, which is key to creating a beautiful environment, while also managing to give the family the luxury of four bathrooms. As a studio our aim is always to improve the sustainability of our clients’ homes, so a cutting-edge ventilation and mechanical system was conceived with the critical design by mstep engineers, eliminating the need for the existing gas heating. The solution was a MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery) system providing fresh filtered air into the home whilst retaining most of the heating used with the incoming energy optimised by an air source heat pump. The under floor heating laid throughout the new areas gives uniform heat while freeing up valuable space allowing us to add meticulously designed bespoke furniture for this area of the home as well. We were asked to source sustainable flooring for the home so selected cork for the lower ground floor due to its soft and warm touch underfoot and bamboo for the raised ground floor area. In addition, we managed to create a spacious independently accessed lower ground floor studio flat to generate useful rental income for the owner. This has its own fully equipped kitchen, a dining area, and a direct access to the old, vaulted coal storage area under the pavement that can be used either as an office or for additional storage. We landscaped all the newly created outdoor spaces: the courtyard, terrace, lower patio, and garden by upgrading the existing damp and neglected area into articulated multifunctional spaces to be enjoyed by all the family. Enthused by our approach to making the home as sustainable as possible our client purchased reclaimed York stone and vintage pots which have integrated seamlessly with the more contemporary materials. Our philosophy, when working for all private clients, is unfaltering: at Edward Williams Architects we make every effort to create modern environments which demonstrate our understanding of family needs. This brings us to create spaces with scale and proportion that are intrinsically beautiful, functional, and sustainable while never forgetting that value should be added to the owner’s property.
Edward Williams Architects,Grand Union Studios,332 Ladbroke Grove,London,W10 5AD,UK
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