The aspiration was to transform the dark and cramped living spaces of the lower ground floor to create a light, open layout, connecting the two lower floors.
The original house suffered a lack of natural light, low headroom and a poor connection to the garden. Disconnected living spaces were split between the two lower floors.
Removing part of the rear ground floor and losing some floor space actually increased the usability of the whole lower ground floor. A double-height space is formed over the kitchen with a library/study area above. The glazed infill allows light to the lower floor, while adding height, drama, and connecting the floors. The rear extension adds valuable space and opens the house to the garden.
The project had a tight budget, yet incorporates bespoke detailing and simple furniture. For cost-efficiency the main structural beams were retained. This potentially restricting element in fact became a driver for the ceiling plan, a real success of the project. The ceilings, though low, took on a sculptural form: chamfering to form varying zones within the open plan. Over the living area two planes with skylights at each corner split the space diagonally, adding drama within the shallow pitched roof, designed to be hidden from neighbouring gardens.
The ground floor reception rooms have a more traditional feel. Dark walls contrast with the light-filled library.
Upstairs two dormers and a roof terrace give long external views, and sliding doors link spaces throughout the master suite.