Coach House

The site is a compact two-storey former mews house, situated among a cluster of locally Listed Victorian dwellings fronting a narrow lane and located within a Conservation Area. The ambition for the project was to enlarge the living, cooking and master bedroom spaces. The strategy was to relocate the external space to first floor level, forming a sun terrace and freeing up the ground floor footprint for development. Sinking the new ground floor allowed generous floor to ceiling heights without impacting on the existing first floor level.

We were mindful of the close proximity of the adjacent dwellings to the site. A carefully located vertical window opening combined with a full width walk-on roof light with concealed light fittings created a focal point bring light into the sitting area, without adversely impacting on privacy.

Modest, durable, environmentally sound and distinctive, black stained, slatted larch cladding was chosen as a finish. Forming a screened balustrade to the roof terrace, the cladding has a playful surface, revealing glimpses of sky and is a counterpoint to the density of the white rendered coach house.

Not wishing to simply extrude the existing form, a contrasting roof type was proposed, further emphasising the distinction between old and new.

The completed addition is a vibrant counterpoint to the Victorian buildings, respecting the established urban grain whilst leading the ensemble into the twenty first century. The project was included in New London Architecture’s annual ‘Improve, Don’t Move’ exhibition.

Photography by Steve Lancefield