This Victorian terraced house, in Shepherds Bush, originally had a ground level front and rear living room, a small kitchen on the half landing, and a low basement space providing the only access to the rear garden. Our brief was to improve the connection between the house and the garden, and bring more light into the living areas.
We made the radical move of actually losing a room. We lowered the basement floor by underpinning it, and opened up a double-height space with a new double-height window at the rear of the house. The kitchen was relocated to the new basement, with the dining table under the tall space. Large openings formed in the existing internal walls allow all the living spaces to dramatically connect to the double height space, and then to the garden. Sliding doors allow the ground floor living room and library to be flexibly separated if required. When open, these rooms act as ‘balconies’ over the main space, allowing for a convivial and vibrant heart to this home.
A major element of the works was upgrading the thermal performance of the house to create a cost effective low carbon home. We lined the existing masonry walls with new insulated plasterboard, and insulated both the roof and the new basement slab. Velfac windows replaced the existing sash windows, further reducing the heat loss through the glazing. A new boiler and pressurised hot water tank was fitted, with new underfloor heating throughout the refurbished living floors.