The project comprised the demolition of an existing 1950s concrete garage and its replacement with a new three-storey detached house with basement. It was commissioned by a couple who wanted to downsize and were keen on contemporary homes.
The site is located in the Highgate Conservation Area, immediately adjacent to a Grade II listed Public House; it is close to a Grade II listed terrace and a Grade I listed building of very high significance. Amongst the historical features in the area there is even a telephone kiosk designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott opposite the site. It was therefore extremely important to consider how the new building relates to the surrounding environment and especially to the listed Public House to which it abuts. A modern design approach was considered to be a contribution to the varied character of the area and encouraged by the Local Authority.
The new building sits below the roof line of the buildings either side of it and it is purposely understated with materials carefully chosen not to overpower the adjacent buildings. Nevertheless, the new house makes full and effective use of the available space with a basement, formed via reinforced concrete underpins to the existing adjoining properties’ walls, that occupies a large portion of the site. A lightwell gives natural daylight and ventilation to two bedrooms in the basement. The third bedroom is located on the first floor and is accessible via an open tread staircase which is located in a double height space. Additional natural light to brought into the basement with structural walk over glass light wells in the front and rear.
KSdesign were involved in all RIBA stages of the project including design, planning, Building Regulations and working drawings.