Sketch Architects have refurbished a terraced home in South West London by adding a spacious, bright rear extension with large glass door extending into the garden and a usable, playful basement room. All renovations aim to improve the lives of those that live within them and this project aimed to create a more liveable and usable space for a growing family.
The brief presented to Sketch Architects asked that the available space within this small terraced house was maximized. The existing building had already been extended with a partial side return, but each space was very separate from the next and the layout wasn’t working for the young family who lived there. Each small space felt disconnected from the next. They asked Sketch Architects to investigate options that created a larger sense of space, utilizing and increasing the existing basement, whilst maintaining a connection to the rest of the ground floor.
To achieve this Sketch Architects introduced a double height space in the centre of the house, shifting the location of the stairs to allow light in from a new glass roof at the rear, with an additional walk on glass in front of the house. Too often basements feel dark and segregated but they have instilled a sense of light and connection, creating an inviting space, linked to the rest of the house. The floor of the kitchen at the rear or the property was lowered both to enhance the flow into the garden and increase the lines of sight into the basement. Finally, an exposed brick wall covers the entire double height space extending to the rear of the property giving more continuity to the design.
Exposed steels allowed Sketch to remove many internal walls, maximizing sight lines diagonally from front to back with cleverly located pocket doors allowing spaces to be divided when necessary. The front reception room was reinstated to its original dimensions but with a full height glass wall overlooking the double height space and maintaining the connection with the rest of the house.
Re-configuring the stairs allowed Sketch to create a range of clever, innovative storage ideas, maximizing the use of space. The hallway now feels wider and uncluttered despite the challenges of family life. Throughout the house they have used a number of natural materials; exposed bricks, painted steels, glass and wood. In the kitchen and basement, they have created storage using birch ply and upstairs added an office space on the landing continuing the use of plywood for the desk built into the eaves with large roof lights overhead.