A modest mews house in Lancaster Gate, London is about to undergo a radical transformation into a family home. The L-shaped terrace is located in the Bayswater Conservation Area and occupies a snug corner of a cul-de-sac, historically the coach house quarters to Georgian properties behind.
Laid out over three floors, with a prominent dormer loft conversion and ground floor commercial space, over time this had begun to encroach on first floor residential living. The client wanted to turn the property back into a full family home, with a garage and open roof terrace.
The tight site required close consideration to the neighbours, and the conservation area meant limitations to any outside changes, leaving the North London residential architects with a design challenge on their hands.
The mews terrace shares party walls with a hotel on one side and a residential property on the other. At the rear, the garden sloped upwards to back onto a church where the surrounding outdoor space is elevated. As a result, light was restricted to the house at ground floor level, and to protect privacy, the first floor windows were set high up, with just one small window in the dormer above.
Planning approval was granted, allowing wide windows to be added at ground level, as well as the lowering of cills on the first floor.
The architectural design team working on the London project, proposed a central stair core designed to anchor the layout: on the ground floor, car parking sits one side with a spare bedroom, kitchenette and shower on the other; the first floor divides into a kitchen-dining area and separate living room; and on the second floor, the master bedroom ensuite is split from a smaller bedroom and shower room.
The open roof terrace seemed unlikely to be approved as previously neighbouring applications had been refused. A ‘dummy’ mansard roof at the rear became the agreed solution, hiding the roof terrace so it won’t be visible from the street and creating a bigger floor area within the loft.
At the front, the London architecture firm proposed to change the incongruous roof dormer, and achieved approval for a design that picks up the line and profile of the extensions in the rest of the street.
Planning approval was granted for all the changes in just six weeks, which will soon result in a light-filled, 175sqm family home that blends in with its historical surroundings.
Price and Myers
White and Lloyd