Out of darkness comes light

JCA Team:
Chris Lawler
Project Design Team:
Johnston Cave Associates (Architects)
Project type:
Semi-basement extension & reburbishment
Project year: 2006

No matter how magnificently located your property is (and our client’s 4 story and semi-basement is located in the heart of Chelsea), if your rooms are dark and dingy, you will never feel really happy.

This was the situation our client had lived with for a number of years - until they could stand it no longer.

Their basement dining room and kitchen layout was a confusing arrangement divided over two levels with a connecting corridor that received no natural light.

It meant they rarely ventured down there, which was a shame, as it led straight out into the garden.

Our proposal involved the remodelling and rationalising the basement level and building an extension into the rear garden to provide a kitchen-cum-family-room/dining-room. This would then overlook and lead directly onto the gardens and a new terrace. Natural light could then spill throughout the whole of the space.

In order to overcome the Planning Officer’s concern for potential overlooking from the new terrace to its neighbours, we kept the extent of the ground floor rear terrace to a minimum. We designed a pitched lead roof with a glazed lantern and bay, which still kept it light and airy but prevented the overlooking.

With the planners won over, construction proceeded. The basement was rationalised and due to careful planning we were even able to squeeze in a new bathroom. 

The approval of the modest and carefully crafted and in-keeping extension which impacting lightly on its surroundings, allowed for much needed further accommodation included a new master bedroom, dressing room and bathroom.

The space vacated in the main house suggested the creation of a dedicated children’s floor with a new bedroom and bathroom and also allowed space for a new staff flat, by building a back staircase leading to it.

The result was a far more comfortable, private and useable house that was fit for the 21st century.

From a wonderful location, now came a wonderfully happy home.