Though clever design, wishful thinking becomes reality

JCA Team:
Chris Lawler
Project Design Team:
Johnston Cave Associates (Architects)
Vincent and Rymill (Structural Engineers)
Yves Allier (Quantitity Surveyor)

Principal Contractors:
Basement Forces Ltd
Trust Build Ltd
Project type:
Project year: 2015
Photographer: William Pearce

Our clients’ mews house was a small undistinguished mews at the shabbier end of an otherwise very smart and charming London street.

Having owned the property since he was a young man, it held very happy memories of a vibrant life, but now longer single, it needed updating.

The ground floor was completely open plan and one just fell in from the street into the living room - which also doubled as the sitting room, dining room, kitchen and stairs - a perfect arrangement for student parties, but perhaps not the best arrangement for a more sophisticated life.

The first floor consisted of an assortment of two small bedrooms and even smaller bath and shower rooms.

While the location was wonderful; just a stone’s throw from Sloane Street and Knightsbridge, the space was not promising as it had no garden and was hemmed in by its neighbour just 2.6 metres away and whose principal rooms looked straight out onto the rear of the mews.

The brief seemed wishful thinking; three bedrooms, a separate drawing room, kitchen and dining room and a good sized utility room. And access to natural light of course.

A challenge gets those creative juices flowing and we realised that the stepped nature of the rear of the building, meant that there was room for expansion over the full circumference of the ground floor. Additionally the parking space to the side also belonged to the house and with the appropriate planning consent, we thought we could expand into it.