A Narrow 19th Century Building Transformed Into Contemporary London Living
This narrow house on Betterton Street in London, is a redevelopment project designed by FORM Design Architecture, which saw a formerly dark office building with a complex layout, transformed into a light-filled contemporary home.
The property is also currently listed on the market with CBRE Residential.
The designer’s project description
The narrow deep plan of this tall terraced late 19th century building was ill-suited to its previous use as offices, with escape distances pre-determining the necessity for the centrally located lift and stair core that sub-divided the floor plate into small inflexible work spaces.
This configuration was, we recognised, ideally suited to the creation of residential space though, with naturally-lit rooms of domestic scale located to the front and rear, and support spaces located inboard around the retained central stairs and lift. A use further suggested by the domestic style of the Dutch-gabled brick front elevation.
A change of use was therefore recommended to our developer client, with Planning Consent subsequently granted, contrary to local policy, for the creation of a luxurious 4-bedroom house.
Subtle changes to the section of the building have created external spaces and allowed natural light to penetrate deep into the plan.
These include the creation of a soaring 6m double-height kitchen/dining space opening onto a small new ground floor courtyard; the replacement of the original hipped roof with an additional split-level studio floor – with terraces front and rear; and the creation of an entry courtyard recessed behind a decorative metal screen that echoes the proportions and format of a shopfront on the pavement line.
Redundant storage spaces in the artificially-lit lower ground floor have been given new life as a state-of-the-art cinema and gym; with sophisticated systems throughout the house providing control of lighting, AV, blinds, heating/air con and blinds via hand-held tablets.
Fastidious detailing and a limited palette of high quality materials, together with a fire-engineered approach to layout (removing the necessity for lobbies), have helped to create a calm restful interior with a good spatial flow between the 6 floors of accommodation.
Design: Form Design Architecture
Photography: Bruce Hemming
This property is currently listed for sale through CBRE Residential – here.