New Commission: An Architectural Jigsaw Puzzle in Belgravia

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Belgravia townhouse refurbishment

Our newest commission is an architectural jigsaw puzzle squeezed within a terrace townhouse in Belgravia.

Built in the late 1820s, the original plan appears to have been a single room deep at the front, with a long, narrow rear extension on the back. In World War 2, the house was damaged, and the lost original form of the building is no longer obvious from the outside and can only be unpicked through historic maps and plans.

Belgravia townhouse historic plan

The house is more than twice as tall as it is wide, giving us incredibly tight spaces to work within on each of the five floors. Intelligent use of space, light, storage and even furniture placement is tested to the extreme.

Not only is space limited, each floor is a different size, as you can see in the cross section above. Many of our usual rules for flow and room placement have to be thrown out the window as we collaborate with our client for ways to comfortably fit their lifestyle and needs into such an odd structure.

Belgravia townhouse refurbishment 3D

Our client’s brief is to extend the house as much as possible into the rear courtyard and various infill gaps on the first, second and third floors.

We have enlisted the help of historic buildings experts Montagu Evans to research the history of the house to give our clients the highest chance of negotiating a successful Listed Building consent with Westminster Council.

Infill extensions will be built from matching materials indistinguishable from the original structure, while the courtyard extension will have an entirely glazed retractable roof to allow to space to be used as an orangery when the roof is closed, or an outdoor courtyard space when the roof is open.