The owners acquired the property as two flats so apart from the normal planning issues permission was also required for a change of use back to a single dwelling. A complete renovation of the entire building fabric both internally and externally was undertaken and the two flats knitted back into one house. To the rear at ground floor level the property was extended both outboard to the garden and into the side return (which was extremely tight measuring roughly 1.5m). The split level between the main body of the house and the rear section also made the linkage between front and back harder to achieve.
It was decided not to attempt a physical link from the rear reception, as it would eat up too much precious space, but to maintain a visual link by lifting the structural glazed rooflight and creating a 4m high glass lantern where it met the back of the existing house. A large screen, disguised as part of the wall, closes the front off from the back at the point when required. When open a glazed balastrade divides the 2 levels. The kitchen has a material palette of polished concrete flooring with stainless steel and oak worktops. A 7m long map of central london proposed by the client makes for a dramatic backdrop to almost the whole length of the flank wall.
Extensive remodelling of both front and rear gardens was undertaken and a large garden studio, used as a TV den, was created at the end of the rear garden.
Completion Date July 2013. Contract Period 36 weeks.
Anna Rentoul, owner: "We love our house, as does everyone who comes in, from the wife of an architect friend who told us she has "house envy", to the mortgage valuer who said he wasn't supposed to comment on properties, then added, "But it's wonderful!". We didn't know Martyn before we engaged him, but over the project he became not just a trusted adviser but a friend. If there are architects out there who deliver unworkable plans/go over budget/vanish from sight when the inevitable building challenges arise, Martyn is the polar opposite. He got stuck in from planning to snagging (and everything in between) and we are thrilled with the results."