Mark Fairhurst Architects has designed two new town houses for a mews site in Westminster NW1. The houses will have four and five bedrooms with areas of 239 and 270 square metres respectively over six levels. They will replace an existing office building and continues the line of established houses along the street, incorporating a new basement level and private garages.
Set within the Dorset Square Conservation Area the demolition of the offices is justified by the improved visual appearance of the new building and the improved relationship with the surrounding historic context. The front elevation is expressed in two brick clad bays with a row of recessed windows at first and second floor. Timber shutters, doors and screens reference the historic garage doors typical within the mews. A metal clad standing seam patented zinc roof covers the mansard roof sympathetic to the surrounding historic roof scape.
The entrance hall at No.42 leads onto a glazed stair core flanked by light wells encouraging daylight and sunlight into the lower floors. The stair leads to a living area at second floor with lounge at third floor, both levels providing open plan unobstructed rooms with generous glazing to front and rear elevations.
The plans are inverted at No.43 with the main living space located at lower ground floor with extensive glazing to the rear opening onto garden space. Both houses have bedroom, bathrooms, ensuite bathrooms and basements to house audio visual, gyms and plant rooms.
The design incorporates a number of passive and active sustainable features. The massing minimises the external envelope of the building thereby reducing heat loss and also incorporate natural ventilation to the upper floors with a number of dual aspect habitable rooms. Acoustic attenuation is provided by timber louvres set beside the new full height fixed glazed windows. Basement rooms will be ventilated via a heat recovery system minimising heat loss. Cooling and heating will be provided by air source heat pumps along with photovoltaic cells located to the roof providing renewable energy for the heating systems.
Despite the tight site constraints the houses incorporate new landscaping and external amenity spaces at lower ground level with a new tree planted to the rear providing screening to the neighbouring property, a sedum roof at ground level and external balconies at third floor encourage biodiversity.
The new houses will continue a terrace we previously designed which have successfully integrated within their central London location becoming much loved homes by their owners and occupiers.