location: Chelsea, London | architecture: Cochrane Design Limited | interior design: Cochrane Design Limited | photography: Paul Craig

This end of terrace four-storey townhouse, situated just off the King’s Road in Chelsea, has been completely reconfigured; with only the roof, façade and party wall still remaining. The original layout of the property was extremely uninspiring, there was, therefore, a great need to use the space more efficiently in order for it to become a home conducive to modern living and entertaining. Interior and architectural designers Cochrane Design Limited were commissioned to create a family home that was to be a seamless blend of contemporary luxury with timeless elegance.

After creating a selection of designs that maximised the proportions of the house, a proposal was put forward to excavate a new basement level and to extend the property over three storeys to the side and rear. After achieving planning for all of the above, the outcome was an approximate increase in floor area in excess of 100 percent; thus a hugely improved use of space.

The existing reinforced foundations were demolished using specialist equipment and techniques that included: diamond drilling, diamond sawing, hydraulic breaking and concrete bursting. The existing façade, roof and party wall were preserved and temporarily supported by an engineer devised retention scheme; this involved proprietary props, ties and bracing. The remaining fabric of the building, which included the entire flank and rear walls, floors, staircases and partitions, were methodically dismantled for disposal, future reuse and recycling. This allowed a contractor to create a basement larger than the existing footprint of the house.

Open plan living is maintained at basement and ground levels by purposely concealing all structural steelwork within walls, floors and ceilings, leaving no unsightly nibs or bulkheads visible. The ground floor sits back from the rear extension to create an appealing double volume ceiling and mezzanine that separates the kitchen and dining areas. A steel bridge connects to a wall of double height windows that creates a very elegant aesthetic; this floods the internal spaces with natural light.

A Coach House was also added to the rear of the property, which is accessed from the main house lower ground via a tunnel under the entire length of the garden.

The actual renovation was highly complex and demanding in nature and comprised extensive demolition, dismantling, structural alterations and remodelling of the internal space. Vaulted ceilings emphasise the feeling of light and space on the top floor and add to an overwhelming sense of symmetry that permeates throughout.

For the full article see Habitat #261 September / October 2017


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