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VIRGINIA MEWS, SHOREDITCH, LONDON E2 2 bedroom house
area: 1055sqft / 98sqm
projected construction cost: £200,000 The proposal began life as the joint extension and refurbishment of 2 properties within a secluded mews in order to increase the number of bedrooms, along with the scale and extent of the living spaces within both properties. The desire from both property owners was to jointly improve the internal layouts of their properties, maximise the available space within the existing footprint of the buildings and to convert what were 2 unsatisfactory 1 bedroom houses into 2 fully refurbished 2 bedroom houses. In addition there was a desire to rectify problem areas of the existing building envelope, to improve the build quality and to overcome poor insulation levels. Following the decision by the owners of one of the properties to sell up, the proposals were modified and continued out with one property and its owners. The proposal was to completely reorganise the house to create 2 distinct levels: 2 improved bedroom spaces (one with ensuite) on a ground floor bedroom level, and a large and airy open plan living / dining room and kitchen area on the floor above. The key was to increase the scale of the upstairs space by raising the roof line whilst mitigating the impact of the enlarged volume on the confined site. The faceted roof form both screened the living spaces and new balcony area from the close proximity and overlooking of neighbouring windows and provided a single solution to upgrading the built envelope. Windows were restricted to a large rooflight at the highest point of the roof and gaps between the folded roof plane and the existing building fabric to create an open yet private and concealed space. The existing boundary brick walls around the perimeter of the site were retained and upgraded so that the house became expressed materially as a masonry base with a folded timber structure above.