New basement house in Fulham, LB Hammersmith


Our client approached us to review how to maximise the potential of their unique home in Fulham, LB Hammersmith. The existing property is a converted workshop arranged around a courtyard, set behind a traditional residential terrace. Having not been designed to accommodate a family, the building’s layout is restrictive and the fabric not suitable for modern standards. Previous works to the structure had failed to fully address its shortcomings and a wholesale redevelopment of the site is now being sought.

The site has unique challenges which we need to consider and embody in the design. With overlooking from all boundaries, minimal outdoor amenity space, and restricted access, we have produced a range of designs that jointly respond to these constraints and provide the amenities required for a large family while also balancing the planning policy constraints for the area.
The form of the designs seek to orientate the home around a central courtyard to protect the privacy of the client and neighbours, and to take full advantage of sun throughout the day. Each design ensures that the dwelling is no larger above ground than the existing building and produces a considered response to each boundary of the site.

The layouts integrate a new large basement with flexible living areas, both internally and externally, and bring the existing roof space into functional use. The provision of extensive yet separate living areas allows for multi-generational cohabitation where individual privacy can be respected. Other key drivers are creating a sense of arrival at the home and repositioning the staircase as a centrepiece.

A contemporary materials palette has been envisioned to carry the reflect the warmth of the sun throughout the courtyard and carry it into the home itself. The site’s constraints provide an opportunity to embody modern construction techniques where traditional routes would not be appropriate. Pre-fabricated or modular construction have been considered to reduce the number of trades on a constrained site, and to minimise the on-site construction programme.