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The Fantastic West London Terrace Renovation

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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Your parents or grandparents would have told you time and time again to never judge a book by its cover. This notion, no matter how much it annoyed us as children, is reflected very much in a whole host of different life situations. This idea, as well as being relevant where people are concerned, also applies to property.

There are many period or historic homes around London that are unable to alter their exterior façade due to council restrictions or planning authorities rightly enforcing rules to retain streetscape aesthetics. This is, of course, for the purpose of retaining history and ensuring that those who live in quaint stone terrace houses aren't subjected to a boxy project home becoming their new neighbour.

Today we are going to look at an exciting extension project by Sophie Nguyen Architects that is a little out of the ordinary. Extensions are usually attached to buildings but in this instance, we find a self-contained two bedroom flat underneath this classic pebbled dashed English home.

Let's take a closer look!

An unassuming exterior

From the outside the classic appearance of this home does not reveal the modern changes that have taken place inside or, in this case, underneath. If you peer beneath the steel gate you get a glimpse of a lower level but what lays beneath cannot be worked out until you are inside…

Open plan living

Cleverly, the ground floor slab was dropped and internal walls were removed to create an illusion of additional space and volume. As you can see, the light source has been equally dispersed throughout these two adjoined spaces thanks to the removal of a partitioning wall. Sleek and modern, the retro exterior of the home doesn't give away any clues about what is hidden inside.

The furniture and interior decorating style is unique, employing a distinct use of mid-century furniture and fixtures. The low hung lights above the table create atmosphere and ambience, casting a warm yellow glow throughout the largely white space. Embodying the principles of Bauhaus style architecture, the only touch of colour comes from the pop of yellow and red.

Spatial relationships

In this image you are treated to a stunning view of the newly added lower level. What better way to ensure that the light from above reaches underneath than with a glass floor in lieu of a ceiling?

Not only does this look incredible but it opens up a world of possibilities for the lower floor, meaning it can remain light-filled and airy even during the darkest of the winter months. 


Stunning architectural geometry has been included, evidenced in the form of an incredible staircase that wraps the supporting pillar in a brilliant shade of red. From this angle you can see the glass floor above as a ceiling and are able to realise in full, how much light this clever and ingenious design feature allows in.

Light and bright

As you can see, despite the almost basement nature of this area, it is anything but gloomy and dark. A glass wall occupies the front of the space, allowing a soft dispersion of light to flood the room from above.

Stark white render outside helps to further reflect the available light, meaning that even the most closed corners remain illuminated.

If you would like to another exciting below ground conversions, check out: A Beyond Brilliant British Basement.

Was the new contemporary interior a surprise? Did you like it? We'd love to hear your thoughts on the project in the comments!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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