The problem with any large city, especially London, is the issue of space. Growing families are forever having to deal with the need for increased space, and while many choose to move further out of the city in order to find a bigger home, some are staying put, reconfiguring their homes to great effect. The builder's of the century-old Victorian terrace homes that dominate London's residential landscape could never have imagined what modern building practices would allow their original designs to become. From interior remodels, loft extensions and conversions, to garden extensions and in this case, basement extensions, there is now no such thing as a typical terrace home.
Rather than move out of their house in Peckham, these home owners decided to consider all avenues of extension to increase the size of their abode. With their property not suited to a loft conversion, the next avenue to explore was to extend down. With the help of AR'CHIC, the result was a modern 3 storey extension and basement conversion that has greatly changed the way the occupants live, creating a homogeneous, seamless space that is anything but typical.
From the street, the brick façade of this typically British townhouse looks much the same as the other terrace homes that line the street.
However, the rear of the house tells a completely different story. Here, we can see the complete transformation it has undergone. Structurally, the basement level of the extension has been built in contrasting materials to the existing brick. Large glass skylights sit atop the new basement, and the large wraparound corner window of the brick component of the extension allows ample light to enter the new staircase. Also notice the use of grass; here, a green roof has been used that will slowly grow over time, increasing the thermal properties of the roof to allow the basement to stay cooler in summer and much warmer in winter.
From this angle, we see the extension that has been built with matching brick to seamlessly blend into the existing building when viewed from afar. The modern design of the corner window is a bold contrast to the brick; its wrap around design almost giving the impression the new 3 storey extension is floating effortlessly above the basement.
From inside, you can gather just how much work has gone into this project. By excavating a large portion of the garden, paired with the new skylights and installation of floor-to-ceiling glass at the rear, never will this basement be a dark a dreary space many people envision a basement to be. The extra beauty of the excavation means a small terrace has been built; a cosy and private space away from the prying eyes of neighbours.
White is an obvious choice for a modern kitchen; it enhances the bright feeling the ample natural light creates. Modern wall paper also features, adding a touch of character and personality. The best part about the wallpaper of today is you can easily rip it off and start again; no messing about with the wallpapers of the past.
While a toilet is rarely the first place we consider when it comes to the availability of natural light, this does not mean it has to be dark or boring. By recessing the lights behind the wall, it automatically becomes a unique addition to the home, and allows for a gentle burst of light, without the need for harsh downlights which can sometimes be too much for a space as small as this.
Hopefully the radical change this Peckham townhouse has undergone have given you a small insight to the possibilities available to what might seem like a typical home, and proving that the notion of “renovate before relocate” is something to consider before you up and move.
To see the amazing transformation of another London basement, take a look at this before & after of basement apartment in Bayswater.