The client brief was to resolve the poor internal layout and dark introspective spaces and improve the flow and disconnection between the small narrow living spaces. As well as adding space by the creation of a new basement floor.
The proposal involved completely demolishing the house, retaining only the front façade, excavating a basement to the full extent of the small site, re-building the house above and reconfiguring the internal layout. To the ground floor the main living space has been opened up from front to back, creating one space with light streaming in from both sides. The individual activities of this space are defined not by walls, like in the original house, but instead by the orientation of the space and the placement of the furniture.
The staircase becomes the focal point of the house, connecting the spaces vertically while each of the main living areas are directly accessed from this. This brings a sculptural quality to the design and becomes a consistent element throughout each floor. By offsetting the treads from the perimeter walls the staircase appears to stand free in the space, reinforcing the appearance as a sculptural element. The stepped nature of the treads creates an interesting fanned texture as the stair moves from basement to first floor.