Sunken House

A lower ground floor flat refurbishment and basement extension to create a 3,000 sq ft glamourous apartment for entertaining

The initial brief was to refurbish the existing lower ground floor apartment and add a small rear extension to improve the layout and connection with the garden. In addition to the refurbishment TCA expanded the brief by tabling the idea of a full basement extension to exploit the extensive rear garden and double the floor area. The final design more than doubled the floor area to over 3,000 sq ft and elevates the apartment to feel like a generous and luxurious house.

The existing basement flat was converted to incorporate an ensuite bedroom and the main living spaces opening onto the extensive rear garden. A new staircase then descends into the basement excavation which extends under the entire footprint of the existing house and under the garden. The significant size of the garden affords the significant increase in floor area without it feeling unbalanced.

The levels of both the existing floor level and the rear garden were dropped to create a large lower terrace and generous ceiling heights. This allows natural daylight to flood into the rear of the house and also down to the basement via a new lightwell.

The new basement level incorporates a glamourous entertaining space as well the Master Suite and a further ensuite bedroom. The party room under the garden features a bespoke bar, DJ booth, and sunken cinema area. The different uses are dramatically defined by a feature fireplace in the centre of the space, which is finished in a strip of concrete that wraps over the floor, wall, ceiling and out into the external lightwell. Sound transference was carefully considered to allow the spaces to be used without disturbing the neighbours.

Clean and elegant traditional Victorian panelling and details to the hallways and Master suite respect the original period building and are contrasted with more contemporary joinery and concrete finishes to the Kitchen and bar areas to give the home a more urban industrial edge. This is layered with premium finishes including refined brass metalwork, antique mirror, timber parquet flooring and marble surfaces that maintain a sense of luxury throughout.

The internal spaces connect out to the garden via a glass bridge over the lightwell from the bay window, or from the rear extension which looks out onto a concrete water feature that flows between the top and bottom levels of the garden. The top area of the garden features a seating area with steel pergola, fire pit and barbeque.