Extending a Victorian terrace property upwards with additional floors and mansard roof extension
It’s hard not to think of a missing tooth. You’ve got a classic Victorian terrace with shops on the ground floor and two or three storeys above – except for one building that looks like a stump with its shop and one floor.
It’s easy to see from the front what you want to do – extend upwards and fill in the gap. It makes sense visually and our client also saw that this would be an opportunity to build new living space right in the middle of London. That would be more room for people to live that can be built without ever thinking about parking because you’re right by an Overground station and a short walk from an Underground station.
But it’s not as simple as that. We are in a crowded city, so there are the people in neighbouring buildings to think about, particularly the ones whose windows are exactly where our walls would be if we just matched one of the buildings on either side.
New Build Dwelling House
Our client wanted to turn a small flat into a large flat (or you could think of it as a house) and there was unused air space above his existing building. This is exactly the kind of opportunity the government’s blueprint National Planning Policy Framework encourages us to look for. We knew, though, that the job would not be as straightforward as it looked.
From the front, we have extended upwards and filled in the gap in the terrace. The idea is that the upward extension should look every bit as Victorian as its neighbours.
But we couldn’t replicate the full depth of those buildings. So at the back, we had to figure out how to get the most space while respecting the rights to light and privacy of the people in neighbouring buildings. The new floors, we decided, would be a blocky L shape to allow the light to get through to the next-door flats.
Transforming the back of the shop into the ground floor of the flat meant we could create a garden, which is a precious thing right in the heart of the city. Above that, there’s a generous living room and a bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. The two new floors each have a bedroom with an ensuite. That’s a quite an upgrade on a one-bedroom flat.
Urbanist Architecture is a London-based RIBA chartered architecture and planning practice with offices in Greenwich and Belgravia. We are on a mission to unlock the hidden potential of your site and deliver you a successful transformational change.