London-based Architects De Rosee Sa Convert have converted a previously redundant garage site into a bespoke family home featuring strong architectural lines and natural materials referencing the site’s heritage.
Housed on the site of a former wood yard between rear terraced gardens and a row of 16 West London garages, the existing storage shed was originally bought to prevent it from becoming overdeveloped. Seeing a possible opportunity, the client decided to develop the land themselves in line with the planning regulations, which set a vertical limit to the height of the property, stipulating that any new form must match the outline of the existing single-storey shed. Twenty-one party wall awards with neighbouring properties had to be agreed before work could start.
Working closely with the client, De Rosee Sa proposed a new basement level to meet the brief for two bedrooms while adhering to the strict planning regulations.. The ground floor is divided between living room, kitchen and bedroom with an en-suite bathroom. The second bedroom is located in the basement level with its own external courtyard and bathroom.
Inserting windows into the boundary walls was not possible due to privacy issues and instead De Rosee Sa were faced with the conundrum of lighting a narrow 37-metre-long site. Three external courtyards were added to the plans to draw in light, with a series of Crittal-style steel and glass doors installed to connect these courtyards to the interior and provide views through the entire length of the open property. The house can be entirely opened up during warmer weather, blurring the distinction between the outside and inside environment.
The internal walls of the courtyards are clad in Western Red Cedar battens, referring to the site’s history as a timber storage yard. The battens continue inside to form two cedar clad ‘volumes’ that contain smaller functional spaces such as the toilet, study and utility room. The textural quality of the cladding softens the minimal, white interiors and complements the steel framing a nd herringbone-patterned parquet flooring.
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