Overlooked by its neighbours and modest in size the site is located at the corner of a West London urban park. It was occupied by a defunct 19th century chapel of rest, the former home of a local boxing club. Considered a sensitive site, planning permission had to be carefully deliberated and the best strategy was to gain permission in stages. Beginning in 2006 a change of use application was followed by an exploration of extending the existing chapel, but this proved to be impractical in creating a meaningful family house that fitted the client's brief. Permission was finally granted for the chapel's demolition and the construction of a replacement dwelling with basement in 2008.
The new house had to consider the proximity of the neighbouring properties; its intimate relationship to the street and pedestrian traffic as well as respecting the presence of a large, mature plane tree that dominates the public view of the house. Despite these elements a good-sized five-bedroom house has been achieved for the client's young family, with a modest front garden and rear courtyard. The ground floor is the main living space of the house with open plan kitchen / dining area linking to a dramatic double height sitting room with galleried master bedroom above. A TV/playroom in the basement links to the living spaces with the use of internal and external skylights. There are three further bedrooms on the second floor, one for each child and a guest suite in the basement.
The house is unashamedly modern from the outside, but the use of a palate of contextually considered materials blends the house into its location. Reclaimed London stock brick form the body of the house, complimented with panels of slim profiled timber louvres and standing seam zinc cladding. The house is insulated to the highest levels, with an efficient gas heating system heating supported by solar thermal panels situated on the south facing section of the roof.