Stonechat Mews, SW15
Roehampton, London Complete 3 Houses
Winner - BUILD 2017 Best Residential Development Residential Development
When we were commissioned to look at the residential development potential for this backland site, hidden from the main street, and occupied by a single storey brick-faced warehouse at the end of a shabby avenue of tired garages, some imagination was required to visualise how this unloved space could be transformed into 3 stylish new-build contemporary homes creating a focal vista along a renovated mews. These types of projects are incredibility constrained, from the limited geometry of the site, to party wall issues, protection of neighbours existing amenity, and with private roads to occupied garages allowing limited site access for construction.
Addressing these constraints innovatively has resulted in a sculptural architecture emerging from the ground, with access to each new house from an enclosed landscaped south facing courtyard at the front, and with framed two-storey windows facing onto the mews. To the rear, double height fully glazed winter gardens open onto private gardens and flood the interior with natural light.
The interiors of each house are bright and contemporary with spaces seemingly carved from the solid three storey massing, and with neutral wall and floor finishes allowing occupants maximum opportunity to fashion their individual choices of furniture and art, animating the neutral backdrop of each room with a blend of sculpture and art throughout. A polished concrete floor finish runs throughout the ground floor area with a bespoke, cantilevered, white polished concrete and glass open riser staircase leading from the main living and dining space as a simple sculptural statement connecting each floor in the gallery-like space. The invisible support structure of the precast concrete treads defies gravity and combined with natural light filtering down from rooflights above, introduces a constantly changing filigree of shadows and reflections within the interior providing unexpected visual delight in each house.
The enclosed double height winter garden at the rear frames views of the sky above the high garden walls retained from the original warehouse structure. The bespoke kitchen is designed by the architect and fabricated by the contractor, and can be entirely closed from the living areas when required with concealed pocket doors.
Three bedrooms are located at first floor, one of which opens partly onto the double height winter garden, providing additional views out over the garden and connecting to the living space below. The top floor accommodates the master suite and is open plan with a bedroom and study space looking out onto a private external roof terrace area, and with a Zen like master bathroom, which at one end is provided with a freestanding bath set in front of a fully glazed wall and a backdrop of bamboo, and at the other end, a walk in shower with a large skylight above.