With a baby on the way, the clients needed more living space and a new bedroom inside – quickly. Outside, they wanted a proper garden to replace the existing dingy courtyard at basement level that was overshadowed by a garage.


With so much needed from such a small footprint, our solution saw the removal of the garage and the excavation of a new lower ground floor. Not only did this free up 40 m2 of space, it left room for a full-sized, sun-drenched garden too.


Internally, angled planes resolve awkward party wall alignments, creating a flow between new and old constructions, dramatically enhancing the clients’ enjoyment of their home. Direct sunlight now reaches the living space, bringing unexpected warmth and light into the lower ground floor.


The clients described themselves as very happy. “The works finished just in time for our new baby. The result took just as long and is almost as beautiful…but not quite! Everything we asked for and more.


In this tight urban site, the house and garden have been transformed by removing a detached garage to extend the garden to the back of the site. The lower ground floor underneath this was excavated to significantly increase the living space of the home.

Light and fluidity

The excavated, new-build lower-ground level extension is cleverly knitted into the levels of the existing home, introducing light into the space through glazed windows, a glazed floor/ceiling and a central internal courtyard. These spaces are given a sense of light and fluidity through the construction of white walls that hides the structural steels, in-situ, power-floated concrete and delicate stainless steel finish fireplace.

Creating a courtyard

Through sensitive and creative consideration, especially at the foundation detail and construction methodologies, we successfully created an outdoor space that now provides stable, maximum height boundary walls, a full sized garden with areas for planting, a deck area boasting details such as oak decking with stainless steel coach screws, and a bespoke built-in barbecue.

Project credits


  • 2013 RIBA Awards London - shortlisted


  • Structural: Elliott Wood
  • Building Control: Head Projects

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