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Mews House, Earls Court

Designed in collaboration with VX Design & Architecture, this two bedroom house is built on a small site previously occupied by a warehouse.  Typically for a mews house the front façade sits directly against the pavement, and the rear wall is almost windowless, limiting privacy and natural light.  A garage was also required by the planning authority, further reducing the limited space available.

The two bedrooms and one bathroom are located on the ground floor.  A further bathroom and dressing area occupies an enlarged existing basement, accessed via a stair from the main bedroom.   The principal living spaces and a roof terrace are located on an open plan first floor, accessed via a stair close to the entrance door.  Both stairs run directly behind the front elevation, reducing circulation space to a minimum. Daylight penetrates into the ground floor bedrooms through

these stairs via obscured full height glazing in the front façade, and the frameless glass balustrades of the stairs themselves.

A very low height restriction was imposed at the north of the site in order not to reduce existing daylight into a neighbouring building.  The garage was located here, with a minimum head height, and the kitchen sited above along the full width of the north wall.  The living space is set in from this boundary and so the floor can be positioned higher, permitting more generous ceiling heights in the bedrooms below.  The resulting change of level between the kitchen and living space is articulated with a bench seat for the dining area.    

Façade windows to the living space are avoided, as the narrow street would cause overlooking problems.
Instead the living room is illuminated via a full width sliding folding glazed door onto a side roof terrace.   A frameless glass roof window floods the open plan space with natural light.

Photos by Michael Freeman