When demolishing and rebuilding is the way forward

18 March 2019

We have been working on an incredible project which is due for completition in April 2019.

The building is a semi-detached house located in a cul-de-sac near East Finchley Tube station, outside the Hampstead Garden Suburb. The family (including 3 young children) had bought the house which needed a full refurbishment. They decided to live in the property first for a year to better understand their needs.

A social house to grow with the family

This social family wanted an open plan kitchen, dining and family area that would allow them to entertain.  They also needed a large playroom for the kids that would work with them as they grow. The house has a beautiful garden but the existing arrangement was not making the most of the views so it was important to open up as much of the spaces to the garden, and ideally to have a view of the garden from the entrance and front rooms so that light carried through. The level difference between the front of the house and the garden provided an ideal opportunity to add a basement.

With the level of intervention needed, we did a costing exercise very early on with a Quantity Surveyor.  We found that it was more cost effective to demolish and rebuild as new builds do not attract VAT (20%).

Close communication with the neighbours was key to get support to demolish a semi-detached house in this tight-knit community. We presented the project to the community in its early stages which proved effective in dealing with queries. This helped us win planning permission from Barnet Council with minimum objections and have a friendly curiosity from neighbours throughout the building works.

As it is a semi-detached, the proposed scheme reinstates the front elevation with minor alterations and extensions. A full basement provides a guest bedroom with seating area, games room with gym, spa consisting of sauna, steam room, shower, relaxation area and utility with storage. With 9 additional rooms, we managed to increase the net internal area from 158.85m² to a total of 378.60m².

Features designed to bring in natural light

Tilted skylight – The skylight on top of the dining room at the rear is tilted to maximise the ingress of light. It was designed to have an integrated electric blind for moments when the sun would be too strong.

Tilted skylight progress

Tilted skylight progress

Double height entrance – All spaces feel connected vertically.

Bring light to the staircase – We designed an open reading corner at the top of the stairs so all circulation spaces benefit from daylight and views of the garden.

Mirror clad light shaft A mirror clad light shaft in the children’s bathroom brings natural daylight and sunlight. The changing light brings this internal space to life emphasised by the use of reflective mosaic tiles and mirror strips incorporated into the wall tiling.


Planning a new build or extension? Our team of experienced Architects can assist in all parts of the process so please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0207 431 9014.

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