Basement Conversion & Extension
32 Maze Hill, Greenwich SE10
The proposal is to build a ground floor side extension on a semi detached end of terrace Georgian 2 bedroom house for a growing family and lower and extend the basement.
This house is a later addition to a long Georgian terrace, which in turn has a later Victorian addition to the side. To the side of the Victorian addition is an alley with a dilapidated park wall and shed. The clients require extra space in order to stay put and wish to extend the limited space into the side area that is presently unused; please refer to photos. The present head-height in the basement is very much restricted height that is uninhabitable at 1.7m and the window light is restricted to two very small windows; please refer to photos. So the proposal includes the lowering of the basement floor level and the opening up of the rear wall to create a more habitable basement space and the extension on the side to create a bigger living room; that utilises wasted space that is presently a landing and W.C. and shower room. The proposed extension to the side will require the demolition of the existing extension that was inadequately connected to the original Georgian house and essentially now only provides a landing after it has been converted in the past.
The existing layout of the space and head-heights are ad hoc and inadequate. The basement has no light and is stepped and the ground floor has been broken up with incoherent staircases and steps dislocating the continuity of the rooms. The proposal is to extend the basement towards the side to allow the relocation of the kitchen and dining areas towards the rear of the house; so that these living spaces will have adequate daylight – with the opening up of the rear wall and creation of a dug out patio. A W.C. and utility are to be located within the smaller area towards the front on one side and a snuggery seating area towards the front on the other side. Neither of these areas requires much daylight and they will act as buffer zones for the traffic noise from the street, which is quite audible. The extension on ground floor will open up the living room to create a decent sized “gallery“ like space that will front Greenwich Park and make use of the space that presently is broken up with stairs and a W.C. Towards the front of the house a W.C. and basin is proposed.
The front façade has been designed to follow through and match the existing elevations’ compositional elements including: the windows, their arches, the ground level articulation, the roof, gutters and rainwater pipes. The matching windows and folding doors (including arches) on the rear echo the existing Georgian character of the terrace and house. The proposed roof keeps the same-hipped end at the same height. Furthermore as the proposal is simply a small enlargement to the existing extension this end of terrace location helps anchor the larger terrace of three storeys in a way that creates a more coherent “bookstop” to the streetscape that presently disintegrates at this end with the dilapidated wall.
The proposal will use second hand London Stock brickwork that will be stained with an approved organic solution to create an exact colour match with the existing distinctly dark Georgian brickwork that is often found in the locale. The pointing shall also be pointed and stained to match the existing. The windows shall match the existing and be hardwood sash windows with matching mullions. The proposed folding doors shall be white hard wood timber thinly framed glazed panels. The timber frames shall be thinner than standard contemporary timber frames and therefore more Georgian and elegantly in keeping with the other existing windows. The roof shall be made up of retained slates and matching slates; and the rain water pipes and gutters shall be second hand reclaimed black metal or iron to match existing.
The ground floor living area provides access down to the proposed lower kitchen/dining/sitting area. These stairs are reached at the end of the gallery living room and will necessitate a new staircase. The existing stairway has uneven and disparate treads and an uneven treacherous progress. Access to the patio is via the glazed folding doors and further access onto the garden is via a proposed solid staircase that is set into the lawn. The patio is dug out as far as the extent of the boundaries, but not far back in order to maintain adequate garden space. Access to the basement floor is via a landing from which storage and a W.C. can be accessed on either side
This is a modest extension that would offer a growing family, great opportunities to improve their quality of life, and stay put. The presently restricted spaces and head heights combined with lack of light can easily be improved with a small extension to the side of what exists. The extension would also lead to the improvement of the dilapidated boundary wall and the abandoned and unusable side alley. This small extension is very much the same as the existing. It is the same height and length and only 1.6m deeper. Yet it would help create a user friendly house; better suited to today’s family lifestyles and not destroy any of the original main house. In conclusion the benefits of the proposal amount to more than what is a seemingly minor addition and the clients are keen that any permission granted be built to be in keeping with the elegant Georgian character of this Georgian terraced and impressive street.