MEWS HOUSE PRIMROSE HILL

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Location: Primrose Hill, London

Client: Private Client

Project Year: 2013

Cost:

<p>The original mews buildings at both no. 5 and 3 were poorly remodelled in the 70s, both cramped, introverted, and shut off from the street. Seeing our earlier rebuild for their neighbour at no. 3, our client asked us to realize the potential of no. 5, expanding and re-organising it to create a contemporary home to accommodate the demands of a growing family. </p><p>We took the opportunity to pursue two objectives in a single residential commission: to realize the client’s brief to create a contemporary home with a sense of openness, and to complete a meaningful contribution to the local streetscape.</p><p>On this very tight site we extended backwards, underneath, and sideways; the client owned a slither of land onto which we shifted the entire street-end wall, articulated with a glass flash-gap to the retained front façade.  We created a new basement level, unified with the ground floor / courtyard level by an open stair against the front and glass floor across the back. At loft level to open up to the sky and garden views, we rebuilt two dormers in structural glass at the front and cut in a hidden balcony for the master bedroom at the rear.</p><p>The aggregate of all the changes outlined above meant a significant rebuild became possible, essentially a façade-retention project. In turn this allowed us to introduce a much higher level of sustainable construction. We re-used the timbers from joisted floors and roof but introduced new externally insulated block work, directly plastered inside to give thermal mass.  Further thermal inertia was introduced by the use of float-finished concrete slabs to both the Ground and Basement floors.  Externally, we used rubber and stainless-steel roofing materials for their environmental attributes.</p><p>Having built a like-minded project next door, we thought to explore how upgrading the private terraced house we could also make a meaningful contribution in repairing local streetscape.</p><p>Re-organising the ground floor of the front façade, pairing with no. 3, allows our reinstated openings to re-engage the houses with the street. The articulated glazed corner and new end-of-terrace wall re-define the site as corner condition rather than as the ‘broken’ terrace that it was.  The house, with its neighbour, looks to unify and extend the mews terrace while speaking to Camden’s courtyard housing beyond. </p>

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