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Lansdowne Gardens is a new three bedroom house which has replaced a derelict single storey doctors surgery within a conservation area. The site, which is flanked by two listed buildings, was set back from the highway behind the remnants of an old brick garden wall and had consent for a two bed house won at appeal by another firm.
The building adopts a minimalistic approach, with a palette of materials that reflects the simplicity and clarity of the design. The basic rectangular form of building form is detailed as a crisp brick box with simple openings framed with black aluminium. The striking brickwork complements the surrounding environment while allowing the house to be offer an outstanding contemporary presence. The relatively light yellow colouring of the brickwork offers a gentle tonal contrast with the darker brick of the older buildings to either side.
Internally the floors are polished concrete and ceilings and walls are plastered and white washed, with the exception of a concrete wall and ceiling in the master bedroom, which are left exposed. All joinery, such as the staircase and timber panelling to the lower hallway, is oak with a white oiled finish.
From the pavement the house appears as a single storey pavilion: its true nature as a two-storey structure is only revealed beyond the entrance, which is set into the restored boundary wall. Once inside the dwelling, although the house has had to follow the form of the original surgery due to strict planning constraints, the design is tailored to suit the client’s aspirations. A bright hallway with a dramatic two storey window houses a new open staircase connecting the ground floor with the new basement level: a dominating aspect of the house which is completely invisible from street level. The main living space is located on the ground floor where wide glazed doors provide access to the new paved courtyard. The elegantly designed kitchen is hidden behind bi-fold doors, allowing attention to be focused elsewhere and for this area to function as a simple, minimalistic space for entertainment and relaxation. An oak lined hallway at basement level leads to three bedrooms, each with sliding doors opening out to new decked courtyards. These occupy a series of deep lightwells, which allow large levels of natural light to enter the lower level and dispel any impression of being in a typical basement. The master bedroom has an ensuite shower room, and a generous family bathroom serves the remaining two bedrooms.