Basement Extension Case Study 03
This is the ‘one that got away’. A below garden basement extension to a prominent Grade 2 listed building, which Shape Architecture gained planning permission for in Windsor. Sadly our Client decided not to build. It remains one of our favourite basement projects though, both because of gaining permission to such a listed property in a sensitive location and also the quality of the series of dramatic spaces it created. As with all of our projects the design process was a combination of sketching and exploring design issues with 3D computer models. When drawing ideas we quite typically design by drawing a series of sections. This was particularly the case here as we explored how the ground floor and its proposed orangery extension integrated with the basement, garden and the existing building. The result is a curved roof whose curve then extends into the below garden basement extension in the form of a curved ceiling. Geometry, form and a limited palette of high quality materials are key to the success of this design. The breakfast area is designed as an independent organic platform in the garden setting from which the stair to the basement flows down. The success of the planning application, which we gained at the first attempt is also derived from the supporting statements that accompany the drawings. These include a Design and Heritage statement which we wrote to demonstrate our detailed understanding of the ‘Heritage Asset’ we were adapting. Construction Methodology and Traffic Management plans were also submitted.
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Should you wish to discuss ideas you have for a basement project. We would be happy to chat with you.
Can you build a basement below a garden?
Yes of course and there are many advantages. As with any other form of development there are also planning restrictions. A key factor is the common limitation not to exceed 50% of the depth of the garden in forming a below garden basement. A deep garden with easy access can be an ideal location to form a new basement. Not having to prop and support a house over the excavation is obviously a significant advantage. Thereafter the prime issue is bringing day light and natural ventilation into the below garden basement. Here we have created below garden basements with a series of lightwells supported by glazed panels over set within a paving zone. Changes in landscape levels also allow strips of high-level glazing such as at this Case Study project in Windsor.