• Ellerby Street, Fulham Basement Extension

    As Shape Architecture continues its series of Fifteen Fulham basement projects, we focus on Ellerby Street. Our first basement extension in Fulham was on this street, and we have continued to design and construct many such projects throughout the ‘alphabet’ streets following its success.

    Ellerby Street consists of a full basement extension with front, rear and middle lightwells, side and rear extension, loft conversion, pod room and complete internal refurbishment. It is the inclusion of a third central lightwell and also the design of the rear lightwell with sliding doors from the kitchen opening up onto the lightwell that makes this basement extension distinct.

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    Having a central lightwell enables natural light and ventilation to be brought into the heart of the basement extension. The possibilities regarding the types of rooms improve; a basement room adjoining a light well offers a favourable environment for living and social spaces. Also, the lightwell at ground floor enables a second link between front reception room and kitchen to be established. This methodology was similar to a design approach of that at a previous basement conversion in Hurlingham Road, Fulham. In this instance, the bridge over the lightwell was primarily structural glass, and this was set directly below a roof light in the side infill roof. In this way, one can stand in the basement and look both up towards the sky and out into the lightwell. What can often be an artificially lit part of the basement plan, housing storage, plant and utility rooms, in this case, becomes a suitable area for living and family spaces. The rear of the large family room gives onto the middle lightwell and the front of the room onto the garden lightwell. And so the basement family room is naturally lit and vented to both ends.

    The rear lightwell is also an attractive feature that unites ground floor, basement level and garden beyond and incorporates a simple and rear glass bridge and series of glass panels.

    Finished 002From the garden, the kitchen is divided by a series of sliding doors with narrow frames. The sliding doors open onto the lightwell. The glass bridge offers access into the garden or onto the lightwell void. When the doors are open, a frameless glass balustrade provides protection from falling. With planting at the garden side of the light well and a frosted glass stair linking basement to garden, a clean and elegant composition is created.

    Amongst our Fulham basement extensions, a wide range of lightwell designs have been explored regarding access to and from the garden. Our Ellerby Street project has proved to be a particularly well-executed example.

    Working as Architects in Fulham, much of our success is within the discipline of detailing. An element, such as a rear lightwell, with various material interfaces, is technically sophisticated but made to look simple. We spend time drawing all the relevant details at a scale of 1:5 ensuring we express the parameters of our design to the last millimetre. The involvement of expert structural engineers and a Contractor with a strong supply chain of sub contractors enable a project that can develop fruitfully. We value the expertise greatly of all in the design team to ensure a well-completed project on time and budget. Our experience of Fulham basement projects and basement extensions throughout London ensures that we have long-standing relationships with such consultants and contractors. Likewise, our experience of working with lighting designers, AV consultants and Kitchen designers throughout London and in Fulham always contributes to the success of a project.

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