Kensington Architects: The Design Challenge
As architects for this basement extension and whole house refurbishment in Kensington, Shape Architecture obtained planning permission to return the building from four flats to a substantial family home with subterranean accommodation. The various levels within the building will be linked through a feature stair set against a full height glazed wall to flood the interior with light. The subterranean accommodation will also be filled with light through various rooflights and double height spaces. Green roofs are introduced at various levels of the project. Generous hallways set against external glazing ensure that the interior is always flooded with light and that there is a great sense of space. As Kensington Architects with a vast experience of basement conversions in Kensington and throughout London, Shape Architecture has been able to bring a creative and technical expertise to this project.
We have recently produced a brochure highlighting ten basements designed and completed in Kensington, Chelsea and Fulham over the last three years.
Kensington Basement Conversion: Energy Performance
Much consideration has been given to the thermal upgrade of the existing building fabric. The existing solid masonry walls are lined with a thermal lining board that has insulation bonded to plasterboard. This will reduce the heat lost through the walls and also improve the sound insulation of the house. Existing single glazed windows are replaced with high performance windows. New Rooflights are introduced to maximize the use of natural light and reduce the need for artificial lighting. These rooflight are also specified to a high level of thermal performance. Careful attention has also been paid to the detailing of all of these components. Large scale details of the window head, cill and jambs within the window openings, are drawn to ensure that silicone bedding and sealant can be considered and clearly drawn in order to reduce any heat loss from the perimeter of windows, rooflights and doors.
As architects working on London basement projects we always explore the opportunities to upgrade the whole of the building fabric to reduce heat loss and explain clearly to the client the advantages and cost of these measures. We have on many of our other projects such as extensions in Kensington or internal refurbishment projects in Westminster, also obtained planning permissions for the upgrade of single glazed windows to double glazed windows. At our refurbishment of a large flat overlooking Grosvenor Square in Westminster this include both the large windows onto the square and Crittall windows to the rear. This has also led to us undertaking a number of projects throughout London where we have obtained planning permissions to upgrade existing single glazed windows to energy efficient double glazed units to whole buildings or single apartments.