London Basement Conversions: Garden Design
All our London basement conversions have included design and works to the rear garden. Amongst these projects the size and proportions of the gardens vary considerably and have called for a variety of design ideas. For example, our Fulham basement conversions have included a diverse range of garden designs dependent on the location of the project. Basement conversions in the ‘alphabet’ streets tend to have wider and longer rectangular gardens; those around Hurlingham Park and Parsons Green have tended to have smaller and proportionally square gardens.
London Basement Conversions: Gardens and Lightwells
The interface between the lightwell and the garden is a key design feature and has many variants. The visual and physical connection between the building interior and the garden is always clearly expressed and the lightwell tends to sit between the two as a glass bridge or else a glass platform. The opacity and patterning of the glass itself is often varied. At the edges of the glass platform a series of steel grilles are often incorporated for vent to the space below.
Fulham Basement Conversion: Garden One
This basement conversion in Hurlingham Road is of interest in that in addition to the glazed platform over the lightwell a glazed cube houses the basement stair. The garden is a strong feature whenever the stairs are used. The pocket nature of the garden space is dealt with by forming a series of perimeter planters and seats with planting trellis over the garden walls.
Fulham Basement Conversion: Garden Two
This basement conversion at 18 Ellerby Street, Fulham, is located in the ‘alphabet’ streets and is rectangular in shape. The garden light well is ‘lidded’ with a structural glass platform. The lightwell is linked directly to the garden by a garden stair at the edge of the garden. A glass balustrade runs the edge of the stair. The composition of glass, existing brickwork and planting works very well.
Fulham Basement Conversion: Garden Three
This basement conversion in Fulham is also located in the ‘alphabet’ streets, at 71 Ellerby Street. In this instance the garden lightwell is connected to a glass bridge. The lightwell is therefore quite open and a stronger connection with the garden. A glass balustrade prevents falling into the lightwell and it is through and over this balustrade that the garden is viewed. The margin at the foot of the balustrade is planted. A timber seating area is formed at the rear with a series of timber beams and posts providing scope for planting. A number of computer models and perspectives were created of various garden designs during the design process.
Kensington Basement Conversion: Garden Four
The garden at this basement conversion at Douro Place, Kensington is square in its proportions but larger than many of the square gardens we have worked on in Fulham. It is accessed both from a balcony at the raised ground floor level and also from a series of steps from the lower ground floor level. Perimeter tree and shrub planting and the rest set to lawn form a simple composition.
Chelsea Basement Conversion: Garden Five
This basement conversion Redesdale Street in Chelsea has a small rear garden which is accessed by a glass platform set over the lightwell. The garden is some 400mm higher than the glass bridge and so a series of steps are formed that span the full width of the garden. Set within the garden are two planters and these divide the space and so create a seating area at the rear. A rendered band is formed at just over a metre high around all walls with the brickwork of the existing garden wall exposed above and a series of planting trellises set over the brickwork.
London Basement Conversions: Gardens and lighting
A feature of many successful garden designs has been the use of artificial lighting, and this topic will be explored in a future article.