Prior to Lab Architects’ involvement in the extension and renovation of Red Brick House, this 1930s house had an awkward layout, a small kitchen and lots of available space that was not being utilised to its full potential. As part of its transformation, a basement was dug under 75% of the plot to create a new family room, utility room, WC and two bedrooms with en suites.
Strategic lightwells were placed to create a light and airy space which doesn’t feel subterranean, whilst the new family room is unexpectedly large and high ceilinged with a statement staircase. An automatic trapdoor also allows the garage to be connected or separated from the family room depending on its desired use. To continue with the expansion of usable space, we extended out from the kitchen and connected the main house to the garage at ground level to create a new dining room, and overall Lab Architects managed to create almost double the amount of internal space in this Chelsea residence.
Despite having a focus on extending the space, throughout the project we remained sensitive to the 1930s heritage of the house and used features such as metal windows to relate this. The Crittall-style windows which surround the courtyard garden bring the inside out and the outside in, adding to the airy and spacious feeling of the new house, whilst the red brick of the house has been replicated and continued across the floor of the courtyard.
Inside, the new staircase unites the different elements of the house, with an oak handrail and black metal spindles which is continuous from the basement all the way to the second floor. Meanwhile, works on the second floor have been transformative, with the space being opened up to create a vaulted master bedroom with a generous en suite.