Pamela dreamed of giving her family the perfect home. Her daughter and son-in-law had three kids who Pamela wanted to stay close to and support, but her cramped bungalow simply didn’t have the space. She also didn’t want to leave the leafy Wimbledon street she knew and loved.
Not one to compromise, Pamela’s only option was to demolish her bungalow and build a brand new, state of the art modern home.
Pamela’s ambition faced a major roadblock: her site was within the West Wimbledon Conservation Area, which meant strict guidelines, heavy scrutiny from planning officers and potential for local outrage.
The area’s typical style was Victorian brick houses with steep pitched roofs – far from Pamela’s taste for clean modern lines, white walls and generous glass. We wouldn’t just be building upstream, we would be breaking entirely new ground.
Beyond aesthetic concerns, Pamela needed a home that significantly increased her available space without expanding beyond the existing footprint or rising too high. Her ambition was matched for her eye for quality and we were firm believers in her dream.
Planning permission was hard won. As expected, opinion was heavily divided but we argued tirelessly to prove the benefits of the build not just to Pamela but to the wider area. Despite the initial objections, our design has since received widespread praise.
The quality of the proposed build compared to the existing bungalow is staggering. Instead of one floor, Pamela will have three, giving her a total floor area of over 430 square metres spread across generously sized rooms and open plan spaces.
Such a dramatic increase in space was, in part, thanks to an expansive basement complete with lightwells to make it feel as open and organic as the surface floors. Within which will be a cinema room, gym, sauna, bathroom and en suite bedroom.
Expanding downwards meant we didn't need to design too far upwards. Due to the odd, angular shape of the existing dwelling, the more practical shape of our first floor doesn't project significantly above the prior roof line.
The luxurious open plan kitchen and living room of the ground floor and the cosy bedrooms above will be filled with light through generous windows throughout. Instead of the dark, crowded and overcomplicated layout of her bungalow, Pamela and her family will enjoy a refreshingly light and open space.
Everything culminates with a beautiful finish of white render, timber and glass. And it's not just looks that count: we designed to Level 5 of the Code for Sustainable Homes – an exceptional standard for sustainability and efficiency far beyond the existing build.
The result is a home that stands out from the crowd and boldly shows the value of contemporary design in Conservation Areas.