The light-filled, open-plan townhouses were among the first to be built in the Bloomsbury Conservation Area for more than 90 years. Securing planning permission for the scheme, on a constrained site and surrounded by a number of adjacent Grade II listed buildings, was a significant achievement.
Early client discussion centred on an apartment scheme, but Piercy&Company helped evolve a brief for townhouses better suited to the constraints of the site, creating large, flexible interior spaces and roof terraces typical of high end London residences.
A contemporary design echoes the materials and proportions of the surrounding historic fabric. Heavily textured masonry and finely detailed stone cills, lintels and stringer courses create a contextually sensitive skin whilst the window proportions and generous floor to ceiling heights reflect the rich architectural language of neighbouring Georgian buildings.
Creating additional space on the constrained site was critical and measures included cantilevering over the pavement at first floor level and extending the basement below the pavement. A continuous open stair between all floors – made possible by the introduction of a domestic sprinkler system – opens up views through the houses and is lit from above by a rooflight which draws light deep into the interior.
The open interiors reflect the evolving nature of households and can be reconfigured to support the changing needs of individuals and families.
In 2012 the Townhouses were shortlisted for the Brick Awards and in 2013 were shortlisted for a RIBA London Region Award.