Simone de Gale Architects have presented a forward-thinking innovative proposal for a building change of use from industrial building to residential property, which is stand alone in its integrity and can stand apart from the bland and mundane surrounding properties.
Simone de Gale told PREMIER CONSTRUCTION: “We had been working with the same client for a number of years on a range of different residential projects. This particular site was purchased about 15 years previously and he had tried on a number of occasions to gain permission to a change of use, from what was a small derelict ice-cream factory, into a residential dwelling. We were asked to engage with this project and we were successful in our approach to achieve a three storey dwelling, one bedroom house on this tiny plot.
“We have always been creative with our approach and so we engaged with the local authority at pre-application stage to present two proposals, one of a traditional nature and one (the approved design) which was more creative and innovative in its form and materiality. When we met the planners, they were quite enthused by the innovative approach and therefore we developed this into the work you see today.”
The project took into consideration the building footprint, initially 18sq.m and incorporated a volume increase exercise, whereby the architects made a full building height rear extension, first and second floor cantilever extension and second floor roof extension to create a larger overall GIA of 50sq.m in total, and in doing so, a building mass innovation became apparent, sculpting an architectural vision onto the tiny plot.
Simone said: “The main design feature is the form of the architecture. The design presents a “form follow function” methodology and is very unique within the local vicinity. It is a real-life project where we have taken a disused space and transformed it into a modern home which stands apart from the very typical surrounding buildings. It is also the only local one-bedroom property which has a freehold, as other properties within this vicinity are leasehold.”
The provision of a full building height rear extension, which created a larger building footprint for the development, has allowed the adjacent premises, currently being used as class A5, to have a separate entrance to divide the two uses efficiently and to allow both uses to work well with a separate entrance by establishing a boundary line along the owned and shared land.
There was also a requirement to add an additional storey to the premises to enable the single dwelling to work efficiently and effectively and this additional storey has increased the area of the single dwelling unit as a whole and enables a comfortable living space within the building footprint.
The site was named ‘Pocket House’ because for a developer, it was a minuscule development which “could fit into their pocket of portfolio projects.”
“This project, like all our projects, is so important to us,” said Simone. “It is an exemplar of how intelligent use of land within the constraints of London’s planning regulation system can successfully turn into an architectural beauty.”
The property is currently on the market for sale and is the only one-bedroom house with a freehold, front garden and top floor balcony within the local vicinity.